The Minkoff Minx {Go Ahead…Make Your Move!}

"I get very passionate about what I think is right."-Hillary Rodham Clinton

1st Amendment what?

Okay, I have been put off from CNN since the 2008 fiasco…and if you do not know what that means, well I will just say that the bitterness I feel about what happened to Hillary is still strong.

But I must say that Anderson Cooper has gained my respect.  For a transcript of it, see below…

Here is another tidbit:

MSM Wall Protecting Obama Gulf Oil Spill Response Cracks With Latest AP Report

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.

Billy Nungesser, president of Louisiana’s hard-hit Plaquemines Parish, said BP and the Coast Guard provided a map of the exact locations of 140 skimmers that were supposedly cleaning up the oil. But he said that after he repeatedly asked to be flown over the area so he could see them at work, officials told him only 31 skimmers were on the job.

Wow…that is all I can say.

Transcript of the above video:

ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

The Spill and Transparency; Dispersant Reductions Misleading; Al Gore Investigation Reopened

Aired July 1, 2010 – 23:00 ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We are live in Louisiana.

Tonight, only on 360: Jimmy Buffett. He sings the “Sunny Paradise” and “Gulf Coast Living” but now Margaritaville is under attack. Tonight: Jimmy Buffett, speaking out about oil, the Gulf, and BP.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Can Margaritaville survive an oil slick?

JIMMY BUFFETT, MUSICIAN: Sure.

Hell, we have survived — well, people on this coast can survive anything. I mean, it’s — it’s another storm. It happens to be one we are not quite used to in terms of what it’s leaving behind.

But, you know, this is hurricane country and people bounce back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: My exclusive conversation with Jimmy Buffett tonight. Find out who he calls liars.

Also, disturbing reports about those FEMA trailers, full of formaldehyde from Katrina once again, being used here by cleanup crews.

And the latest on the Al Gore investigation.

But we begin, as we do every night, “Keeping Them Honest”.

This time, however, we’re not talking about BP. We’re talking about the government, a new a rule announced today backed by the force of law and the threat of fines and felony charges, a rule that will prevent reporters and photographers and anyone else from getting anywhere close to booms and oil-soaked wildlife and just about any place we need to be.

By now, you’re probably familiar with cleanup crews stiff-arming the media, private security blocking cameras, ordinary workers clamming up, some not even saying who they’re working for because they’re afraid of losing their jobs.

BP has said again and again that’s not their policy. Yet, again and again, it has happened. And we have seen it. But that’s BP.

And now the government apparently is getting in on the act, despite what Admiral Thad Allen promised about transparency just nearly a month ago. Here is what he said back then.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ADMIRAL THAD ALLEN (RET.), NATIONAL INCIDENT COMMANDER: I have put out a written directive — and I can provide it for the record — that says the media will have uninhibited access anywhere we’re doing operations, except for two things, if it’s a security or a safety problem. That is my policy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Uninhibited access, unless it’s a security or safety problem.

Well, 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.

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.

Shots of oil on beaches with booms, stay 65 feet away. Pictures of oil-soaked booms uselessly laying in the water because they haven’t been collected like they should, you can’t get close enough to see that. And, believe me, that is out there.

But you only know that if you get close to it, and now you can’t without permission. Violators could face a fine of $40,000 and Class D felony charges.

What’s even more extraordinary is that the Coast Guard tried to make the exclusion zone 300 feet, before scaling it back to 65 feet.

Here is how Admiral Allen defends it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Well, it’s not unusual at all for the Coast Guard to establish either safety or security zones around any number of facilities or activities for public safety or for the safety of the equipment itself. We would do this for marine events, fireworks demonstrations, cruise ships going in and out of port.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: So, this is the exact same logic that federal wildlife officials used to prevent CNN on two occasions from getting pictures of oiled birds that have been collected, pictures like — like the — well, that we’re about to show you which are obviously deeply disturbing, pictures of oiled gulls that we just happened to catch. Suddenly, we were told after — after that day we couldn’t catch it anymore. So, keeping prying eyes out of marshes, away from booms, off the beaches is now government policy.

When asked why now, after all this time, Thad Allen said he had gotten some complaints from local officials worried people might get hurt. Now, we don’t know who these officials are. We would like to. But transparency is apparently not a high priority with Thad Allen either these days.

Maybe he is accurate and some officials are concerned. And that’s their right. But we’ve heard far more from local officials about not being able to get a straight story from the government or BP. I have met countless local officials desperate for pictures to be taken and stories written about what is happening in their communities.

