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Since this initial brief report, the CBS video clip has been widely reposted, but there has apparently been no followup from either CBS or BP. The Coast Guard, however, released a statement from Rob Wyman, Lieutenant Commander, USCG, Deepwater Horizon Unified Command.
"Neither BP nor the U.S. Coast Guard, who are responding to the spill, have any rules in place that would prohibit media access to impacted areas and we were disappointed to hear of this incident. In fact, media has been actively embedded and allowed to cover response efforts since this response began, with more than 400 embeds aboard boats and aircraft to date. Just today 16 members of the press observed clean-up operations on a vessel out of Venice, La.
The only time anyone would be asked to move from an area would be if there were safety concerns, or they were interfering with response operations. This did occur off South Pass Monday which may have caused the confusion reported by CBS today."
The entities involved in the Deepwater Horizon/BP Response have already reiterated these media access guidelines to personnel involved in the response and hope it prevents any future confusion.
This statement has provoked additional concerns, however, since it apparently indicates that the practice of military "embeds" is being extended to this domestic crisis.
For instance, the parishes have been clearly forbidden by the Coast Guard and BP to place boom or spray dispersants on their own.
"The EPA had to approve and the Unified Command and the Coast Guard had to approve the use of that product. It is approved and in fact we've been using it and it has been effective," BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles told "Good Morning America" today....
"Any living organism that contacts this stuff, particularly the mixture of dispersant and oil, is at significant risk of acute mortality," said marine biologist Rick Steiner.
In fact, EPA testing released Thursday indicates that where the dispersant had been used, 25 percent of all organisms living at 500 feet below the surface died.
i'm hoping these media folk have the balls to sue the US government......clear violation of the constitution.
Originally posted by twitchy
Apparently the BP Oil Spill cover-up is in now in full swing and we the people get a rare glimpse of just how entagled our Governement and Coporate interests really are. If this source is correct, which cites the Huffington Post and CBS, then BP is literally riding around with an entourage of Coast Guard Officers warning people not to film the oil spill or face arrest. There are reports of equipment being confiscated...
Well, is just begs the question, who the hell is the Coast Guard working for these days?
BP, Coast Guard Officers Block Journalists From Filming Oil-Covered Beach (VIDEO)
Reported by Huffington Post on Wednesday, 19 May 2010 (10 hours ago)
Emerging reports are raising the question of just how much of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill journalists are able to document.
When CBS tried to film a beach with heavy oil on the shore in South Pass, Louisiana, a boat of BP contractors, and two Coast Guard officers, told them to turn around, or be arrested.
"This is BP's rules, it's not ours," someone aboard the boat said. Coast Guard officials told CBS that they're looking into it.
As the Coast Guard is a branch of the Armed Forces, it brings into question how closely the government and BP are working together to keep details of the disaster in the dark.
Furthermore, this may not be the sole incident of its kind. According to Mother Nature Network's Karl Burkhart, his contacts in Louisiana have given him unconfirmed reports of equipment being turned away or confiscated.
Damage control for BP's reputation, on our dime? Where does BP get the authority to arrest anyone here in the US via our own Coast Guard, especially if they were Drilling Illegally for this now spewing 100,000 Barrels a Day that we can see from space.
My apologies if the story has already been posted, ran across and got mad enough to start a thread.
Well here is a scenario:
"This is BP rules, not ours."
In other words, your film crew is being paid by CBS, CBS is being paid by large advertisers like BP! BP is spending millions of dollars in marketing for the Gulf Coast and also for themselves to counteract this disaster.
So, "This is BP rules" means if you want to keep getting a paycheck, quit messing with BP. "Not Ours" means please don't blame us Coast Guard guys, we are sickened by the orders to be here protecting these BP criminals, but we need a paycheck too!
Nice little statement slipped in there by a very savvy Coast Guard soldier!
It may seem over-the-top to place the incident between BP and CBS in the context of incidents between governments and press in other countries. But, with the consent of a military organization like the Coast Guard, threats of arrest made against journalists or individuals seeking to conduct coverage of a situation especially in public areas like beaches must be compared because, if it is not challenged, the repression could rise to the level of actual arrest and detention of individuals on a regular basis.
Either journalists and individuals who believe in their right to document and gather information allow authorities, corporations or organizations to place restrictions on access or they challenge it. If challenged, invariably one must expect incidents like the ones covered by Reporters Sans Frontieres to occur. If BP is serious about controlling the images and words seen in relation to the oil leak, they will have to repress people.
At a time when surveillance is entirely acceptable and normal, when cameras at traffic intersections photograph those running red lights, when cameras watch your every move in city, state, federal or private buildings, when street cameras track movements of people in areas thought to have high levels of crime, the public must decide whether it will or should assert its right to survey and cover anything in the same way that authorities, corporations or organizations would assert their right to survey and cover anything.
A BP cleanup worker rakes oil from the beach on May 22, 2010 on Elmer's Island, Louisiana. Authorities closed the popular tourist beach to the public and media wishing to visit the beach must be escorted by a BP official. (John Moore/Getty Images)
Revive The Fairness Doctrine
Legislation currently is before Congress that would reinstate a federal communications policy known as the "fairness doctrine." The legislation, entitled the "Fairness in Broadcasting Act of 1993," is sponsored in the Senate (S. 333) by Ernest Hollings, the South Carolina Democrat, and in the House (H.R. 1985) by Bill Hefner, the North Carolina Democrat. It would codify a 1949 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulation that once required broadcasters to "afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views of public importance." The fairness doctrine was overturned by the FCC in 1987. The FCC discarded the rule because, contrary to its purpose, it failed to encourage the discussion of more controversial issues. There were also concerns that it was in violation of First Amendment free speech principles. The legislation now before Congress would enshrine the fairness doctrine into law.