Panic brews on Gulf coast under suspicions of oil spill media blackout of threats to public safety

Thursday, July 1, 2010
By Paul Martin

Maryann Tobin
Examiner.com

A quiet panic is brewing among residents of Florida’s Gulf coast. People are starved for updates and official information, and the lack of them is accelerating conspiracy theories and rumors of a media blackout. Founded or not, to residents they are quite real.

Unconfirmed reports of evacuations have been circling the internet, along with suggestions that they will never be implemented because the scale is too enormous. Why announce a plan that can’t be carried out? That has led to theories that human life is more expendable than political careers and BP’s public image.

Official government websites like the Deepwater Horizon Response and FEMA are not providing the news people are looking for. Additionally, the mainstream media seems to be airing less information about the crisis rather than more.

Case in point

Since the Deepwater Horizon crisis began on April 20, 2010, Chris Matthews has been devoting a great deal of time to covering the oil spill crisis on Hardball. Tonight – nothing. Not a word. It was as if the millions of gallons of oil pouring into the Gulf, killing our ecosystem, and countess thousands of animals – didn’t exist. Other major networks like CNN have pushed news about the Gulf oil spill back to the third or fouth story. The worst environmental disaster in history is not important enough to be the lead story anymore?

Here’s a news flash for the mainstream media – the crisis is getting worse, not better. Oil continues to spill at an incredible rate, more than a million gallons of toxic Corexit has been poured on top of it, and Hurricane Alex is now threatening to complicate recovery efforts and push more oil ashore.

This website has been receiving emails from residents throughout Florida indicating fears of toxic fumes in the air, possible evacuations, and the dangers behind the massive gas bubble under the Macondo well that threatens to send a tsunami over the state of Florida at 600 MPH.

While the facts behind the fears of people in Florida have not been confirmed by the government or BP, they are all rooted in genuine threats to the safety of the public. The oil spill is growing. There is an enormous amount of pressure under the Deepwater Horizon well. The BOP is leaning “10 to 12 degrees,” according to Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen. And the existence of a ‘gas bubble’ under the well field has been confirmed.

While official statements may be designed to prevent mass panic, hiding information appears to be making people even more nervous.

In the midst of the worst oil spill disaster in history, now is not the time to leave it to people’s imaginations to figure out if and when they are genuinely in danger.

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