Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office told Fox News Digital on Thursday that an alarming update to a Richmond Times-Dispatch report is why “people don’t trust the media” after the Ford Motor Company shot down an anonymous claim that the automaker “selected” the state for an electric battery plant only to be turned away.
The original Richmond Times-Dispatch story appeared on the front page of the paper with the headlined, “Sources: Ford Had chosen Va. For Plant,” and cited anonymous sources claiming Ford selected Southern Virginia as the site prior to “Youngkin scuttling the plan.”
Ford and the governor’s office have both since denied that Virginia was selected for the job-creating project.
The governor told the Richmond Times-Dispatch it was “fundamentally wrong,” but the newspaper still published the report based on anonymous sources and noted that Youngkin refuted it.
The plant would have created roughly 2,500 jobs in one of the poorest areas of the state, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. However, the plant would have been a partnership between Ford and a Chinese company. Youngkin previously pulled Virginia from consideration for the plant because of concerns about the Chinese government’s influence.
Hours later, the Richmond Times-Dispatch added an update to its original story indicating that Ford didn’t make a final decision after all.
“A spokeswoman for Ford Motor Company said Thursday that the company had not made a site selection decision on its plans for an electric vehicle battery plant in partnership with a Chinese company,” the paper noted. “The statement from the company came in response to a Richmond Times-Dispatch report Thursday citing two sources saying the company had notified Virginia officials that it had selected the Southern Virginia Mega Site at Berry Hill in Pittsylvania County for the plant. They sources spoke on condition of anonymity.”
The Richmond Times-Dispatch then published a second story that contradicted its original report. The follow-up story, “Ford says it had not made site selection decision on battery plant,” quoted Ford spokesperson Melissa Miller declaring the paper’s first report was inaccurate.
“Ford had not made a site selection decision,” Miller said.
The paper also indicated that Miller said “no one from the company told a Virginia official Ford had decided” on the site.
Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter blasted the Richmond Times-Dispatch for relying on anonymous sources.
“The governor gave on-the-record comments refuting the outlet’s blind sourcing, yet knowingly published false information. This is why people don’t trust the media,” Porter told Fox News Digital.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch did not immediately respond to a request for comment.