Welcome to the Corporatocracy.
We got to watch as the very bankers causing the economic mess directed our own Homeland Security to infiltrate and disrupt protests.
Now we get to find out that our own fourth estate, the tamp that prevents tyranny, is being threatened with arrest for doing their jobs.
When reporters do not get their inquires returned they don't just give up. They go looking for who is ignoring them. In this case Exxon has decided to put up a moat of taxpayer funded sheriffs with the drawbridge of arrest authority granted by Exxon.
Song went to the command center in hopes of reaching representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation. She had been told they were working out of the command center, but had been unable to get their names or contact information despite multiple requests to the agencies.But instead of getting media information. The iron hand of the law was used to shield this corporation from media inquiries.
Reporters covering the oil spill from ExxonMobil's Pegasus pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas, are reporting that they've been blocked from the site and threatened with arrest.
On Friday morning, Inside Climate News reported that an Exxon spokesperson told reporter Lisa Song that she could be "arrested for criminal trespass" when she went to the command center to try to find representatives from the EPA and the Department of Transportation. On Friday afternoon, I spoke to the news director from the local NPR affiliate who said he, too, had been threatened with arrest while trying to cover the spill.
Michael Hibblen, who reports for the radio station KUAR, went to the spill site on Wednesday with state Attorney General Dustin McDaniel. McDaniel was in the area to inspect the site and hold a news conference, and Hibblen and a small group of reporters were following him to report on the visit. Upon arrival, representatives from the county sheriff's office, which is running security at the site, directed the reporters to a boundary point 10 feet away that they should not pass. The reporters agreed to comply. But the tone shifted abruptly, Hibblen told Mother Jones on Friday:
It was less than 90 seconds before suddenly the sheriff's deputies started yelling that all the media people had to leave, that ExxonMobil had decided they don't want you here, you have to leave. They even referred to it as "Exxon Media"…Some reporters were like, "Who made this decision? Who can we talk to?" The sheriff's deputies started saying, "You have to leave. You have 10 seconds to leave or you will be arrested."
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