I'm as entertained as anyone by a clever conspiracy theory, but let's face it: Unless you have something more than a couple of admittedly peculiar coincidences to back up an outlandish claim, you're just talking out of your ass. That said, when one of those curiosities smacks you right in the face -- or threatens to arrest you for trying to take pictures of oil-slicked beaches -- you're naturally going to want to peel back the onion and see what, if anything, is at the center.
By now this video, shot yesterday by CBS News's Kelly Cobiella -- who's a good friend of mine as well as an all-around terrific reporter -- has made the rounds far and wide. It shows Kelly and her crew being stopped at sea by a Coast Guard boat and ordered to turn around under threat of arrest. CBS had chartered their own boat in an effort to get video of the impact of the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf -- specifically of one shore in South Pass, Louisiana that's now completely blackened with oil. What's disturbing is that on board that Coast Guard boat -- apparently working in conjunction with with the Guard -- are several BP contractors. After stopping the CBS crew, one member of the Coast Guard tells Kelly, "This is BP's rules -- it's not ours."
In other words, if you believe what we seem to be seeing and hearing, BP is giving orders to the United States Coast Guard and apparently has the authority to commandeer our armed forces to keep the press away from public property.
Isn't the first rule of a conspiracy that you don't willingly let anyone know about it?