With any luck, we're going to be seeing a lot more commentary like Jim Garrison's Aug. 31 Huffington Post piece. What's positive about it isn't the apocalyptic hysteria of his descriptions of "climate shock," entertaining as they are. Rather, it's his lamentation that President Obama, Al Gore and the global warming industry missed the perfect opportunity to dismantle the U.S. economy and severely curtail human freedom.
Garrison asserted that "the admixture of Copenhagen, the U.S. Senate Climate Bill, the BP oil spill disaster, and the climate itself" had created a "perfect storm," derailing the warming alarmists' agenda.
A president with close ties to an oil company helping hide the magnitude and damage of an oil spill would be big news, if he were a conservative. But it seems even when the environmentalists and the left are upset over President Obama's handling of the Gulf oil spill, the national news media barely notice.
On Aug. 4, Obama administration energy adviser Carol Browner said, "The vast majority of the oil has been contained, it's been burned, it's been cleaned." Officials said that 75 percent of the oil had been "captured, burned off, evaporated or broken down in the Gulf of Mexico," according to CBSNews.com.
That night two of the three network evening shows reported the widely disputed claim without question. Only NBC "Nightly News" included any people skeptical of the White House claim. The networks have only aired a few reports about scientists disputing the claim, and have ignored liberal outrage.
"[T]onight on these beaches some good news and relief," Matt Gutman told "World News" viewers. "A new government report says that 75 percent of that oil has been cleaned up either by man or Mother Nature. And it now seems this war against this oil is coming to an end."
Gutman's report on the success of the oil cleanup included President Obama and Browner, but not a single person who disagreed with the White House claim. The Boston Globe reported Aug. 20, that Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution mapped a 22-mile-long underwater oil plume back in June. Other scientists at University of Georgia estimate that 70 to 79 percent of the oil from the leak remains, contrary to the White House assertion.
On July 27th and 28th, the New York Times published the following headline: "The oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico appears to be dissolving far more rapidly than anyone expected." In the story that followed the headline, readers were informed: "The immense patches of surface oil that [once] covered thousands of square miles of the gulf after the...oil rig explosion are largely gone."
Ironically, the man who predicted this would be case was the much-maligned Tony Hayward, former Chief Executive of British Petroleum (BP). While being grilled on Capital Hill about the oil spill earlier this year, Hayward described it as a "relatively tiny" one in comparison to the "very big ocean" in which it had occurred. Although the backlash Hayward faced by Democrats was nasty, Rush Limbaugh concurred with the BP boss, and stories like the one I cited from the New York Times seem to demonstrate that Hayward and Limbaugh were both correct.
Yet, not only does BP continue to be the target of heavy criticism by Democrats and environmental groups, it has even found itself in the crosshairs of Brad Pitt, who recently "said he would consider the death penalty for those to blame for the Gulf oil spill crisis." According to the UK's Daily Mail, Pitt's exact words were: "I was never for the death penalty before - I am willing to look at it again."
Time magazine reported Thursday that Rush Limbaugh might have been right about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico not being the environmental disaster that everyone warned.
In an article surprisingly titled, "The BP Spill: Has the Damage Been Exaggerated?", author Michael Grunwald first insulted the conservative talk radio host:
The obnoxious anti-environmentalist Rush Limbaugh has been a rare voice arguing that the spill - he calls it "the leak" - is anything less than an ecological calamity, scoffing at the avalanche of end-is-nigh eco-hype.
Yet, in the very next paragraph, Grunwald shockingly changed his tune:
Democratic Congressman Ed Markey appeared on ABC and CBS's morning shows on Monday to talk about the Gulf Coast oil spill and didn't face a single question about the government's handling of the disaster. Instead, Good Morning America and the Early Show both kept the heat on BP.
Discussing the likely departure of BP's CEO Tony Hayword, GMA's Robin Roberts pressed, "And that when [Haywood] gave those evasive answers, you felt were evasive answers, when you grilled him on Capitol Hill last month- What do you think about this imminent change? Is it too late for you?"
