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cleaning up

BP Does Not Want You to See This Photo

BP has been blocking access to reporters and photographers who want to record and disseminate evidence of the environmental hell it has unleashed on our oceans and beaches. Shocking, right? Who would imagine that this enormous multinational corporation would care about its public perception as its stock continues to tank? But perhaps legitimately surprising is that government officials, from local sheriffs to the Department of Homeland Security, are acting as accomplices.


In a separate incident last week, a reporter and photographer from The Daily News of New York were told by a BP contractor they could not access a public beach on Grand Isle, La., one of the areas most heavily affected by the oil spill. The contractor summoned a local sheriff, who then told the reporter, Matthew Lysiak, that news media had to fill out paperwork and then be escorted by a BP official to get access to the beach.

BP did not respond to requests for comment about the incident.

"For the police to tell me I needed to sign paperwork with BP to go to a public beach?" Mr. Lysiak said. "It's just irrational."

Apparently the media was not aware that our nation's public beaches are governed by the laws of the dog: You contaminate it, you own it.

Efforts to Limit the Flow of Spill News [NYT]

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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images