Now that someone in the Obama loving media appears to have a desire to find the truth, Democrats have created new rules that will prevent him from doing so.
According to a news release from the Unified Command, violation of the “safety zone” rules can result in a civil penalty of up to $40,000, and could be classified as a Class D felony.
Because booms are often placed more than 40 feet on the outside of islands or marsh grasses, the 65-foot rule could make it difficult to photograph and document the impacts of oil on land and wildlife, media representatives said.
But federal officials said the buffer zone is essential to the clean-up effort.
“Often the general guise of ‘safety’ is used as a blanket excuse to limit the media’s access, and it’s been done before,” Herbert said Thursday. “It feels as though news reporting is being criminalized under thinly veiled excuses. The total effect of all these restrictions is harming the public’s right to know.”
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser said he feels media access is important to getting the word out about the local impact of the spill, and said the Coast Guard’s safety measures were an “overreaction.”
“I think somebody came up with a good reason of how to justify keeping the press away,” Nungesser said. “But guess what? That isn’t gonna keep us away. Anytime you all want, you all can come in there wherever we go, on our boats.”
It’s amazing to watch the Democrat-run government and liberal media (and environmentalists) operate during the BP oil spill. I mean, we are on day 76 of this spill and oil is still gushing fiercely, but the usual lefties don’t seem too concerned.
Considering the BP oil spill is the worst in U.S. history, the coverage of it so far has been pathetic and minimal, to say the least. But if a Republican was president, instead of Obama, photos of oil covered DEAD animals would be on the cover of most magazines on a daily basis. Newspapers would do weekly 10 page spreads with color photos of the oil spill’s destruction. The Republican president would be demonized on a constant basis, and everything he or she said and did in regards to the oil spill and in his personal life would be evaluated and criticized.
Well, Anderson Cooper on CNN, part of Democrat-Activist media, said he wants the truth and may finally be starting to realize it. But if and when he finds the truth, what will he do with it? Will he spin it?
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: But we begin, as we do every night, “Keeping Them Honest”.
This time, however, we’re not talking about BP. We’re talking about the government, a new a rule announced today backed by the force of law and the threat of fines and felony charges, a rule that will prevent reporters and photographers and anyone else from getting anywhere close to booms and oil-soaked wildlife and just about any place we need to be.
By now, you’re probably familiar with cleanup crews stiff-arming the media, private security blocking cameras, ordinary workers clamming up, some not even saying who they’re working for because they’re afraid of losing their jobs.
BP has said again and again that’s not their policy. Yet, again and again, it has happened. And we have seen it. But that’s BP.
And now the government apparently is getting in on the act, despite what Admiral Thad Allen promised about transparency just nearly a month ago. Here is what he said back then.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADMIRAL THAD ALLEN (RET.), NATIONAL INCIDENT COMMANDER: I have put out a written directive — and I can provide it for the record — that says the media will have uninhibited access anywhere we’re doing operations, except for two things, if it’s a security or a safety problem. That is my policy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Uninhibited access, unless it’s a security or safety problem.
Well, the Coast Guard today announced new rules keeping photographers and reporters and anyone else from coming within 65 feet of any response vessel or booms out on the water or on beaches — 65 feet.
Now, in order to get closer, you have to get direct permission from the Coast Guard captain of the Port of New Orleans. You have to call up the guy. What this means is that oil-soaked birds on islands surrounded by boom, you can’t get close enough to take that picture.
Shots of oil on beaches with booms, stay 65 feet away. Pictures of oil-soaked booms uselessly laying in the water because they haven’t been collected like they should, you can’t get close enough to see that. And, believe me, that is out there.
But you only know that if you get close to it, and now you can’t without permission. Violators could face a fine of $40,000 and Class D felony charges.
What’s even more extraordinary is that the Coast Guard tried to make the exclusion zone 300 feet, before scaling it back to 65 feet.
Here is how Admiral Allen defends it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Well, it’s not unusual at all for the Coast Guard to establish either safety or security zones around any number of facilities or activities for public safety or for the safety of the equipment itself. We would do this for marine events, fireworks demonstrations, cruise ships going in and out of port.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, this is the exact same logic that federal wildlife officials used to prevent CNN on two occasions from getting pictures of oiled birds that have been collected, pictures like — like the — well, that we’re about to show you which are obviously deeply disturbing, pictures of oiled gulls that we just happened to catch. Suddenly, we were told after — after that day we couldn’t catch it anymore. So, keeping prying eyes out of marshes, away from booms, off the beaches is now government policy.
When asked why now, after all this time, Thad Allen said he had gotten some complaints from local officials worried people might get hurt. Now, we don’t know who these officials are. We would like to. But transparency is apparently not a high priority with Thad Allen either these days.
Maybe he is accurate and some officials are concerned. And that’s their right. But we’ve heard far more from local officials about not being able to get a straight story from the government or BP. I have met countless local officials desperate for pictures to be taken and stories written about what is happening in their communities.
We’re not the enemy here. Those of us down here trying to accurately show what’s happening, we are not the enemy. I have not heard about any journalist who has disrupted relief efforts. No journalist wants to be seen as having slowed down the cleanup or made things worse. If a Coast Guard official asked me to move, I would move.
But to create a blanket rule that everyone has to stay 65 feet away boom and boats, that doesn’t sound like transparency. Frankly, it’s a lot like in Katrina when they tried to make it impossible to see recovery efforts of people who died in their homes.
If we can’t show what is happening, warts and all, no one will see what’s happening. And that makes it very easy to hide failure and hide incompetence and makes it very hard to highlight the hard work of cleanup crews and the Coast Guard. We are not the enemy here.
We found out today two public broadcasting journalists reporting on health issues say they have been blocked again and again from visiting a federal mobile medical unit in Venice, a trailer where cleanup workers are being treated. It’s known locally as the BP compound. And these two reporters say everyone they have talked to, from BP to the Coast Guard, to Health and Human Services in Washington has been giving them the runaround.
We’re not talking about a CIA station here. We’re talking about a medical trailer that falls under the authority of, guess who, Thad Allen, the same Thad Allen who promised transparency all those weeks ago.
We are not the enemy here.
You are right Anderson, you have never been the enemy because your reporting favors Obama and Democrats. Fox News and Rush Limbaugh are the enemies, remember? Now Cooper has a choice to make. To either seriously investigate the BP oil spill and risk fines and felony charges or just keep doing what he has been doing. Sure, Cooper and CNN can pay the fine, but felony charges? No one wants that.
I think Cooper’s “We are not the enemy here” plea may be nothing more than his way of telling Obama and Dems that the media won’t blame them, if they just let reporters get closer to the the spill’s destruction. Who knows? Maybe he will surprise me.
Gosh, if I was still living in Lafayette, and my husband still worked for an oil services company in the Gulf…I can assure you I would be there with my video camera and politically incorrect tee shirt; risking fines and felony charges!
Don’t forget what Nungesser said: “I think somebody came up with a good reason of how to justify keeping the press away, but guess what? That isn’t gonna keep us away. Anytime you all want, you all can come in there wherever we go, on our boats.”
Get on the boat Cooper.
Here are some photos of the Gulf Spill that the government would rather you not see.
God Bless the Gulf and everyone and everything affected.
Now I guarantee you, if George W. Bush had been Pres. when this spill occurred and was the biggest recipient of BP cash in 20 years–LIKE OBAMA IS–that the world would be seeing pictures like this and much, much, much worse every single day. We would see it all. But since Obama is president let’s just pretend it didn’t happen, that is unless you live in the areas affected.
It didn’t have to get this bad America, but our incompetent president allowed it.