Missing that tape of Geraldo and Shemp crying over oily birds? 

“transparency”

Maybe there’s a reason…

Last week, Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, tried to bring a small group of journalists with him on a trip he was taking through the gulf on a Coast Guard vessel. Mr. Nelson’s office said the Coast Guard agreed to accommodate the reporters and camera operators. But at about 10 p.m. on the evening before the trip, someone from the Department of Homeland Security’s legislative affairs office called the senator’s office to tell them that no journalists would be allowed.

“They said it was the Department of Homeland Security’s response-wide policy not to allow elected officials and media on the same ‘federal asset,’ ” said Bryan Gulley, a spokesman for the senator. “No further elaboration” was given, Mr. Gulley added.

...Capt. Ron LaBrec, a Coast Guard spokesman, said that about a week into the cleanup response, the Coast Guard started enforcing a policy that prohibits news media from accompanying candidates for public office on visits to government facilities, “to help manage the large number of requests for media embeds and visits by elected officials.”

“Managing” by “prohibiting”—what a thought!

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.”

Might there be a jurisdictional issue here?

Media access in disaster situations is always an issue. But the situation in the gulf is especially nettlesome because journalists have to depend on the government and BP to gain access to so much of the affected area.

Why, yes—I think there may be....

Claire, Ideologically Stubborn Heatist Ruralite Claire, Ideologically Stubborn Heatist Ruralite
06/10 at 08:39 AM •
(10) Say it, don't spray it...*link*
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