When the operators of Southern Seaplane in Belle Chasse, La., called the local Coast Guard-Federal Aviation Administration command center for permission to fly over restricted airspace in Gulf of Mexico, they made what they thought was a simple and routine request. A pilot wanted to take a photographer from The Times-Picayune of New Orleans to snap photographs of the oil slicks blackening the water. Journalists struggling to document the impact of the oil rig explosion have repeatedly found themselves turned away from public areas affected by the spill, and not only by BP and its contractors, but by local law enforcement, the Coast Guard and government officials.
To some critics of the response effort by BP and the government, instances of news media being kept at bay are just another example of a broader problem of officials’ filtering what images of the spill the public sees.
Scientists, too, have complained about the trickle of information that has emerged from BP and government sources. Three weeks passed, for instance, from the time the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20 and the first images of oil gushing from an underwater pipe were released by BP. But the incident with Southern Seaplane is not the only example of journalists being told they cannot go somewhere simply because they are journalists. CBS News reported last month that one of its news crews was threatened with arrest for trying to film a public beach where oil had washed ashore. The Coast Guard said later that it was disappointed to learn of the incident.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Obama Administration Blacking Out Spill Coverage, Questioning
I thought this administration was going to be the most open and honest ever? I thought that it would be the most ethical? Someone told me if I voted for Bush and McCain, then the media would be blacked out on things to protect the politicians. Well, they were right, but Bush and McCain aren't doing it. The Obama Administration is: