Going underwater with the AP

Via Joe Strupp (once of Editor & Publisher, now with Media Matters) here’s a clip of AP reporter Rich Matthews accompanying some experienced divers and surveying the undersea impact of the BP oil leak.

In passing on the clip, Strupp asks: “Is this reporting or something of a publicity stunt? You decide.”

While the way Matthews slides his face mask down while saying “we wanted to know what it looks like underwater” and flopping backwards off the side of the boat is a bit too showman-y for my tastes, that’s pretty much where my quibbles stop. The underwater footage Matthews provides a comparatively fresh (and disgusting and disheartening) visual take on the damage.

After seeing the video, the accompanying print article is notable mostly for its unprecedented dateline: “UNDER THE MURKY DEPTHS OF THE GULF OF MEXICO”

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Clint Hendler is the managing editor of Mother Jones, and a former deputy editor of CJR.