Skip to comments.White House Enacts Rules Inhibiting Media From Covering Oil Spill
Posted on 07/03/2010 9:03:54 AM PDT by Sub-Driver
White House Enacts Rules Inhibiting Media From Covering Oil Spill By Noel Sheppard Created 07/03/2010 - 11:28
The White House Thursday enacted stronger rules to prevent the media from showing what's happening with the oil spill in the Gulf Coast.
CNN's Anderson Cooper reported that evening, "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."
He elaborated, "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."
As the segment continued, Cooper expressed disgust with this rule repeating several times, "We are not the enemy here" (video follows with transcript and commentary, h/t Cubachi  via Hot Air ):
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.
Actually, Anderson, to this administration, anyone trying to tell the truth to the American people is the enemy.
Maybe if folks like you would have accurately reported the background of Barack Obama when he was running for president he wouldn't have assumed you were going to continue to misrepresent and ignore facts for his benefit after if he got elected.
To anyone with even a lukewarm intelligence quotient, this was an eminently foreseeable consequence of the media treating candidate Obama like a rock star. If they had acted like journalists back then instead of groupies, maybe they'd be treated with more respect today.
Now that some press members actually want to act like reporters again and aggressively try to cover what's going on in the Gulf Coast, the White House must feel somewhat spurned by his previously complicit press thereby necessitating rules to keep them from getting close to the truth now that they mysteriously seem interested in reporting it.
Of course, those on the other side of the aisle are not at all surprised, for like so many of the promises this man made during the campaign, we didn't believe his most transparent administration in history pledge either.
Maybe in the future media won't allow their love for a candidate to make them so gullible and compliant, but I wouldn't count on it.
You helped get this petty dictator elected so, yes, you are the enemy here.
You're also not very bright.
What a naive little boy. ...not recognizing a third world dictator when he sees one. Just because he's a member of the media-favored party.
Transparency in government!!! Change you can believe in!!!
I don’t know why Anderson Cooper is mad. He asked for this didn’t he? Didn’t most of the so called media vote for the usurper?
Is the no-fly zone over the area still in place as well?
CNN's Anderson Cooper's getting mugged by ugly liberal reality. Good. Let the effing jerk know what it feels like...
I don’t know what Anderson Cooper is complaining about we/he hasn’t gotten within 65 feet of Obama’s real birth certificate yet....what did he expect, transparency?
Now we'll find out if the (pansy MSM) Fourth Estate has any grit left...
Thanks CNN, New York Times, and Washington Post - thanks for all the totalitarian crap you've brought to our country.
I hate to take an adverse position here, but I think folks are hyperventillating over a non-issue. With modern photographic equipment you cannot hide much at 65 ft. and for anyone who has spent time at sea, a 65ft. stand-off distance for paparazzi and pleasure gawkers is, I would regard in my professional judgment, a bare minimum acceptable standoff distance from working boats that are attempting to maneuver and work with loads.
While certainly some of what the Coast Guard has done are politically driven, come-on guys, the Coast Guard is an honorable branch of uniformed public service made up of highly skilled and dedicated professional men and women.
Just wait until Hussein starts making examples of a few of them, the propagandists for the regime will fold up like cheap suits and get back to toeing the party line.
So let me understand this. We can inbed reporters in a war zone where real bullets are fired but we can not look at an oil spill? Oh THAT makes sense.
Even if he’s only right one out of fifty times I’ll acknowledge that one time. How many of ‘our’ media guys are speaking out so forcefully?
I still hate Obama and his Administration though. Just to be clear.
I can see the necessity of keeping interfering interlopers away from working crews out on the open water. Sixty-five feet is the difference between forever losing one's voting, 2nd Amendment rights and possibly their anal virginity though? Sixty-six feet, and all is well?
So much for 'let the punishment fit the crime'
And the media will say ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about having their Free Press rights taken from them.
Since when are our seas and public lands Private property of the filthy government?
“We are not the enemy here”
Well, Anderson, actually, you are. In more ways than you know. I wonder if you’ll ever figure this out...in time to recognize how useful you have been to them.
“Kerry teased the press, mouthing words as if he were delivering his speech, gesturing with his hands.
He then said, “Members of the fourth estate. I’ve called you here to tell you your reign is over.”
He then cupped his hand over his ear, pretending he could not hear any questions.
Kerry stood at the podium, looked at the teleprompter, and went over to the side of the stage from where he is expected to walk. (It’s on the left.)”
1. Seize finance to control the sale of bullets, billets and bread.
2. Seize medical care to prevent and track treatment of wounds.
3. Seize communications to prevent opposition communication and communication of just how bad things are.
4. Seize energy to prevent movement, freeze or starve the masses and to literally keep people in the dark.
North Korea’s map at night may well look more and more like the US, you know?
