Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

We've been following these reports of a growing number of restrictions on the press down in the disaster zone. And one of the reports that got this ball rolling was this one from yesterday from Bob Brigham, in which he wrote: "We are in Jefferson Parish, just outside of New Orleans. At the National Guard checkpoint, they are under orders to turn away all media. All of the reporters are turning they’re TV trucks around."

I talked to Bob a few minutes ago. And he said that there seemed to be a sea change in the treatment of reporters trying to get access to the city from yesterday to today. Today he reported that he and his colleagues were able to get through without any problem.

Something seems to have changed. And I would not be surprised if Brian Williams speaking out yesterday had something to do with it.

I'd be curious to know what may have happened behind the scenes over the last thirty-six hours. And I suspect it wasn't nothing.

The White House sought and received a provision in the new Katrina disaster relief supplemental "that would extend from $15,000 to $250,000 the purchasing limit for an individual transaction for federal employees with government-issued credit cards

From a reporter looking into the press restrictions story ...

i've followed your postings about alleged censorship re katrina coverage ... however, other than the williams post & yesterday's FEMA "order" re dead photos, i can't find other instances of officials impeding reporters as they cover aftermath .... i just checked with NBC, CNN and Fox News, and they all say they haven't heard anything about authorities interfering with reporters' work .... have you any new evidence? i'm interested in writing about this topic, if i can find enough evidence that authorities may have attempted to curb journalists ....

We're both looking for more info. If you have it, let us know.

AP: "A grand jury has indicted a political action committee formed by U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and a Texas business group in connection with 2002 legislative campaign contributions."

I guess it's pretty much just piling on at this point. But FEMA Director Michael D. Brown turns out to be -- hard to believe -- an even bigger hack than we thought. According to this article (sub.req.), he basically gave up the practice of law fifteen years or so before he got the job as General Counsel of FEMA, despite saying on his bio that he'd practiced for twenty years.

(ed.note: This is an edited version of the original post.)

A Request.

We've already gotten a stack of submissions and additions for our timeline project. So please, keep them coming.

But I have another request.

As we discussed last night, there are now clear signs of an administration attempt to invoke a press blackout on what is happening within the disaster zone.

With thousands of bodies under the water in New Orleans, I will not be so myopic as to say that this is the story to focus on. In fact, though, it's close. Because if the attempt succeeds the public will lose the ability to know the facts about what happened in this tragic episode -- the facts about what happened, how it happened, why it happened. As I said last night, having failed to ameliorate the tragedy as it occurred, the administration now seems dead-set on sanitizing and concealing the details of what transpired.

So, if you see press reports of bans on press access of any kind, please send them in to us. Second, if you're a reporter on the scene -- or anyone on the scene who has relevant information, for that matter -- and you have more details you can share about what's happening, please send them in. Your anonymity will be assured.