A local television station in Louisiana ran into some problems trying to interview some spill cleanup workers – and in doing so, highlighted one more way BP is not helping itself in its response to the spill:
Cleanup workers might not be media savvy, but they remain the best face that BP could put on their cleanup efforts (certainly better than a clearly foreign CEO). Whether the glorified rent-a-cop in this video (and his backpack-clad sidekick) are following orders that contradict BP’s official statements on press availability or they are carrying out a legit safety function isn’t clear. What is clear is that they are not communications experts.
At least BP can rest easy knowing that, no matter how sophisticated their PR strategy, they weren’t coming out of this oil spill clean. The administration’s inability to escape criticism is particularly fascinating (and means I have to eat a plate of oil-soaked crow).
Most recently, the President compared the oil spill to 9/11. Perhaps that’s his way of getting tougher on BP – as the polls are apparently asking for him to do. The problem of course, is that the President is doing everything he can do – and that just isn’t that much. After coming into office with promises that he could make government work for people again, the spill underscores that government simply isn’t qualified for the job.
Ultimately, that puts the US government and BP on two sides of the same coin. Both wind up despised by the people – BP for wielding too much power; the government for impotence.