Demands for accountability grow as news of Flint water crisis goes national

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Over the past several days, in the wake of the announcement that the U.S. Attorney’s Office had launched a formal investigation into the Flint water crisis, we’re finally starting to see the issue get the attention that it deserves nationally. It was not only a subject of discussion on Meet the Press this morning, where Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said that the White House was monitoring the situation “very closely”, but the story also made the front page of the New York Times, where the focus, quite rightly, was on the desire to hold people accountable, not only for the initial decision to deliver corrosive, untreated river water to the homes of the people of Flint, but the subsequent efforts to discredit and bully those who came forward, warning those in the community that their water contained toxic levels of lead. In addition, features like the following, which, just a few weeks ago, were only being aired on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC program, began getting time this weekend on larger networks, like CNN and NBC. I’m not optimistic, but one hopes it results in prosecution, and help for those currently suffering from lead poisoning. [On the radio last night, I talked with Lee Anne Walters, the mother of a five year old son with lead poisoning in Flint, and, according to her, the state has yet to offer anything in the way of treatment for either him or other children who have tested hight for lead.]

[above: NBC Evening News coverage of the Flint water crisis.]

Yes, it would seem that the story isn’t going away, despite the fact that scapegoats within the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality have been offered up and efforts have finally been taken to stop sending untreated water from the Flint River into people’s homes. People, it would seem, still aren’t satisfied. They still want to know why it was decided not to spend the $100 a day to treat the water being taken from the Flint River in order to prevent the corrosion of lead pipes, as is called for by federal statute. They still want to know when the Snyder administration first became aware that the children of Flint were becoming sick with lead poisoning, and why they chose not to act. And they want to know who it was inside the Snyder administration that was responsible for giving the word that those coming forward with evidence of lead contamination early on should be ridiculed, demeaned and discredited.

Not only are members of our local press finally beginning to demand that Govern Snyder answer the question, “What did you know, and when?“, but the #ArrestGovSnyder hashtag is starting to pick up traction nationally. [At last count, Michale Moore’s #ArrestGovSnyder photo had over 1,500 retweets.]

As is always the case, the cover-up here is probably worse than the initial crime, and people want to know why the administration not only denied that there was a problem for the better part of a year, but, when they did finally acknowledge the findings of doctors, suggested that the source of this public health crisis could be the lead paint inside FLint’s aging homes, and not the fact that people were being given poison to drink… as though all of these children would have started eating lead paint chips at the same time, beginning when the Snyder administration decided to save money by having people drink from the Flint River.

While it’s encouraging that people are coming forward now, demanding answers, it’s a shame this kind of scrutiny couldn’t have come a few years ago, when the groundwork was being laid for this to happen… when, despite the votes of the people of Michigan, legislation was put in place allowing the state to usurp local control from cities like Flint, and when it became evident that this administration would do anything in its power to subvert the democratic process in order to serve the interests of its wealthy conservative backers. Long before the children of Flint were being poisoned, Snyder’s was the least transparent and accountable administration in the country, and we all knew it. So, while it’s nice to have folks everywhere coming out against Snyder now, one has to wonder where they were during the last election, when it really mattered.

[above: CNN coverage of the Flint water crisis.]

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52 Comments

  1. Taco Farts
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    I hope that prick goes to bed afraid of accountability for the rest of his life.

    The more likely outcome is that a few more people unwillingly take more falls for him, he spends a few years pretending to live in ann arbor, then disappears to Argentina because he heard from lots of friends that it’s a good place to get away from it all.

  2. Peter Larson
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Interesting.

    From here, it is hard to tell what the truth is. During election time, politics always takes precedent over truth. While it is very terrible that kids were poisoned in Flint and government is clearly accountable (and I am no fan of Snyder), the story seems to be so muddled in politics that it is impossible to tell what the precise details are.

    I would like to know.

  3. Demetrius
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    @ Pete.

    This has nothing to do with “election time.”

    The Governor of Michigan suspended the democratically-elected government of a major American city and replaced them with an appointed bureaucrat, who – like the corporate-tainted crony he is – decided to “rationalize” costs by switching to a more “cost-effective” source of drinking water … poisoning an entire community, and in particular, a whole generation of children, for life.

