FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: T.J. Page
November 12, 2013
AP Misleads Iowa Farmer/Pastor, Then Calls Him a Liar
AP Owes Leroy Perkins an Apology
JOHNSTON, IOWA – The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) today demanded that the Associated Press (AP) apologize to Iowa farmer and retired Methodist pastor Leroy Perkins for essentially calling him a liar. When Perkins pointed out he was misled about the intent of today’s AP story attacking ethanol, the AP responded that “he was certainly aware” of the story’s focus and that “those who were in the interview with him remember it entirely differently.”
“Maybe calling a Methodist pastor a liar is standard defense protocol for DC-based AP reporters, but in southern Iowa that’s an accusation we take very seriously,” stated IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “AP should own up to its poor reporting instead of doubling down on their misrepresentations. Just like the AP hit piece on ethanol, once again the AP doesn’t have its facts straight. IRFA contacted the others involved in the AP interviews in Wayne County and they stand behind Leroy. I doubt there is anyone not on AP’s payroll that remembers things their way.”
Referring to his time with the AP reporters, Perkins stated: “My understanding was they were going to touch on the water issues with our Rathbun Lake watershed, but they were leaning more in Wayne County to the absentee landlords that are out of state…Not once was I led to believe they were going to do a wham-bang on ethanol…I think what they did was somewhat misleading.”
Perkins is backed by the other Wayne County residents interviewed by AP. Wayne County Supervisor Bill Alley stated: “They went a different direction than we [were] led to believe they were going in…To me as I read through this, it was a personal attack on ethanol.”
Although not quoted in the AP story, Doug Carpenter, Wayne County Fair Board President, local farmer, and owner of Carpenter Trucking participated in the round table discussion with Leroy at the Wayne County Fair, and the AP reporters visited his farm and interviewed him there as well. “Those reporters completely misled us. They wanted to know about the effects of absentee landowners here locally. I didn’t get at all out of it that they were trying to run down ethanol. In fact, I specifically told them that ethanol has been great for our community,” stated Carpenter.
Burton Prunty, owner of Prunty Realty in Corydon, IA added: “I talked to the reporters with Leroy while they were at the Wayne County Fair. They asked lots of questions about water quality at Rathbun Lake, but I don’t remember any specific questions on ethanol.”
Perkins concluded: “They had said they would send us a copy of the article, and they would talk to us as it went in the paper. But we haven’t heard one word from them since they left town.”
Shaw added: “As long as we’re discussing honesty, I’d also love for the AP to produce a postcard of ‘rolling cow pastures shown in postcards sold at a Corydon pharmacy.’ We went to the Corydon pharmacy and found two postcards depicting historical corn production in Wayne County – obviously ignored by the AP because that didn’t fit their predetermined narrative. And we found two postcards with Wayne County cows on them. But we found no postcards that featured ‘rolling cow pastures’ depicted so emotionally in the AP story. Based on all the other fallacies in the story, I’m left to wonder if the reporters just made it up.”
For Renewable Fuels Association’s (RFA) fact check of the AP story, please click here.
For Fuels America’s fact check of the AP story, please click here.
Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 42 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 3.8 billion gallons annually, with three cellulosic ethanol facilities currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.
For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website at: www.IowaRFA.org