Associated Press Misreports Pershing County Fees

by Whatsblem the Pro


The Associated Press has released a correction to their November 11th story regarding Burning Man’s agreement with Pershing County, and it’s only fair that we acknowledge the correction as well, since we repeated it here in good faith.

Burners everywhere have been wondering what the real story might be regarding the agreed-upon payments to be made to Pershing County by the Burning Man organization, since the press release at gave different figures than were being reported in virtually every major news outlet around the globe.

The Associated Press’ correction reads as follows:

RENO, Nev. (AP) — RENO, Nev. (AP) — In a story Nov. 11 about security and insurance costs at the Burning Man counterculture festival, The Associated Press erroneously reported the terms of the agreement. The agreement estimates Burning Man will pay $240,000 a year over 10 years to Pershing County, with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s share covered in a separate agreement, not more than $600,000 a year to the county and BLM. Burning Man would be required to maintain up to $1 million in insurance coverage in the separate BLM agreement, not the agreement with the county.

While we wouldn’t have been surprised had the Org’s numbers turned out to be inaccurate and the Associated Press’ the reality, this is not the case. . . and since there are plenty of genuine issues to address regarding the Org and the way they run the event, we feel that it’s only right to go out of our way to point out the correction and do what we can to discourage people from citing the discrepancy as evidence of some kind of chicanery.

18 comments on “Associated Press Misreports Pershing County Fees

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  7. I like the “since there are plenty of genuine issues to address regarding the Org and the way they run the event, we feel that it’s only right to go out of our way to point out the correction and do what we can to discourage people from citing the discrepancy as evidence of some kind of chicanery.”

    Shouldn’t it be “since we reported inaccurate information, the right thing to do is to make a correction”? Really, for a correction, there really isn’t a need for a stated reason. Reporting misinformation gets a correction, no sweat.

    • It sounds to me like you just don’t enjoy seeing the Org get criticized at all, ever.

      We don’t report on general news here, we report on Burning Man. A big part of that involves pointing it out when the corporation that runs the event is involved in wrongdoing. . . which is frequently the case. If you don’t like that, then maybe you’d be happier reading the candy-coated corporate propaganda they publish at

  8. Nice update!m

    Settlement agreement –

    In the battle between BRC LLC and Pershing County, BRC LLC won! $240,000 is far less than the extortion of half a million to 1 million that Pershing County attempted. Pershing can’t impose rubbish local laws. 10 year agreement. Good.

    $600,000 for cops, between the BLM and Pershing, is a pantload! Add in a tad for other agencies. Good that the AP writer kept this figure in the story, rather than just the Pershing County fee as the LLC wanted. Nothing in this agreement is going to reduce the rubbish enforcement actions we’re subjected to. Bad

    BLM fees went from 1.8 million in 2012 to 2.8 million in 2013! What, did every government wanker in the BLM charge a titty-staring spectating trip to BRC as contract administration costs? The 3% fee only accounts for under 1 million, no matter how it is added. Bad

    A clause specifically put into the agreement allows BRC to be off playa for 2 or 4 years, and the agreement with Pershing isn’t voided. BRC can shift to a different location if things continue getting bad, with the potential to return. Good

    Pershing can supply $40,000 worth of cops and still get their $240,000 to balance their county budget, if they want. I don’t think Burners would mind, as long as Pershing nabs and castrates rapists and other lowlifes.

    BRC LLC pays the prosecution fees only for major felonies, not all prosecution fees as the original story reported. Good.

    • thanks for sharing this document, and your analysis. It seems that the “integrated costs” are additional to the BLM charge. And, it looks like the AP’s confusion came from just adding the 2 tables together. It looks to me that Pershing got a minor increase, assuming the party will be at least 70,000 people in future years.

      • Oops, I made a mistake in my comment. The ‘not more than $600,000 a year to the county and BLM’ in the correction didn’t mean the county and BLM police costs would not be more than $600,000, this text means that the $600,000 amount mentioned in the original article was an oops.

        Law enforcement costs are above $600,000, perhaps way above. The org reported $615,000 for local police agencies (County law enforcement, Paiute Nation, Nevada Highway Patrol) to protect us in 2012. This amount will go down since the county will only get $240,000 to protect us in 2014.

        In the ABC correction article linked above, it appears the reporter asked the org about BLM law enforcement costs, which wasn’t answered, but was told the org paid BLM $2.8 million in 2013. Since under $1 million of the $2.8 million is the 3% land use fee, that leaves over $1.8 million for administrative costs, insurance, and to ‘ensure public health and public safety on public lands.’ The ensure public safety costs may be a good chunk of the $1.8 million.

        Costs for protecting us and ensuring our public safety are above $600,000, perhaps way above $600,000, not under $600,000. Oops.

        Related, do you think the $1 million of insurance the org has to buy for the BLM insures the BLM for their Rangers running over a Burner as they go speeding across the playa to the next marijuana pinch, or will that be excluded from the insurance?

    • Yes, BRC LLC won. . . burners didn’t. Burners lost again, and will be paying for law enforcement to spy on them and harass them.

  9. I’m glad they corrected the story nobody really cared about to begin with. Maybe we can just enjoy the event, work to make it as good as it can be, and not worry so much that someone might make a dime off of it.

      • I’m not worried about that. I reckon the volunteers can probably decide for themselves. Your concern for their… something, I guess, is breathtaking.

      • People tend to have a difficult time making good decisions once they’ve been successfully propagandized, or had crucial information hidden from them, or been indoctrinated into a low-level cult.

        Who are you, anyway? “Larry Harvey Oswald” is a smokescreen meant to hide your identity. Do you work for the Org? You certainly seem to put a lot of time and effort into defending them for no good reason that I can see.

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