    As it turns out, that decision was not only disastrous, it was lalso a crime.

    It doesn’t matter whether the person who is responsible is an “R” or a “D” or an “I” … they need to face criminal consequences.

  4. Jim Pyke
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I think we need to focus on the “gratifying” piece here, and try to sort out how we got to the place where we were able to make it be a story “deserving” of national MSM coverage.

    The attention brought to this by both Rachel Maddow and Michael Moore seems likely to have been instrumental.

    The question for us who know how many big stories are ignored by corporate media needs to always be one of how to discover new tactics and find new allies to shine brighter light on these stories.

  5. Kat
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    I still can’t get over the fact that he sent out a Christmas card stating how thankful he was for the health of his family at a time like this. This man cares not one bit about the poor people of Flint.

  6. Peter Larson
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Why was an EFM appointed for Flint?

  7. anonymous
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    The city was bankrupt, Pete. Are you suggesting that’s reason to poison the residents?

  8. Peter Larson
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    No, I was asking a question.

    Is there evidence that the previous government was in any way more responsible, or might have not done the exact same thing in the end? The choice to use the river water was a financial one.

    I am not defending Snyder (but how responsible is Snyder? Did he know that the proper controls weren’t in place to control contamination to homes? Was an EFM not warranted for Flint? These questions are unanswered here.) but Flint’s track record isn’t exactly spotless.

  9. Lynne
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think anyone really knows how responsible Snyder is yet. And of course, a lot depends on your philosophy of leadership too. Some people take the view that the leader is always responsible. He either knew and covered it up or he didn’t know but should have known.

  10. Demetrius
    Posted January 11, 2016 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Nobody is saying the (former) Flint city leadership were paragons of good government, but that’s not really the point.

    If Flint’s democratically-elected leaders had made this decision, it would have been a terrible tragedy.

    Instead, Governor Snyder circumvented democracy and appointed an un-elected, unaccountable “Emergency Manager” … and he made decisions that now constitute a crime against the citizens of Flint.

    I don’t think we even really need to know how responsible Snyder is. The fact is, he was the Governor, and he appointed the EM who made this devastating decision … What happened to “the buck stops here?”

  11. Peter Larson
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    “I don’t think we even really need to know how responsible Snyder is.”

    Election politics.

    It’s interested that liberals and Democrats are concerned about Flint all of the sudden. It’s not like they gave a shit about the place at all before. But, here we are. Maybe if they had given a shit decades ago, Flint wouldn’t have become the mess it did.

  12. wobblie
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    It’s interested that liberals and Democrats are concerned about Flint all of the sudden.

    How wrong can you be Peter. It was Democrats who campaigned against the EM laws that brought us this disaster. We in Ypsi live in another “sacrifice” zone. When they (as they have already begun) strip the city of all of its assets that have value and appoint an EM< you will be harping about "why wern't the democrats interested in Ypsi. Get your head out of the sand

  13. Demetrius
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    @ Pete

    Are you suggesting that in politics, nothing is “right” or “wrong,” or “acceptable” or “unacceptable?” But rather, that every allegation made against any public official is merely the result of petty politics?

    For the record, I think leaders of both major parties (Democratic and Republican ) are responsible for letting Michigan cities founder for decades … leading to situations where communities like Flint are so desperate they’ve been forced into near-bankruptcy, and feel they are forced to accept rule by un-elected “Emergency Managers.”

    Still, there’s no ignoring the fact that Snyder was the one who appointed the EM who made this particular terrible decision, so in my view, he’s the one who should accept the (moral and legal) consequences.

    I find the suggestion that we should give Snyder a pass, or treat him with kid gloves simply because we don’t want to be seen as participating in some kind of partisan vendetta to be completely ridiculous. Besides, because of term limits, Snyder will be out of office in about a year, anyway …

  14. Peter Larson
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Since when has the left truly cared at all about cities like Flint? Sure, they campaigned against the FM law, but does that mean they were advocating to make Flint a better place? Doubtful.

    I expect that Republicans won’t care about a bunch of dirty, poor black people. The faux concern from the left is more worrying to me.

  15. Peter Larson
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    As for Snyder, it’s not just about him, but about making Republican leaders look bad (not that that’s difficult), in order to secure a bluish state in November.