The folks at PolitiZoid have done it again, this time using the Talking Heads classic "Once in a Lifetime" to bash Obama's response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill:
"And you may ask yourself, 'Did I really vote for him?'" (lyrics and commentary follow with original Talking Heads video):
On Wednesday, House Natural Resouces Democrats rejected an amendment that would ensure press transparency in the Gulf. The amendment came mere days after the Coast Guard rescinded a policy keeping journalists at least 65 feet from "essential recovery efforts."
Offered by Rep. Paul Broun, pictured right, the amendment stated: "Except in cases of imminent harm to human life, federal officials shall allow free and open access to the media of oil spill clean up activity occurring on public lands or public shorelines, including the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.”
Since the amendment's defeat, the response from the mainstream press has been a deafening silence.
"Where would Jesus drill?"
That sounds almost like it could be the opening of a tree hugger's bad joke, but instead it's the lede in a recent Associated Press story written by John Flesher about a so-called "Green religion movement."
Efforts to make environmentalism its own sort of religion have been underway for some time now. But the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has sparked a new push to take what has been traditionally a political phenomenon, the American environmentalist movement, and make it part of the religious spectrum.
Video Below Fold
UPDATE - 7/13, 1:30 pm: In the face of criticism, the Coast Guard just rescinded this policy, allowing reporters free access to Gulf spill recovery efforts. Details below.
Effectively reporting on the Gulf oil spill is now a Class D felony, punishable by a fine of up to $40,000.
That's right, the most transparent administration in history has made it a felony, effective July 1, to get within 65 feet of what the Coast Guard determines are essential recovery efforts. According to Anderson Cooper, officials tried to up that number to 300 feet.
Cooper, who claimed federal officials prevented CNN on two occasions from taking photographs in the gulf, seemed frustrated when he reported on the new laws the day they went into effect. The press is "not the enemy here" he pleaded. The new policies, he said, make it "very easy to hide failure, and hide incompetence."
Cooper also let loose this zinger: "Transparency is apparently not a priority with [Coast Guard Commandant] Thad Allen these days." Ouch (full video and transcript below the fold - h/t Ron Robinson).
While the media have apparently given up -- if they ever seriously attempted -- on holding the Obama administration to account for its handling of the Gulf oil spill cleanup, Republican governors in the Gulf are a different story, particularly Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, a potential 2012 presidential hopeful.
In a short post at Time.com entitled "Battlefield General: Is Bobby Jindal Making Sense?", writer Alex Altman cast doubt on Jindal's handling of the oil spill cleanup while suggesting the conservative governor is hypocritical for his complaints about Obama's handling of the disaster at the federal level:
Perhaps it is frustration, as expressed by Anderson Cooper, with the new White House rules inhibiting reports about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that is now causing a big crack in the Mainstream Media wall which until recently mostly avoided direct criticism of the Obama administration response. However that crack has now turned into a flood of surprising criticism coming from formerly friendly outlets such as the Associated Press. Read this amazing AP report and keep in mind that it is no longer just conservative sources that are harsh in their criticisms of the Obama Gulf oil containment efforts:
NEW ORLEANS — BP and the Obama administration face mounting complaints that they are ignoring foreign offers of equipment and making little use of the fishing boats and volunteers available to help clean up what may now be the biggest spill ever in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Coast Guard said there have been 107 offers of help from 44 nations, ranging from technical advice to skimmer boats and booms. But many of those offers are weeks old, and only a small number have been accepted. The vast majority are still under review, according to a list kept by the State Department.
The White House Thursday enacted stronger rules to prevent the media from showing what's happening with the oil spill in the Gulf Coast.
CNN's Anderson Cooper reported that evening, "The Coast Guard today announced new rules keeping photographers and reporters and anyone else from coming within 65 feet of any response vessel or booms out on the water or on beaches -- 65 feet."
He elaborated, "Now, in order to get closer, you have to get direct permission from the Coast Guard captain of the Port of New Orleans. You have to call up the guy. What this means is that oil-soaked birds on islands surrounded by boom, you can't get close enough to take that picture."