‘American Rivers’ dangled a bit of bait in a press release and the Fayetteville Observer swallowed it hook, line and sinker.Consider this: ‘American Rivers’ – and even the Waterkeepers Alliance – agree the Cape Fear River is safe for swimming, fishing and kayaking. But, at the same time, American Rivers claims the Cape Fear is one of the ten “Most-Endangered Rivers in America.” So, is the Cape Fear safe for swimming? Or is it one of the ten most polluted rivers? You might have expected the Observer to ask that question. And, if it had, American Rivers would have explained – as it candidly admitted when others asked – that its broadside about the Cape Fear wasn’t based on science. Or a scientific report. It was based on American Rivers’ political agenda.American Rivers’ press release was simple: It attacked farmers, talked about farms in flood plains, then threw in the words ‘Most Endangered Rivers’ and the Fayetteville Observer fell for the spin.Here’s a fact from North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality: During Hurricane Matthew, 99.5% of the hog farms didn’t overflow or have spills – while sewage plants spilled 63 million gallons of raw waste into rivers and streams.It’s no surprise ‘American Rivers’ left that fact out of its press release. Unfortunately, so did the Fayetteville Observer.