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    emergency manager law was passed by Granholm. Few Dems outside of cities paid any attention– many supported it. Dems got upset when Snyder decided to use it widely. Good Dems have been watchdogs on that process. The more watchdogs the better EM’s have worked. Detroit being the clear example. But Dems love outrage and the idea of suffering poor people needing their help more than they like the long slog of actually helping them… Or even accurately looking at recent history or all the factors impacting a political issue. I say that as a Dem. Arresting Snyder would be a distraction from helping the people of Flint. It would not even be a deterrent. Further more it’s never going to happen. waste of time, so get over yourselves and your self gratifying outrage. Start figuring out how to get the hundreds of millions needed to address the issue. It’s all an embarrassment. Most good people want nothing to do with politics because this kind of crap exhausts them. I can’t blame them. Wish I was the same really, because this bullsjit is frustrating as hell.

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Liberal blood sport gunning for the GOP is so disappointing.

  18. Jean Henry
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Political scripts are more disappointing.

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    I’m disappointed.
    Someone needs to actually set up a fund and a strategic to use this media moment to help those families. Let’s talk about how to do that.

  20. Anonymous
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Liberal blood sport? Really, Jean? Do you really think this outrage is manufactured? Do you really think the only reason people care is because they see this as an opportunity to go after Snyder? His administration did not act when the people of Flint were BEING POISONED! Instead of doing something about it, they lied and said that nothing was wrong. How can suggest that this is “liberal blood sport”? This isn’t about winning elections. This is about getting help for the people of Flint and ensuring this never happens again.

  21. Erin
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Jean’s is a great question, actually – how does anyone go about setting up a fund to help families in a situation like Flint’s? Culpability aside, those people are going to need financial resources. I imagine (hope) that there will be a legal settlement of some kind, at some point…
    But it seems like perhaps something more could (and should) be done.

  22. Demetrius
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Am I really hearing people suggest that we shouldn’t let justice or accountability get in the way of politics?

  23. M
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I understand the, “stop attacking Snyder and focus on help the people of Flint” sentiment, but it suggests that you can only do one or the other. In reality, we can do both. We can hold the administration responsible and ensure that the people of Flint receive the support that they so desperately need.

  24. Meta
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    From Progress Michigan:

    In light of the Flint Water Crisis, Progress Michigan is calling attention to Gov. Rick Snyder’s first budget that cut 10.8 percent of the funding to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) budget.

    “Michiganders and the public at large should know that Gov. Snyder took actions at the beginning of his tenure to cut funding for the MDEQ despite the fact that this department is charged with keeping our drinking water safe,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “From day one, Governor Snyder and his Republican colleagues in the House and Senate have prioritized their corporate donors over the health and safety of Michigan’s children.”

    Progress Michigan also pointed out that Gov. Snyder’s first Executive Order reorganized state government to split the MDEQ and Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) into separate departments.

    “Gov. Snyder created this department with his pen and should be held accountable for each and every decision that was made since he created it,” Scott continued. “Republicans have often said that they would like government so small that they could drown it in a bathtub. Instead, Michigan Republicans have made government so ineffective that the children in Flint are being poisoned from the water in their bathtub.”

    Read more:
    http://www.progressmichigan.org/2016/01/flint-flashback-snyders-first-budget-cut-water-protection-agency-over-10/

  25. Meta
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    From MLive:

    “Governor says not ready to ask for federal aid for Flint water crisis”

    he state is talking to the federal government about Flint’s lead in water crisis but isn’t ready to request a national disaster declaration, Gov. Rick Snyder said here today.

    “We have not made a specific request for assistance yet, but we’re in a dialogue with the federal emergency management people, talking to them about how we can best work together,” Snyder said in a City Hall news conference.

    “This is a normal part of the process after we do a state declaration. It does take some time for us to put a request together for specific assistance, and we’re undergoing that process.

    “It will take some time but we will get to that point,” Snyder said.

