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Monday, July 5, 2010

BP: Your First Amendment partner.

I’ll get back to lawyer ads later, but after seeing the latest move in the Gulf to control the media by restricting access, it makes you ask just what country you’re living in. That’s not me going all rogue political activist at the end of a long 4th of July weekend, but at some point, if you work for a brand that knowingly supports the setting aside of the First Amendment, you seriously have to ask yourself if the check is worth it. I understand the Coast Guard’s concerns over safety by possibly interfering with workers, or even if this was an issue of national security, but this doesn’t appear to be the case.

The human and wildlife toll is still the worst part of this, but the collateral damage now extends to the media. The new policy means they won’t be able to fully cover what’s going on because they have to stay back at least 65’ from ships or workers on the beach (and that’s down from 300’ they initially wanted). Grainy pictures from zoom lenses are fine for covering vacationing celebs, but for getting at the real story? Not quite. Unless reporters in Zodiacs were buzzing oil booms, blocking national media only works for so long. Eventually, people upload the truth to YouTube, or contractors hired to handle clean-up share stories of what’s going on despite fears of losing the only work they have.

Why help BP block what’s going to come out anyway?

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