So, no, it doesn't surprise me that they're restricting cameras and media in the area because they don't want anymore pictures of dead animals out there. The ones from AP photographer Charlie Riedel last week were shocking.
I wrote about the media blackout a bit yesterday in the Blue Seals story - the Seals group wants to document the devastation to the wildlife and estuaries but BP restricted a good bit of their access. There are still places where the Seals group can go, however. And they are doing some filming. Those short clips are being posted to their website.
BP explains it this way:
“Our general approach throughout this response, which is controlled by the Unified Command and is the largest ever to an oil spill,” said David H. Nicholas, a BP spokesman, “has been to allow as much access as possible to media and other parties without compromising the work we are engaged on or the safety of those to whom we give access.”
I'm not an expert by any means so can someone explain to me how flying over the oil spill (which is HUGE) would compromise BP's work? I understand you can't have planes flying willy nilly up there, running into each other, but this is a vast territory we're talking about.
Not only can you NOT fly over the spill, you can't even go to the public beach and photograph anything:
In a separate incident last week, a reporter and photographer from The Daily News of New York were told by a BP contractor they could not access a public beach on Grand Isle, La., one of the areas most heavily affected by the oil spill. The contractor summoned a local sheriff, who then told the reporter, Matthew Lysiak, that news media had to fill out paperwork and then be escorted by a BP official to get access to the beach.
BP did not respond to requests for comment about the incident.
"For the police to tell me I needed to sign paperwork with BP to go to a public beach?" Mr. Lysiak said. "It's just irrational."
I suppose the theory is that it would hamper cleanup efforts or that the oil sludge is toxic and would be a health hazard. I'm guessing the "paperwork" would be a disclaimer and would protect BP from a lawsuit should the photographer come down with major health issues because of the oil. But, still...
What it comes down to is that both BP and the government are in collusion to cover up the real mess. "The most transparent" President evah!, who wants to "kick ass" and has his boot on the throat of BP should open this all up and let the public really see what is happening down there, "Unified Command" be damned. That just means cover up these days.
Enough with the smoke and mirrors.
(Photo credit: Andrew Boyd, The Times-Picayune)