When we last left Mother Jones’ reporter Mac McClelland, she was in the Gulf Coast region, caught up in the surreal tangle of media roadblocks that were being erected by British Petroleum to keep reporters at bay. How have things done since then? Not well, as it turns out!
Indeed, when I ran into some [cleanup workers] packing up on the Grand Isle beach twenty minutes later, I asked them only if they were done working for the day, and they refused to tell me. One woman said, "I can’t talk to you," and then another worker ran up to her and grabbed her arm and said, "Just ignore her, ignore her," and the whole interaction was unsettlingly rude and sort of sad. The workers who were staying next to me in my Grand Isle motel last week told me that when BP (not, in this case, and for the record, a subcontractor) had instructed them that they couldn’t talk to the press, it’d involved a warning that media organizations would go so far as to dub audio propaganda over their videotaped commentary, putting unflattering words in their mouths.
The New York Daily News‘ Matthew Lysiak is also in Grand Isle, where he was the fortunate beneficiary of a "surreptitious tour of the wildlife disaster unfolding in Louisiana."
"There is a lot of coverup for BP. They specifically informed us that they don’t want these pictures of the dead animals. They know the ocean will wipe away most of the evidence. It’s important to me that people know the truth about what’s going on here," the contractor said.
"The things I’ve seen: They just aren’t right. All the life out here is just full of oil. I’m going to show you what BP never showed the President."