CNN Failed To Disclose Pundit’s Ties To Norfolk Southern During East Palestine Segment

(Screenshot, CNN)

James Lynch Contributor
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CNN failed to disclose commentator David Urban’s history of lobbying for Norfolk Southern during a segment about the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment.

Urban was president of the American Continental Group until 2020, where he lobbied for Norfolk Southern beginning in 2009, according to left-wing watchdog group Media Matters. His firm was paid $1.14 million by Norfolk Southern from 2009 – 2020, ProPublica data shows.

He appeared on CNN’s Sunday show, “State of the Union” with Dana Bash on a panel to discuss the Biden administration’s response to the East Palestine train derailment. (RELATED: CNN Reporter Says East Palestine Residents Wouldn’t Care If Biden Was ‘Digging Up Toxic Muck’)

“There’s plenty of blame to go around on this … when these kinds of things happen,” Urban said. “The big brouhaha here concerning the Biden administration is, did President Biden, was he empathetic enough? Should he have shown up at the outset and said ‘Listen, I feel your pain,'” he continued.

“The administration should have been there. They should’ve had their arms around people saying ‘listen, we know this stinks, we know you don’t trust companies, you don’t trust the government, we’re here to help you,'” he added.

Urban was appointed to various positions in the Trump administration and worked for Trump’s 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns. He now works for lobbying firm BGR Group as managing director, according to Politico. (RELATED: NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy Throws Cold Water On Biden Admin Claims That Trump Is To Blame For Ohio Derailment)

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited East Palestine on Thursday, nearly three weeks after the train derailment on Feb. 3, and the day after former President Trump visited the town. President Biden has not visited the community and told reporters on Friday he has no plans to do so.

Deadly chemicals carried by the derailed train were released into the environment by a controlled burn by Norfolk Southern and public officials to prevent a deadly explosion. Residents of East Palestine had to evacuate their homes following the controlled burn and continue to report ailments from the chemicals since returning to the area.