    Read more:
    http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2016/01/governor_says_state_working_wi.html

  26. Lynne
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    FWIW, a great many of the Democrats that I know, including a couple in elected positions, were very vocal about the systemic problems of cities like Flint back when a EMF was first appointed. They’ve also been very vocal since the beginning about it being a bad idea to switch off Detroit water. While I am sure it is true that there are Democrats who don’t care, I don’t think that is the prevailing sentiment. Even Ann Arbor rich Dems seem to actually care that children have been poisoned.

  27. Eel
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Priorities. One Tough Nerd hasn’t had the time to ask the feds for assistance because he was going business at the Auto Show.

    https://twitter.com/onetoughnerd/status/686927199899893760

  28. Jean Henry
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    To be clear, I think this problem is egregious. I just dont think calling for Snyder’s arrest is warranted or useful and I think it’s a distraction. And yes, I think it is gratifying to be just be outraged and point to one person rather than the hard work of finding the funds and capacity and will to help Flint and its citizens. I think calling for Snyder’s arrest is purely political rhetoric. And ineffective rhetoric at that. The idea tha one does not care about the situation if one objects to politicizing a crisis is offensive, and frankly more “you are either with us or your against us” rhetoric. Not effective. Or fair.

    Snyder has managed this horribly, but, as far as I can tell, not criminally. Snyder waited until this week to declare a state of emergency and then proposed no solutions other than another impartial committee. He also has failed to call for Federal funds or call on the National Guard to provide clean water, which I guess he has the power to do.

    I wish we could focus on the specifics and make actionable demands rather than talk about legal accountability in the midst of a damned emergency. That can wait. Lets help these people. It’s going to take a lot of work and engagement to keep this issue on the front burner after the media moment has passed. A reasonable set of demands and a fund would be a great first step. Apparently there is a fund to provide bottled water to Flint. http://www.unitedwaygenesee.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=5
    Funds for long term infrastructure and health care solutions– rather than stop gap measures– are also needed.

  29. Jean Henry
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    I have good company: https://www.facebook.com/ErinBrockovichOfficial/posts/10156398305490494?fref=nf&pnref=story

  30. Lynne
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    The problem with Erin Brockovich’s ideas is that there is NO WAY our governor or legislature is going to be willing to do that stuff on their own. However, maybe if enough people start calling for his arrest or resignation or otherwise express their very valid anger, then maybe he will do some of those things as self preservation.

  31. Jean Henry
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Many analysts have observed that the Governor highly values his own competency. Empathy is not his bag. (Don’t ask me how one is expected to be competent in governance without empathy…) So the national media spotlight on his incompetence will definitely push things along. I don’t believe that happened because people called for his arrest and resignation; it happened because kids were poisoned and there appears to have been a cover up– good stories. And because Maddow etc are also political opportunists peddling outrage. But Nat’l media on a regional fiasco, no matter how it comes about, is an embarrassment– just ask Rahm Emanuel. As I said earlier, I think it’s best to seize this media moment to ask for actionable items, rather than legal accountability. If Dems want to believe their calls for resignation and arrest caused the media moment– cool. But now is the time to let that go and help Flint.

  32. Demetrius
    Posted January 12, 2016 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    “because Maddow etc are also political opportunists peddling outrage. ”

    Wow.

    The water supply of a major American city is poisoned, and thousands of children are likely to suffer lifelong health consequences, and JH has the nerve to say that the reporter who is dutifully trying to call attention to this fact is “peddling outrage.”

    Back in the day, this is what we used to call journalism … but I guess now their job is only to talk about reality-show drama, lifestyle trends, and promote the latest “sponsored content.”

  33. Jean Henry
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    I have great respect for what journalists did ‘back in the day,’ They did their own reporting. They told the story. They did not express an opinion and committed to the prinicple of objectivity. That is not what Maddow does. I agree with her on many things but it’s not journalism; it’s editorial. That the left has confused it as journalism just shows how much they have abandoned critical thinking that is self-directed. They believe the political script handed to them because it makes them feel good about themselves (and also better than other people). They are willing to adhere to that script even when presented with facts that don’t align. They will simply toss those facts and a few principles out the window with them. No gray area allowed. Selling to the echo chamber– to every base human instinct for the sensational. That is the media today. It’s not journalism. Maddow, who I like and agree with most of the time, is absolutely peddling outrage. It pays. Her show and network were created as the liberal response to Fox News. Something I felt was needed and supported. I didnt realize that my fellow liberals and progressives would fall for the same crap Fox News viewers do and start confusing opinion pieces with journalism.

