Come, I will conceal nothing from you: there is a part of me that enjoys the baffled outrage. These people apparently didn’t expect this sort of thing from this administration:
A pilot wanted to take a photographer from The Times-Picayune of New Orleans to snap photographs of the oil slicks blackening the water. The response from a BP contractor who answered the phone late last month at the command center was swift and absolute: Permission denied.
“We were questioned extensively. Who was on the aircraft? Who did they work for?” recalled Rhonda Panepinto, who owns Southern Seaplane with her husband, Lyle. “The minute we mentioned media, the answer was: ‘Not allowed.’ ”
Journalists struggling to document the impact of the oil rig explosion have repeatedly found themselves turned away from public areas affected by the spill, and not only by BP and its contractors, but by local law enforcement, the Coast Guard and government officials.
(Via Instapundit) In fact, it’s kind of heartening that this kind of naivete can still exist in our cynical world. The administration is infamous about maintaining strict image control, to the point where even the reliably right-wing neoconservative Columbia Journalism Review protested (futilely). From said protest article:
Yesterday, though, press secretary Robert Gibbs took questions on the handouts from several print journalists, upset that when President Obama put pen to paper and issued his forty-seventh executive order, laying out restrictions governing federal funds and abortion as part of an agreement he reached with Michigan congressman Bart Stupak and other anti-abortion Democrats in his efforts to pass the health care bill, no press, let alone independent photographers, were there to witness it.
Ed Henry of CNN first raised the issue:
HENRY: What about allowing us in, for openness and transparency?GIBBS: We’ll have a nice picture from Pete that will demonstrate that type of transparency.
…and they actually thought that the White House would sign off on anything but the bare minimum of recording something that would make the White House look bad? What do they think that this is, the Bush administration? Barack Obama has nowhere near that much healthy respect for the media.