In an amazing development, all media have been banned from Gulf of Mexico oil spill cleanup sites. Yes, you read that correctly. All media have been banned. In yet another sign of just how far free speech rights in the United States have fallen, "National Incident Commander" Thad Allen has banned all media access to oil clean up sites in or around the Gulf of Mexico. Instead of devoting all of their energy to trying to save the environment in the Gulf of Mexico, BP and the U.S. government seem absolutely obsessed from keeping people away from seeing what is really going on. It is now a class B felony that carries a fine of up to $40,000 for any media representative to come within the 65 foot "exclusion zone" that has been established. That means that all members of the media - print, television, radio and bloggers - are banned from coming within 65 feet of anything important down in the Gulf of Mexico.
The media are being treated like the enemy. Already there have been many reports of how the media have been harassed and intimidated down in the Gulf of Mexico. But now BP and the U.S. government have just decided to shut free speech down altogether in the Gulf. Apparently they are much more comfortable when their inaction and incompetence is not exposed for the entire world to see.
But what harm is the media really doing down there in the Gulf? Well, other than showing how badly the U.S. government and BP are handling the situation. The truth is that the American people deserve to know what is going on. But now the media will not be able to get pictures or video of anything important.
Needless to say, many in the media are absolutely outraged. Not being able to get within 65 feet of any oil spill clean up site is going to severely restrict media personnel from doing their jobs. Not that they were doing such a great job of covering this oil spill crisis anyway, but now they are basically going to have no access.
In the video posted below, you can really feel Anderson Cooper's outrage as he described what this new order means. Is this another huge indication that free speech in America is just about dead?....