  34. Anonymous
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    What did Maddow say that wasn’t true, Jean?

  35. Meta
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Flint still wants to be paid for the water.

    From MLive:

    “Flint sending out 1,800 new notices for past-due water bills”

    The city says it will send out the first water shutoff notices since a judge’s ruling temporarily halted the practice in August.

    Finance Director Jody Lundquist said about 1,800 shutoff notices for past-due accounts are expected to be mailed to customers this week.

    The new notices only account for debts from water bills that have been issued since the city rolled back water and sewer rates to comply with an injunction issued by Genesee Circuit Court Judge Archie Hayman.

    City officials have said the injunction, issued in a class action lawsuit brought by Flint water customers, has caused an increasing number of overdue accounts because the order forbid shutoffs based on rates that the judge ruled were improperly adopted.

    “We are applying shutoff notices in a fair and systematic way in which those billed on the first cycle will be issued notices first,” Lundquist said. “We do understand that this situation has been out of the ordinary and could be confusing to some of our customers and therefore want to help them as best we can.”

    Read more:
    http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2015/11/flint_sending_out_first_discon.html

  36. Tim Clayton
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a41062/rahm-emmanuel-rick-snyder-should-resign/

  37. Demetrius
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    @ Jean

    In today’s over-active and media-saturated world, I agree that folks like Maddow feel the need to use a bit of razzle-dazzle, and storytelling (and humor), to get their point across. Still, I think most credible people don’t question that she is a serious journalist, or question the quality and veracity of her reporting, or doubt the important role she has played in bringing attention (“outrage” you might say) to critical issues.

    So, sure … she is no Edward R. Murrow, with a cigarette dangling from her mouth, in some black-and-white newsreel … but she (along with, to some degree, people like Letterman and Colbert) are the closest thing our generation has.

  38. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Maddow says a lot of true things. On the episode of her show I saw, on this issue, Maddow said that we don’t know what Snyder knew and when he knew it. However, in the next breath, she acted as if she knew what Syder knew and when he knew it. She acted as if she knew he was guilty of a crime. That is a problem in my mind.

    I don’t understand why a journalist or a regular citizen would be calling for a resignation or prosecution at this point. She should be demanding the truth about what he knew and when he knew it. She should be demanding an outside party with the power to subpoena correspondence regarding the lead in Flint’s water between Snyder and other agencies. I think she mentioned it but it was not at the forefront of her argument–it was way in the back. In my opinion, she is not terribly interested in the truth or demanding the truth. She wants to suspend her viewers in a state of outrage.

    We are all outraged but most of us are demanding the wrong things and I think it is partially the media’s fault. I want to know what he knew and when he knew it and go from there.

    Also, I think the idea that there is not an extremely strong political motivation here, as Demetrius suggested,is laugh out loud hilarious. Politics is an aspect of everything, unfortunately. The insertion of politics where critical thinking ought to be creates all sorts of problems. Half of the population is crying wolf half of the time. Can you imagine being a leader and dealing with the barrage of character assassination attempts? Those who demonize constantly and relentlessly are immune from blame, when there is a mishap, yet they put real obstacles up to those who govern, creating an environment where mishaps are more likely to occur. It is all about accountability, right?

  39. Lynne
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    My problem is that there really is no way to hold accountable the people who most to blame, i.e. Michigan voters who either voted for Snyder’s second term or those who stayed home and didn’t vote. I will settle for the truth though, but I am not sure we are going to get it. Water records are turning up stolen out of offices. Our governor is evading questions. Everyone is in CYA mode. I just hope that the federal investigation turns up the truth about any illegal activities. Frankly, I am grateful for people like Maddow, who while opening editorial, are clamoring for action here and probably are why there is an investigation at all.

  40. Mr. X
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    The truth is, very few were paying attention to this story before Maddow got involved. I don’t care her show isn’t hard news. It’s not the New York Times, but at least it’s a channel through which deserving stories can surface.

