Mississippi governor rips media for oil spill coverage, says Louisiana only state negatively affected


Barbour also seconded criticism that Louisiana's Bobby Jindal has previously expressed - that more drilling needs to happen now to get people to work, and the Obama Administration is blowing it by continuing a moratorium on deep sea offshore drilling.


"We produce 30 percent of our oil in the United States in the Gulf of Mexico," Barbour said. "If you shut that down, it will have an enormously negative effect on the national economy. What's going on right now is hurting my state's economy and these other Gulf states . . . But this moratorium is going to hurt the national economy."


But on that point, another guest on Face, Florida Governor Charlie Crist, pointedly disagreed, saying if you can't stop for once during the single greatest environmental disaster in this country's history, we'll never get off the addiction of relying on petroleum for the strong majority of the country's energy needs.


"If this spew in middle of the Gulf of Mexico doesn't tell us we need to be more cautious and more careful about doing this in the future, I don't know what else would," Crist said. "I mean, we don't have these rigs off the Florida coast. We are suffering from the one off the Louisiana coast. It troubles me greatly that that's occurring.


"That's why I think this is the greatest wake-up call ever that we need to go to alternative fuel. We need to have cleaner fuel for our people. That will create greater independence and stop sending so much money over to the Middle East."


Though no state has been harder than Louisiana became of the gulf oil spill, how bad is the damage to the other coastal states?

Florida officials have on one hand emphasized that the Sunshine State is very much open for business,  as they try their hardest to insure that tourism isn't being deleteriously affect by the spill. On the other hand, however, they cry out or complain that there has already been damage to the state and call for compensation by BP to address those whose livelihoods have been adversely curtailed.

That issue came to the fore Sunday when Mississippi Republican Governor Haley Barbour had a large megaphone to reiterate a complaint on CBS's Face the Nation that he's had for weeks - that, in his case, Mississippi is no Louisiana, and the media has hurt his state economically by reporting that the gigantic gulf spill has hit the entire gulf coast, when he says that Mississippi has not yet been that affected.

"The news coverage of this, of course, there's a lot of it. It's very sensational.  It's the worst pictures that you can get. And it shows every hour on cable news and several times a day on the regular networks.

"The people of the United States have the impression the whole Gulf of Mexico is ankle-deep in oil, which is simply not the case," he said.

There is no oil on the shore of Mississippi yet, Barbour said, but the state has already lost the first third of its tourist season.

"There are a lot of people on the coast that make most of their living in three months," he said. "They have been clobbered because of the misperception that our whole coast is knee-deep in oil."

Barbour said the news media could have differentiated between the effects of the spill on Louisiana and on Mississippi, "but it chose not to."

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