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  • to see if they would physically restrain him; He should have said, “you will have to call the police because I am going over there” Pussy

  • What would that have accomplished besides injecting himself into the story?

    I hardly expect him to risk getting a self-righteous beating or tazing from Mister Testosterone Clampjaw there. This isn’t the Gaza Blockade here, and he’s already done his job – which is journalism, not civil rights activism – extremely well by drawing attention to the blocked access and the info embargo.

    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • Believe it or not. Not with BP but with a similar circumstance involving a certain political organization. It is a bluff. They will try to intimidate him for sure. They will let him through if he says, “I’m going, you will have to call the police.”

  • I suggest you scroll to 2:19 in the video, expand it to full screen and inspect the text on the badge being displayed by the police officer who was apparently indeed called. It reads “Sherrif’s Office Jefferson Parish Louisiana”. So if this embargo is indeed backed by the law, the security guard might well have seen it as within his rights – his duty, in fact – to use force.

    Maybe it’s a good thing it wasn’t your judgement call to make, since you guessed wrong.

    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • that a legitimate law enforcement agent aiding these people add a whole new wrinkle to the story?

    “Lord! What Fools these Mortals be!”

  • Ni ether man identified himself, at least in the video, as a policeman but as employees providing security. Yes, sometimes you have to go to jail for what you believe. I saw the insignia, looks like on the side of the car. They could be off duty cops but they do not sound like they are locals. I would have gone for it but your right; most people are sheep.

  • Anyone can do that. I can go to any cop-supply place and get official looking stuff and wear it around. I can go to Canal Street in New York City and get a ball cap with “FBI” on it and wear it around town and look authoritative and tell people what to do it a brassy tone of voice. But that man is not wearing a Jefferson Parish police officer’s uniform. And I might remind you, that impersonating an officer of the law is a felony in any city, county, state or commonwealth in these United States.

    Secondly, the reporter’s passivity validates the phony “officer’s” office and phony authority. He’s not a peace officer. He’s a good old boy peckerwood deppity dawg garden variety bullycoward, and as a reporter, with a cameraman in tow, it was his responsibility to bull forward, ask the right questions, assert the freedom of the press, the first amendment, to question whether he had any authority at all–and to not accept the authority that BP brazenly asserts over an entire public beach. That’s a fucking outrage. They have no authority there, no agency, no office, and no business telling anyone what to do. That reporter should have been taking names, taking names of “supervisors,” demanding to know the chain of command, demanding documentation of their supposed authority IN WRITING, and finally telling him to go away because he certainly would not be telling him where to go, what to do, who to interview, what would be in his report, or abrogate his rights as a citizen.

    Bullies like that always cave when confronted with real authority. That reporter’s duty was to wield moral authority. But he didn’t. And people look at that and get the idea that it’s BP’s world and we just live in it. It’s time someone took a needle to the incredibly pompous over-reaching, felonious balloon of breathtaking arrogance that is BP’s operation.

    Close, but no cigar. Twenty years ago, a reporter would never be punk’d like that.

  • it’s not the media’s role to become part of the story. It is their role to highlight it. To bring it to our attention. Their job is to comfort the disturbed, and disturb the comforted, which they admirably did here.

    “Sí che dal fatto il dir non sia diverso.”


  • All the reporter has shown is that if you try to report the news people will intimidate you; that’s been true since I was a College kid running around the streets of Berkeley. The question is, will the US government stand on the side of the reporter or the security guys? Is the U.S. government suppressing the news? Now, that would be a story. That’s why we used to see reporters step out there and take risks but not anymore.

    Sometimes the government works through proxies and sometimes people who pretend to be hired security are actually US Navy Seals working at behest of the US government as happened at the G7 meeting years ago in Portland.

    What needs to happen is a about a hundred locals should accompany that reporter and make sure he can do his job. Punks who get in the way get thrown in the water.

  • on the side of the (presumably police beach patrol) ATV visible at 2:21.

    Mind you, he could just be pretending to be a police officer riding a police vehicle. Impersonating a police officer is a serious crime, so he’d certainly be vulnerable allowing himself to be filmed pretending to be one if he isn’t. My own money is on it being a cop.

    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • At least on the tape, he is not wearing a uniform, therefore he is off duty or what? He is not identifying himself as a police officer. He is not siting an ordinance. Therefore, the reporter was in his rights to call the police and have them remove these guys. Now that would have been interesting.

  • He’s probably pretending to be a cop. You should report him immediately; it’s a crime, you know.

    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • Scott Walker TV, By scott, June 21

    This apologetic e-mail appeared in my inbox on Sunday, nine days after my story from Grand Isle beach first aired. It’s from BP press officer Robert Wine. While it’s always nice to hear from Mr. Wine, I’d rather hear from Doug Suttles. I’ve e-mailed him several times asking for his thoughts on the direct contradiction of his earlier statement. No response from him…only his press people.

