Is The BP Media Blackout Campaign Endorsed By The White House?
On June 9, BP COO Doug Suttles, in response to complaints that the media was being prevented from talking to BP workers, issued a letter (link), in which he said "Recent media reports have suggested that individuals involved in the clean up operation have been prohibited from speaking to the media, and this is simply not true." Alas, as the following clip from WDSU, a New Orleans TV station taken several days later demonstrates, the BP public front is just for show, and the media blackout continues. While it is certainly understandable why BP would want to not show off its oil stained laundry, what is more troublesome is that the administration itself may have a finger in this ongoing attempt to prevent the general public from understanding just what is going on. In an AP article from the 16th, we learn that Michael Oreskes, an AP senior managing editor wrote to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on Wednesday,
“demanding that President Barack Obama’s administration improve media
access.” "AP first contacted Obama on June 5, outlining its concerns in a letter
from President and CEO Tom Curley. Gibbs followed up with a call to AP
editors and a written response. If journalists have concerns, Gibbs
said, they can call to report their experiences with a joint
information center run by the federal government and BP in Houma, La." Further, we learn from the CJR that Oreskes called the number from his office in New York on Tuesday and left a message, but has not received a response. Is the media blackout campaign a collusive one between BP and our government? If so, the people probably have the right to demand why a member of the administration is not receiving the same idiotic treatment before Congress as CEO's BP had to undergo for 8 hours yesterday.
h/t Geoffrey Batt