With one recent exception: the Simpsons Movie.
For the record, I thought TSM was hilarious and awesome, even apart from the EPA-related plotline. The movie gets a lot of comic mileage out of portraying the EPA as a ruthlessly efficient SWAT team for the environment (heh, if only) whose slick administrator, Russ Cargill, has President Schwarzenegger's ear:
Cargill: You know, sir, when you made me head of the EPA, you were applauded for appointing one of the most successful men in the America to the least successful agency in government. And why did I take the job? Cause I'm a rich man, and wanted to give something back. Not the money, but something. So here's our chance to kick some ass for Mother Earth!To me, the message here is a little muddled, but no matter. The show's libertarian and skeptical (nay, anarchist!) tendencies are apparent in the plot, which involves an environmental catastrophe and the EPA's modestly proposed "solution." The disaster is visited on Springfield not by Mr. Burns (who, sadly, only merits a short scene), but by Homer's stupidity. It's an actual environmental threat, but the EPA's over-reaction might have been scripted by the Heritage Foundation. The bottom line for the Simpsons: the people in charge don't care about you! And that goes equally for politicians as for sinister nuclear plutocrats. If anyone is going to save us, it will probably be Lisa Simpson.
To peel back another layer, the DVD has an alternate deleted scene of the meeting between Cargill and the President. In this scene the EPA head is an entirely different character. This model of Cargill is a dowdy, earnest, Mr. Rogers-looking bureaucrat (perhaps a scientist?) who goes through a complicated, Al Gore-like pantomime to try to communicate the pollution problem facing Springfield:
The Simpsons Movie: Deleted Scenes
So it seems we can't quite decide if we think the EPA is meek and competent, or forceful and misguided. Maybe it's funny both ways? Sadly, in the real world, the current EPA administrator seems to combine the worst of both worlds. For example, NRDC's John Walke provides the insider details of EPA's attempt to set ozone air pollution standards and getting totally pwned by the White House.