We’re not the enemy here. Those of us down here trying to accurately show what’s happening, we are not the enemy. I have not heard about any journalist who has disrupted relief efforts. No journalist wants to be seen as having slowed down the cleanup or made things worse. If a Coast Guard official asked me to move, I would move.

But to create a blanket rule that everyone has to stay 65 feet away boom and boats, that doesn’t sound like transparency. Frankly, it’s a lot like in Katrina when they tried to make it impossible to see recovery efforts of people who died in their homes.

If we can’t show what is happening, warts and all, no one will see what’s happening. And that makes it very easy to hide failure and hide incompetence and makes it very hard to highlight the hard work of cleanup crews and the Coast Guard. We are not the enemy here.

We found out today two public broadcasting journalists reporting on health issues say they have been blocked again and again from visiting a federal mobile medical unit in Venice, a trailer where cleanup workers are being treated. It’s known locally as the BP compound. And these two reporters say everyone they have talked to, from BP to the Coast Guard, to Health and Human Services in Washington has been giving them the runaround.

We’re not talking about a CIA station here. We’re talking about a medical trailer that falls under the authority of, guess who, Thad Allen, the same Thad Allen who promised transparency all those weeks ago.

We are not the enemy here.

With us now, two parish presidents, Billy Nungesser of Plaquemines Parish and Craig Taffaro, Jr. of Saint Bernard.

Thanks very much for being with us. What do you make of this 65-foot rule, Billy?

BILLY NUNGESSER, PRESIDENT, PLAQUEMINES PARISH, LOUISIANA: You know, instead of spending time picking up the oil, getting more skimmers, I’m blown away. You know, does this mean, if I’m out or one of the fisherman is out and sees a pelican, he fears he’s going to be fined or arrested, so he doesn’t go into that area?

The only boom that’s been disturbed has been because we had the wrong type of boom or they put it down wrong or the winds have blown it up into the marsh.

COOPER: And you can only see that if you actually get within, say, five feet, maybe 10 feet, of that boom and you see, oh, look, that’s oil-soaked boom that should have been picked up weeks ago.

NUNGESSER: I see why now we don’t have the equipment we need. We’re spending more time trying to come up with a reason why to keep people away, instead of coming up with equipment and deploying — we’ve got that large ship sitting in Venice. It breaks my heart —

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: This is a huge skimming vessel.

NUNGESSER: And still red tape keeps it there. Maybe if they spent more time getting things like that deployed to pick up the oil, they wouldn’t have to worry about blocking access from the media.

This is crazy. I’m not calling the Port of New Orleans. And anybody that wants to come down to Plaquemines Parish, we will take you right up to show you the birds. I don’t give a care about their rule. We’re going to fix the boom. We’re going to suck up the oil, and we’re going to do our job and we’re going to let the media have access.

If we did our job and did the right thing, the news you would be reporting would be good news. You would be showing marsh being cleaned. You would be showing the things.

Now, listen, Craig said I had to be nice tonight, because it’s Fourth of July.

COOPER: So, you’re going to — you wanted him to give a three-day —

(CROSSTALK)

CRAIG TAFFARO JR., PRESIDENT, SAINT BERNARD PARISH, LOUISIANA: Three- day amnesty and let him — no more Mr. Nice Guy after that.

(CROSSTALK)

NUNGESSER: I spent three days trying to get permission from all the parishes to let us use their skimmers that are not there. These 100 skimmers that all these parishes have, today, we got the report. I apologize. Cameron doesn’t have any skimmers. But we heard they were on the shore and that —

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: So, wait. Officially, there is — there is dozens of skimmers in each of these parishes?

NUNGESSER: Well, that’s what the report says.

TAFFARO: On paper.

COOPER: On paper.

NUNGESSER: Jefferson has 96. They have got 18. They have asked for 10 more.

COOPER: So, wait. They have 96 skimmers officially on paper?

NUNGESSER: On the paper.

COOPER: In Jefferson Parish, but you have counted and they only have how many?

NUNGESSER: Well, I’ve talked to them tonight. They have 18.

COOPER: Eighteen.

NUNGESSER: You know, and, listen, if we only got 18, then let’s order some more and let’s get to work.

But if — you know, we’re spending more time looking for this equipment, that nobody knows where it is.

COOPER: How are things now in your parish since Hurricane Alex?

TAFFARO: Well, here is the thing.

