BP & Feds Ban Journalists Digging Sand or Building Sandcastles on Beach

If you thought killing the Macondo well over the weekend meant that the all to familiar saga of BP and the Feds harassing journalists who were attempting to find out their own truth in the Gulf Oil Saga was over, think again. As you can see in the clip above, apparently only BP workers are allowed to dig in the sand and then only down to six inches. If you're a reporter, you're not allowed to even build a sandcastle. If you're thoroughly infuriated at this point and are questioning whether it's really illegal to build sandcastles in a National Park, Mother Jones says the park's superintendent later said that he did not know why the news crew was stopped and that building sand castles is perfectly acceptable behavior. So, basically it was harassment of the media full stop.

Oh, and checking on the National Park Service website on when a permit is required to film of shoot still images in a National Park, it says:

Generally, permits are not required for:
  • Film, video, or still photography involving five or fewer people, using only hand-carried and self-contained equipment, working in areas normally open for public use, and completing their park use within the normal visitation hours of the park, unless the project includes product endorsement or advertising.
  • Sound technicians, and film of video crew at news worthy or news making events.

Whether or not the reporter had or did not have a press pass doesn't make the least bit of difference. Whether working for this broadcast station, making a documentary, or just filming for personal use in this situation, a permit was not required.

Now these people weren't arrested and forced to erase footage, like a journalist doing a story on illegal logging with government complicity in Madagascar recently was, but it's all a bit typically sickening at this point.

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More on the BP Oil Spill:
BP Contractors and Coast Guard Prevent CBS From Filming Oil Spill Devastation
Journalists Covering BP Spill Now Face Felonies, $40K Fines
BP Nows Owns the Airspace Above the Spill Too - Bars, Journalists From Flying Over It

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