Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Take a picture the BP oil spill, and it is now a federal violation* subject to a $40,000 fine

News Busters --

the White House enacted stronger rules to prevent the media from showing what's happening with the oil spill in the Gulf Coast. The new ruling keeps photographers and reporters and anyone else from coming within 65 feet of any response vessel or booms out on the water or on beaches.

In order to get access, you have to get direct permission from Coast Guard captain of the Port of New Orleans. Violators of the new rule could face a fine of $40,000 and a class D. felony charge. more...

(more photos of oil spill)

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new policy is reprehensible. Cooper's monologue does an excellent job of objecting to limitations on media as well as pointing out the hypocrisy of Admiral Allen advocating media access a few weeks ago and then implementing a policy of media suppression a few days ago.

However, I believe that the NewsBusters headline, "White House Enacts Rules Inhibiting Media From Covering Oil Spill", and their (and your) opening sentence, "The White House enacted stronger rules to prevent the media from showing what's happening with the oil spill in the Gulf Coast." are unsubstantiated. According to Cooper's report and all the other reports of this policy that I can find, the policy is by the authority of, and enacted by the Coast Guard.

That's not to say that the White House is not responsible. The Coast Guard ultimately reports to the President and it's the President that ultimately is responsible for policies that are implemented while he is in office.

A good comparison would be the torture at Abu Ghraib that took place when Bush was president. Bush did not personally torture anyone. Yet he was ultimately responsible.

Hopefully, this policy will be recognized as a unwarranted unnecessary violation of freedom of the press and rescinded soon.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

what I find very interesting about the way this is being reported is some the headlines that say, "the First Amendment of the Constitution is being suspended" which technically it is anytime that you limit the freedom of the press.

however, in my opinion, they're not saying that you can't take any pictures, they are just saying you can't get any closer than 65 feet, in other words we can do our job if we have to keep working around a bunch of people taking pictures.

But as you point out, the headline (including mine) is not "inclusive" of the full details mentioning the 65 feet limit nor does it specifically mentioned President Obama.

4:16 AM  
Blogger Bobkatt said...

Of more concern to me is the way that BP and other contractors seem to be hiring off duty police who are allowed to wear their uniforms and drive their police vehicles to perform security and intimidate anyone that they want under the guise that they have broken some law.

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