  41. Meta
    Posted January 13, 2016 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    From today’s Free Press:

    “Snyder: Flint has seen spike in Legionnaires’ disease”

    Since Flint switched its water source to the Flint River, officials have seen a spike in the number of cases of a severe form of pneumonia, called Legionnaires’ disease — but officials say they’re still looking for the cause.

    There have been 87 cases in Genesee County from June 2014 to November 2015 — and 10 of those cases resulted in death, said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, or MDHHS.

    That number is a jump from previous few years, when the county saw between 6 and 13 cases. It’s not clear how many were fatal.

    While state officials said they couldn’t make a connection between the water and the spike in disease, a drinking water expert who studied Flint said the rise in cases was “dramatic,” and added there’s a “very strong likelihood” the river’s water played a role.

    Read more:
    http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2016/01/13/snyder-flint-area-has-seen-spike-legionnaires/78750610/

  42. Demetrius
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/15/opinion/michigans-failure-to-protect-flint.html

  43. Reverend Andrew
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    This is what happens when you run government like a business.

  44. jcp2
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I think the Governor’s new slogan should be Relentless. Indifference.

  45. Mr. X
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Rest easy, friends. There’s going to be a real investigation. Bill Schuette just said so. And he says he’s going to do it without “fear or favor” so you know it will be unbiased.

    [http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2016/01/15/ag-schuette-flint-water-crisis/78836248/]

    Excerpt:

    Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Friday he has opened an investigation into the lead contamination of Flint’s drinking water, which has caused a public health crisis and led to a state request for a federal disaster declaration.

    “The purpose of the investigation is to determine what, if any, Michigan laws were violated in the process that resulted in the contamination crisis,” Schuette said in a news release.

    “Without fear or favor, I will carry out my responsibility to enforce the laws meant to protect Michigan families, and represent the citizens of Flint,” he said.

  46. Jean Henry
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    ‘getting her point across’ is not what journalists are supposed to do, Demetrius.

    The calls for arrest, assassination and inquisition were what I objected to. Not the time now. Shit needs to get done. It can wait. The Feds should be doing it anyway.

  47. anonymous
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Maddow, to my knowledge, did not call for his arrest and assassination. She called for an investigation and accountability. And, until she did that, Snyder was not taking action. I can agree with you that she is not a journalist in the traditional sense of the world. Can we also agree that the children are better off for her work to make this story a national one? Before she did, the Snyder administration was doing nothing.

  48. Lynne
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Getting one’s point across is exactly the point of opinion journalism, which is what Maddow engages in.

    I think the people calling for Snyder’s arrest are helping actually. The louder that voice gets, the more likely he is to take action. The fact that he knew about this for months and didn’t start doing anything until people started getting angry is significant.

  49. Jean Henry
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    There was a larger point being made about political motivations in the tone and angle of coverage, but, of course, national attention to the issue seems to have helped move Snyder to do what he should have done many months ago. I do hope the eyes of the media stay on the issue to the point of resolution of the problem and impacts on the people of Flint. Given the media attention span, I’m doubtful it will.

  50. Demetrius
    Posted January 16, 2016 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    @ Jean

    I don’t see anyone here calling for “arrest, assassination and inquisition” but rather for an investigation and possible prosecution. In other words … justice and accountability.

    And, as someone else said … taking concrete steps to help the people of Flint doesn’t preclude pursuing legal action against the people responsible. We can (and should) do both.

  51. Jean Henry
    Posted January 16, 2016 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    It was Cher who called for a firing squad, not Mark Maynard– so easy to confuse the two.
    Hyperbole, Demetrius. Something you appear to recognize only when coming at you, My point again was not about MM or this thread specifically, but the larger liberal response and their relative disinterest until recently. And the outrage that likely will burn out long before this is solved. This site is only tail winding. I’m disappointed when it does so without the depth of inquiry and perspective one can normally expect. That happens more often around politicized debates. In those moments, it seems critical thought is only directed outwards. Go Team!

  52. K.
    Posted January 18, 2016 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    For what it’s worth, Governor Snyder agrees with you, Jean.

    “Political statements and finger pointing from political candidates only distract from solving the Flint water crisis.” – Rick Snyder (Twitter)

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  1. By The case for a coverup in Flint on January 17, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    […] as we discussed earlier, this has finally become national news. Not only was it the top story on Reddit today, but […]

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