    BP media access
    Wine, Robert [WineR@bp.com]
    Sent: Sunday, June 20, 2010 1:22 PM

    Scott, I’ve just seen your clip of the security men blocking media access.

    First, may I apologise for their actions – this is not what BP wants of its response teams.

    BP supports the rights of all individuals to share their personal thoughts and experiences with journalists, if they so choose. BP has not and will not prevent anyone working in the cleanup operations from sharing his or her own opinions. However, they are not authorized to speak on behalf of BP or the Deepwater Horizon Response Unified Command. Workers are under no obligation to speak to the media, and may refer journalists to the BP Press Office.

    We are in the process of reiterating this message to the many teams working hard right around the region.

    Robert Wine
    Press Officer

    via C&L: Where Did BP Get The Legal Authority To Keep The Press Out Of Gulf Cleanup? Yoo Hoo, White House Press Corpse!, By Susie Madrak, June 24

    La. Police Doing BP’s Dirty Work [Video]

    Mother Jones, By Mac McClelland, June 22

    Everyone knows by now that BP is still blocking press access to oil-spill sites even though they’re not supposed to anymore. I’ve been blathering about it for weeks, and it’s been all of three days since four contractors wouldn’t let me through the Pointe Aux Chenes marina outside Montegut, Louisiana. And though as of June 16 the federal government was saying helicopters could fly reporters as low as 1,500 feet around spill sites, on June 17 I was on a helicopter that was prohibited from flying below 3,000 feet (and whose pilot flipped silent birds at the “military guys” coming over the radio and hassling him about being in the area at all). But a Louisiana sheriff’s deputy* pulling over a video camera-wielding private citizen because the head of BP security wanted to ask him some questions is a whole other level of alarming.

    Last week, Drew Wheelan, the conservation coordinator for the American Birding Association, was filming himself across the street from the BP building/Deepwater Horizon response command in Houma, Louisiana. As he explained to me, he was standing in a field that did not belong to the oil company when a police officer approached him and asked him for ID and “strongly suggest[ed]” that he get lost since “BP doesn’t want people filming”:

    Here’s the key exchange:

    Wheelan: “Am I violating any laws or anything like that?”

    Officer: “Um…not particularly. BP doesn’t want people filming.”

    Wheelan: “Well, I’m not on their property so BP doesn’t have anything to say about what I do right now.”

    Officer: “Let me explain: BP doesn’t want any filming. So all I can really do is strongly suggest that you not film anything right now. If that makes any sense.”

    Not really! Shortly thereafter, Wheelan got in his car and drove away but was soon pulled over.


    * Correction/Update: This story originally stated that a Louisiana state police officer pulled Wheelan over, per Wheelan’s recounting of the incident. My apologies to the state police for misreporting their involvement. After many calls made and messages left, I’ve finally confirmed that the cop in question was actually a sheriff’s deputy for Terrebonne Parish. The deputy was off official duty at the time, and working in the private employ of BP. Though the deputy failed to include the traffic stop in his incident report, Major Malcolm Wolfe of the sheriff’s office says the deputy’s pulling someone over in his official vehicle while working for a private company is standard and acceptable practice, because Wheelan was acting suspicious and could have been a terrorist.

    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

  • AP, By Jay Reeves, July 2

    Gulf Shores, AL – BP PLC says it’s handing out cards to all 40,000 of its cleanup workers telling them they can talk to the media — but only if they want to.

    The message on the small cards? “Feel Free to Talk.”

    The oil giant, stung by footage of coastal work crews dodging cameras and refusing to talk to reporters, started telling workers Friday it was OK to talk with reporters.

    The company said it also delivered a warning to contractors working on the project: Cooperate with news crews or risk being fired.

    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

  • BP & Coast Guard bans all media access to spill, boom, cleanup sites and workers

    San Francisco Chronicle, By Yobie Benjamin, July 3

    Under threat of a federal felony, National Incident Commander Thad Allen HAS BANNED ALL MEDIA ACCESS to boom operation sites and clean up sites. Allen’s orders effectively bans all media – print, television, radio and Internet bloggers from talking to to any clean-up worker or to even come close to take pictures or videos of booms, clean-up workers, oil soaked birds, dead dolphins, dead marine life, burned and dead endangered sea turtles.

    Allen has issued a blanket order that bans anyone from getting close to any spill clean up site, boom site, areas where there are clean up workers or any other oil disaster related area or persons effectively shutting down the first amendment rights of the media. The zone of exclusion is 65 feet. There was rumor that Coast Guard bosses wanted to impose a 300 feet exclusion zone but later relented to a 65 feet no trespass and exclusion zone.

    Anderson Cooper video at the link.

    One owes respect to the living. To the dead, one owes only the truth.

  • This has got Dick Cheney’s fingerprints all over it…no, wait a minute…We have a Democratic congress and a Democratic president and this is happening under their watch…

    Sing with me now:

    “Meet the new boss…”

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