AQ could not do it better. It’s as though we have our own personal, live Achmed.
Stalin didn't let the media near his gulags, either.
This is typical of the media. Helen Thomas did the same thing, before her jew-hating meltdown.
They'll look the other way all day long, as long as other people suffer at the hands of an overbearing government. But as soon as something happens that they feel is unfair to their hallowed profession, they get all pissy.
It's not a principled stand, they just act like it is.
They are not stopping FOX News...
THE COMMIES AT WORK. THEY WON’T LET REPUBLICAN SENATORS OR CONGRESSMAN VIEW IT EITHER. This is a plan of Obama and His minyan’s to destroy America. If he gets away with not allowing reporters at this crisis scene what is next. He is in control of the press.
GOD SAVE AMERICA from Obummer.
The protectors/enablers of the White House Communist tactics suddenly don’t like Communist tactics...
the MSM like common dung beetles....wander aimlessly, head in the sand....moving backward...while pushing their crap and hoping it sticks to something..... © Vaquero 2010
I don’t care why he’s right and if it’s nothing more than a narcissistic journalist rage—he’s still right. If the press curtailment of the situation were done on a Republican’s watch the media would be all over it.
Where is the GOP hiding in all of this! I still think that the rig was sabotaged by somebody or something. Perhaps it was the Obama adminstration to show American’s how bad drilling is for America. That we need to just depend on Government and $7.00 per gallon gas to keep us on mass transit buses.
There is something great then we know going on in the gulf.
You are the enemy jackass,you and your fellow travelers did every thing they could to help cover up the Clinton rape and whitewater scandals, demonized Sarah Palin along her supporters and did the same to Americans who tried to point out Obama's incompetence and unfitness for the office of US President.
My only complaint is that not you and just you alone who have to pay the price for your incompetence and bias,the rest of us do as well,the day the last of the rotten, corrupt,biased and left wing butt kissing main stream media goes 100% bankrupt will be a great day for the USA
Did anyone listen to Coast to Coast AM the other night when two physicists pronounced there were fissures growing in the gulf floor due to a gigantic Methane gas bubble? It was advised that all gulf states be evacuated. There is certainly worse to come. Tell me, who is to benefit by keeping this alleged truth to be withheld from the American people?
Ooorah Back at you. May GOD Bless America! And the 2nd amendment rules.
Cooper, you’re an idiot. You can’t get within 65 feet of 0bama’s birth records, school records, adoption records, medical records, college records....
Any of which are more important than a greasy goose.
You would have to ask BP. They have been 'in charge' since day one.
We know pretty much how the rig failed. The difference between sabotage and negligence is only a matter of intent.
How far inland were they suggesting people be moved, BTW?
Didn’t somebody there take an oath to support and defend the Constitution?
Oh, I forgot.
He flubbed it...
“Secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy . . . censorship. When any government, or any Church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything-— you cant conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.”
Robert A. Heinlein, Revolt in 2100
You have company. Sixty-five feet doesn't give you much room for maneuvering a boat if something goes wrong. That's all we need - a collision with possible deaths on top of everything else.
Art Bell only fills in on an occasional weekend. George Nory has been the mc for years. I don’t listen often, but once in a while a creditable guest will appear on the show. I don’t think this news is a laughing matter.
CRIME, INC has long hated the spot light of truth placed upon it......huh, Jack Squat Barry? IdiotPOTUS.... =.=
They are not hiding anything.
Keep those narcissists out of the way. Safety is an issue. BP doesn't want to be sued by journalists or have them sucking money out of the $20 billion trust fund just because they are stupid enough to get too close.
I guess telephoto lenses are too expensive for the staff of major networks.
There have been a plethora of pictures of dead birds on the beaches already. Can't these 'news' agencies just use 'stock photos' like they have been doing for years and years? Like they did for the 'tea-party protests'? Like they do for politicians? A little photoshopping here, a little there, no one will notice the difference.
If they insist on actual photos of dead birds and oil on the beaches from THIS SPILL, I could provide them with links on the internet where there are tons of pictures that already have been taken. All they have to do is put them on 'the air'. I guess it's easier to blame BP and the CG for why you haven't put any pictures on your programs.
Security is an issue, because we don't need a bunch of un-marked, unidentified boats getting too close to the ships that are participating in the cleanup/containment efforts. That is how people end up getting hurt or killed.
Besides, the only time we would get any 'truth' from Anderson Cooper and the MSM is if they benefit in some way from revealing it.
Nice of Cooper and the MSM to try and 'get on board' with what the rest of the nation keeps seeing on the internet.
People, this is non-issue. 65 feet! That is approximately the distance from the street curb to the back of your house. Can't see? Get glasses.
I am an old guy. Obama needs to be impeached, tried for treason and sent to Gitmo to rot with his goat-humping muslim buddies. He’ll fit right in.