You know, we want to be able to tell a positive story about what’s happening. And the shame of it is, many of our waters, maybe for a little bit more time, are still open for fishing.

So, we have booms spread out. We have over 50 miles of boom. So, in essence, this rule that’s been enacted today —

COOPER: Right.

TAFFARO: — could shut down all of the recreation fishermen —

COOPER: Yes.

TAFFARO: — and all of the — all of the activities that are going on in our open waters, because people will be fearful of running up against getting too close to boom.

That’s not what we do in Saint Bernard Parish. We operate from a standpoint of we want our story to be told.

COOPER: I also haven’t heard of anyone, recreational fishermen or anyone going out there trying to run over boom. I mean, everybody here is in the same boat, literally, and wants this thing —

NUNGESSER: Who made the complaint?

COOPER: Right. Well, yes. That’s — (CROSSTALK)

NUNGESSER: What official? I’ve talked to —

(CROSSTALK)

TAFFARO: We talked to all of them.

NUNGESSER: Nobody has made a complaint.

COOPER: Right.

Well, how are things in the wake of Hurricane Alex? Have you guys been set back?

TAFFARO: Well, we had a four — we had a four — basically about a 400-barrel swathe of oil coming in. We had to stand down because of the storm activity. And now that oil has now been spewing all over inside of the Chandeleur Islands.

We have Brush Island again inundated, and we are going out again tomorrow to start cleaning it up. We have a whole colony of birds now that have been affected and now are all damaged.

COOPER: Yes.

TAFFARO: So, we have to go back out, basically start over. One of our issues is that we have to get assets that can fight this oil in open water.

Look —

COOPER: Skimming vessels, you’re talking about.

TAFFARO: Skimming vessels, absolutely.

COOPER: Right.

TAFFARO: We are going to have a storm pattern from now until September.

COOPER: It is incredible that we are still, on day 72, whatever, 73 that this is —

(CROSSTALK)

TAFFARO: Yes.

COOPER: — is that we’re still talking about getting skimming vessels, when they were talking weeks ago and months ago, frankly, about, this is a worst-case scenario. We have got all hands on deck. We have made the call for everything.

NUNGESSER: If we had half the equipment that I have seen on paper physically out there, we would have a fighting chance. What’s actually out there on the water, we don’t have a prayer. We’re fighting — we have fishermen out there tonight with lights sucking up oil.

This is crazy. We’re fighting against now — the Coast Guard? I mean, when are we going to get a team down here on our side that sits side by side and says let’s go out and see what is out there, let’s put everything out there we can?

And look, I told the vice president, I said, you have a very short window. We’re losing, and you’re losing. It is not too late to turn this around. But you know what?

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Joe Biden —

NUNGESSER: But you know what? Saying words like war and kick butt, saying it don’t mean diddly, unless you do it. And they better get somebody on the ground that can do it.

TAFFARO: We can’t keep — we can’t keep having — we can’t keep having the local guys, and even the local guys from BP, the local Coast Guard personnel, that, that when they get here and they get engaged, they understand it, and they get it.

COOPER: Right. And they’re working hard.

(CROSSTALK)

TAFFARO: Right.

NUNGESSER: Oh they are.

TAFFARO: We — we can’t keep handcuffing those guys. They walk away — actually, when they rotate out, they walk away brokenhearted, because they know what’s going on, and they can’t say, man, we’re really messing up because we don’t get the support from up top.

It starts to trickle in, and, then, all of a sudden, something stops. This is what we have to change. We have to — we have to connect the dots, so the local guys who are working as hard as they can and doing what they know is right gets the support from their own agencies, that they’re down here.

COOPER: I appreciate you guys’ time tonight.

TAFFARO: You bet.

COOPER: Billy Nungesser and Craig Taffaro, thanks so much.

TAFFARO: Thank you.

COOPER: Appreciate it.

Still a lot tonight to cover. Let us know what you think.

The live chat is up and running right now at AC360.com. And again — I say it again — we are not the enemy here.

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Filed under: Absorbing Cock and Bull, Pathetic Observations, What is this crap?, , ,

2 Responses - Comments are closed.

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    And just to note…the comment I made on the WordPress blog post about the new site they have…1forall.us, in which I mention this suspension of the 1st Amendment rights…still has not been approved. It is still waiting for moderation. Hey, I did not cuss, nor did I make any drastic comments. What is with that?

  2. […] tragically. In addition, the First Amendment having been set aside so dramatically really makes me angry as […]

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