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BP Commands Government to Strangle Off Media Coverage of Oil Gusher

BP Commands Government to Strangle Off Media Coverage of Oil Gusher

On Saturday, the Associated Press reported that the government is strangling off access to areas of the Gulf of Mexico impacted by what is now admitted to be the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

“The Associated Press, CBS and others have reported coverage problems because of the restrictions, which officials say are needed to protect wildlife and ensure safe air traffic,” the AP reported. “A CBS news story said one of its reporting teams was threatened with arrest by the Coast Guard and turned back from an oiled beach at the mouth of the Mississippi River.” Officials said the denial of access was under “BP rules.”

BP and other leviathan transnational corporations own Congress and the White House. Obama’s apparent disinterest in the oil gusher until very recently is not because he does not believe the situation merits attention. The federal government has done little beyond engage in public relations management because transnational corporations and bankers rule (and own) the political process. BP continues to insist it is in control of the situation and the government continues to defer. BP does not want the media poking around and reporting the severity of the disaster to the American people.

“U.S. Coast Guard and Federal Aviation Administration officials said BP PLC, the company responsible for cleaning up the spill, was not controlling access,” Matthew Brown writes for AP. “Coast Guard officials also said there was no intent to conceal the scope of the disaster. Rather, they said, the spill’s complexity had made it difficult to allow the open access sought by the media.”

And yet it is admitted BP contractors are operating alongside the FAA and Coast Guard at command centers that approve or deny flight requests. Charter pilots say they have been denied permission to fly below 3,000 feet when they have reporters or photographers aboard.

The Coast Guard admits access to the area is controlled by the White House. “The chief of the Coast Guard’s public affairs programs branch said access had been hampered by a cumbersome approval process that stretched all the way to the White House. Chief Warrant Officer Adam Wine said White House officials had to sign off on requests for tours of the spill zone before they could proceed.”

The government is playing a shell game in order to prevent coverage. “White House officials referred questions about their involvement to [Coast Guard Lt. Commander] Wyman. He said Wine’s description of the chain of command was incorrect and that all requests from media were decided on by the command center in Robert, La. The Department of Homeland Security is notified, he said.”

Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi blamed the Bush administration for the disaster. “Many of the people appointed in the Bush administration are still burrowed in the agencies that are supposed to oversee the [oil] industry,” Pelosi said when asked if Democrats could have prevented or mitigated the crisis by keeping a closer watch on the industry, reports Talk Radio News Service. Pelosi said “the cozy relationships between the Bush administration’s agency leadership and the industry is clear.”

In 2008, Obama was the largest recipient of BP’s largess. “Obama held a sizable edge in contributions from BP, even though in general BP sent more money to Republican candidates than Democrats that election cycle,” reports PolitiFact. “Obama got more during the campaign from BP employees than McCain did; but McCain got significantly more from the oil and gas industry as a whole. BP has spent a lot of money lobbying since Obama became president, but that money has gone to Democrats and Republicans alike — and most often to those on energy-related committees.”

Pelosi is simply a liar — and not a very effective one. In April she made the ludicrous claim that Wall Street has zero influence on Congress. “It doesn’t matter” that Wall Street has given more to Democrats, she said. “What matters is what the policy is that we put forth here. And our policy, regardless of contribution, is to rein in Wall Street,” Pelosi said during a weekly press conference.



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