Government Bans Reporters in Gulf

Oil spill birdsThe U.S. Coast Guard put in place a new rule slapping journalists with felony charges, a $40,000 fine and one to five years in prison for coming too close to oil spill clean-up efforts without permission. Anderson Cooper of CNN says the new rule makes it "very easy to hide incompetence or failure." The Coast Guard rule prohibits vessels from coming within 20 meters (65 feet) of booming operations, boom or oil spill response operations "under penalty of law." But since oil spill cleanup operations are being conducted on most of the beaches, the rule bans reporters from just about everywhere they need to be. The new rule contradicts a statement made by Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen in June, when he promised that "Media will have uninhibited access anywhere we're doing operations, except for two things -- if it's a security or safety problem." Anderson Cooper, commenting on the new rule, said '"Those of us down here trying to accurately show what is happening -- we are not the enemy. I've not heard about any journalist who's 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'd move. But to create a blanket rule that everyone has to stay 65 feet away from boom and boats, that doesn't sound like transparency."


This too much of a national tragedy not to be reported as it should be.

I don't think this is a right to know what is going on issue. Everyday we are told what is going on as they try measure after measure to fix the problem. We have all heard so much and by now we need them to fix it. At this point we just need to get out of their way so they can put a stop and get this fixed. I still hope this latest cap is the fix. This really needs to be contained.

The rich people are the one to blame in this incident. They destroy the environment and many people and Areas are affected. The government must take action for this problem. They must stop these for the people.

Delimiting media's penetration is fine but I think 65m is too far; the media have to deliver news to the public!