Right, only after the outrage that's been boiling for the past couple months spilled over onto the stove.
A foreign company causes a disaster on our shores and they are able to dictate to our press the terms of their coverage. It's obvious to anybody paying attention that BP here is trying to handle their already horrendous PR situation by limiting the amount of coverage on the spill and it's effects on the area.
Not only that but they also aren't providing their cleanup workers adequate safety equipment.
Well there's one reason you wouldn't want to have reporters documenting the response.
Not but some weeks ago the 1st amendment was suspended by Thad Allen:
All media have been banned. In yet another sign of just how far free speech rights in the United States have fallen, "National Incident Commander" Thad Allen has banned all media access to oil clean up sites in or around the Gulf of Mexico. Instead of devoting all of their energy to trying to save the environment in the Gulf of Mexico, BP and the U.S. government seem absolutely obsessed from keeping people away from seeing what is really going on.
If you didn't see a corporation's hold over our government then you should have after that. It is only in BP's interest that the media be banned from reporting and actually commiting acts of journalism. So if you were to try and report you'd be fined and possibly jailed.
It is now a class B felony that carries a fine of up to $40,000 for any media representative to come within the 65 foot "exclusion zone" that has been established. That means that all members of the media - print, television, radio and bloggers - are banned from coming within 65 feet of anything important down in the Gulf of Mexico.
That's why there are limited pictures of dead animals, limited pictures of actual workers cleaning, no real videos and interviews of the people involved.
That's why I chose the title for this diary.
"We have provided unprecedented media access to the largest oil spill response in US history."
National Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen today announced new procedures to allow media free travel within the 20-meter boom safety zones if they have followed simple procedures for credentialing, and provided they follow certain rules and guidelines.
"I have put out a direction that the press are to have clear, unfettered access to this event, with two exceptions -- if there is a safety or security concern," said Allen. "This boom is critical to the defense of the marshes and the beaches."
"We need to discriminate between media, which have a reason to be there and somebody who's hanging around when we know that we've had equipment vital to this region damaged," Allen said.
"We have provided unprecedented media access to the largest oil spill response in US history. We want the media and the public to see the tremendous unity of effort of 40,000 federal, state and local responders. We have provided hundreds of embarks on CG vessels and aircraft and we are offering overnight visits on a 210-foot Cutter forty miles offshore at the well site. We believe that by providing the media credentials for vessels, we will increase the ability of the media and the public to see the response effort," said Captain Jim McPherson, USCG spokesman.
Thanks to a Julia Dermansky, we do have these photos to show people and to see for ourselves.
Thad Allen should be replaced with somebody who has America's best interest at heart, not BP. If nobody was paying attention, this ban on the 1st amendment wouldn't have been lifted at all, but thanks to the digital age and the Internet, nobody hides anymore.