Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mr. Hayward Goes To Washington

Hi everyone. Remember when about a month and a half ago I said this?:
While I enjoyed watching our friends at 360 hold BP accountable, I'm afraid at this point I have basically zero hope of the company actually being held accountable. It's like that concept doesn't exist in this world anymore. Oh sure, maybe they'll even get hauled up to Capitol Hill. And maybe our Congresscritters will put on their VERY ANGRY faces and make them answer hostile questions. But in the end? Nothing will happen.
Well kids, Angry Face Congresscritter Day has officially arrived! Today Mr. CEO himself received a Capitol Hill grilling and it was all very unproductive. Did you perhaps miss the festivities and only have four minutes to catch up? You are in luck! The good people at Huffington Post have condensed the whole day's testimony down to that increment of time. There is lots of talking with absolutely nothing being said. Someone did their preparation with Alberto Gonzales, yo.

Anyway! While the whole asking-questions-that-never-get-answered thing is fun, I propose a new approach in dealing with our BP friends. I think we need to set up a dunking booth on the Gulf coast, except instead of water, it will be filled with oil. And every afternoon a BP executive will be required to sit in that dunking booth, while citizens of the region take their shots. For free. And this will continue every fucking day until the very last blade of grass is clean and every claim is paid. Seems pretty fair, no? I know what you're thinking: "That would be awesome, but where are my bullet points?" They are coming! In fact, they are here:
  • You gotta love the stupidity of Republicans. They were sitting pretty on this. The president was taking more and more heat, and all they had to do was not say anything demonstrably idiotic to change the narrative. Enter Congressman Joe Barton, who used his time at the bully pulpit to actually apologize to BP for being made to pay for what they destroyed. He's like the Harry Whittington of environment disasters. Yeah, sorry our Gulf got in the way of all of your oil, BP! Totally our bad. So anyway, the politically savvy don't really need the day's transcript to know what came next in this play. Predictably, the Democrats were like, "ZOMG, the baby Jesus just gave us a pony! Where's the microphone? Joe Barton is teh evil!" Cue Republican freakout (we're losing the news cycle!). Fast forward. Fast forward. Then says Barton: "I retract my apology to BP." Annnnnnd...scene!
  • Dana Bash's piece on what I just summed up:

  • Anderson Cooper to Jeffrey Toobin: "Jeff, I want to ask you about the testimony. Ricky Gervais, on the British version of 'The Office,' once said, you just have to accept that, some days, you're the pigeon, and, some days, you're the statue. Did Tony Hayward dutifully play the part of the statue today?" This is one of the reasons why I love our anchor. You never know what he's going to hit you with. Super Serious furrowed brow. Amusing TV quotes. Oh, he's got it all, baby!
  • Jeff Toobin on why the political theater shouldn't be dismissed: "I would like to just put in a word for politics. I mean, I think politics matters here. You know, Congress is going to decide whether offshore drilling continues. And they're going to decide what the rules are, what the regulations are for how drilling takes place. That may seem irrelevant to the immediate concerns, but, you know, this is the key to stopping whether this is going to happen again." Word.
  • Ed Lavandera reporting on the fleet of Louisiana-owned vacuum barges sidelined by the Coast Guard over safety concerns:

  • Anderson's interview with whistleblower Ken Abbott over the safety of the Atlantis rig:

  • Abbie Boudreau's piece was very good. Unfortunately I could not find the video.
  • At the end of his analyzing, Toobin asked Anderson if he could talk about an unrelated matter, which made my ears perk. What could it be?! Normally I would be thinking that Silver Fox embarrassment was surely on the horizon, though that didn't seem appropriate given the current disaster and all. Then our senior legal guru brought up Lieutenant Colonel Terrence Lakin, which I immediately recognized as the name of the birther our anchor absolutely wiped the floor with in an interview a month or two ago. This made me a little excited. Was there hilarious schadenfreude upon us? Um, actually, no there was not. What came next from Toobin: "In the course of that report, I made the statement that a lot of the birthers are bigots and racists and there was a picture of Lakin behind me.I didn't mean to suggest that he was a bigot and a racist. I was just talking more generally. And I also should correct myself. He wasn't trying to get out of military service. He is the subject of a court Marshall that's why we were doing the story. But I didn't mean to imply that about him." So that was weird and awkward! Even Anderson was just like, "okay, thanks." As my friend said, "Just get a Twitter, Jeff." Word. Then maybe next time you won't have to derail the broadcast and use up airtime to talk about something that happened about 30 news cycles ago. (To be clear, I am very pro-on air clarification when it occurs in a timely manner.) And like, what, he's been getting angry email all this time and just waiting to set the record straight? If he's incurred the wrath of some crazy birthers and he thinks this little on air clarification is going to get them to back off...oh, honey.
  • Below is Anderson's interview with country music star Trace Adkins. In my opinion, this is one of those jump-the-shark kind of bookings. He's a celebrity! He also worked on a rig! We must put him on TV to talk about this! But perhaps I'm just being country musicist. Of note was the moratorium talk. Trace: "I don't know how many tens of thousands of wells have been drilled in the Gulf of Mexico since we've been doing it. But how many times have you heard about this happening? I think that's a pretty good track record, you know." While I think the administration should be doing more to acknowledge and minimize the economic impact the moratorium is going to have, I'm sick of this kind of thinking. This disaster was not just some sort of fluke--it was an accident waiting to happen. The industry is out of control and obviously not ensuring safety. It's crazy to put our heads in the sand and just plug along until it happens again. Because it will happen again. I refuse to believe there is no in between compromise here.

  • The show continues to be good. This bullet point contains extra kudos for our anchor.

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Anonymous Infomercial Products said...

Yeah, it's sad, but I doubt they'll ever be held accountable for the destruction they have caused.

12:02 AM  

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