Anderson Cooper has emerged of something of a free press activist, as he slams the Obama administration for its absurdly strict rules limiting journalist access within 65 feet of booms or anything covered in oil.

Thad Allen, who is charged with enforcing this history-making ruling, was caught in a lie here on tape. He says the rule (which can result in a $40,000 fine and a Class D felony charge!) comes as a response to "local officials" who say journalists are getting in their way.

Cooper brings on two of the most prominent local officials heading up the local response to the Gulf oil spill, and both concur that Allen's statement couldn't be farther from the truth. Local officials WANT press becuase they feel it will help broadcast their increasingly desperate pleas for long-promised cleanup equipment:

What are your thoughts? Who is benefitting from this massive media coverup?
Photographing Gulf oil is now a felony
Anderson Cooper calls out the Obama administration for blocking media access to the Gulf oil spill.