Thursday, June 24, 2010

BP's tin ear

This week's New Yorker arrived yesterday and I spent this morning reading Patricia Marx's clever The BP "I Hate to Clean Up" Cookbook.  I especially enjoyed 'Chef Tony's' commentary accompanying each recipe. While I am not following this environmental crime very closely, it's hard to avoid being exposed to developments.  When the World Cup isn't on television in my usual haunts, the news is.  New Orleans news stations are rightly dominated by coverage of the Gulf oil spill and its ramifications.

What makes the New Yorker article so apt is that it demonstrates how ineptly BP is trying to whitewash this manmade disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.  The satire is so black that it's funny even if the company's actions are so deplorably depressing.

Imagine my surprise at the serendipity of today's article in the Times-Picayune about BP's rosy reportage of events along the Gulf Coast.  For the love of decency!  I understand the art of public relations is about swaying opinion to your side but this ham handed purple prose is as ugly as an infected, self-inflicted wound.  Patricia Marx has got nothing on the 'reporters' BP has in the field.  At least she was writing for a laugh.  The BP blogs are meant to be serious.  Frankly, Chef Tony's Fun Fact: "As far as can be determined, nobody has ever sustained permanent injury from a smell," tells me as much about how BP seems to feel about their culpability as the fact that "one bird rescued is one victory."  The latter was penned on June 20 by Paula Komar on the BP blog.

BP, you've got a lot more victories to win to make this right.  You are a company whose name is mud, no matter how you churn it.  It's going to take a long time to put this crime behind you, as long as it takes to restore the coast and the seafloor.  Own up to your malfeasance like a responsible citizen.  Only then will you be taken seriously.

...... On a lighter and more New Orleans specific note, this description of  St. Mary's Park appeared yesterday.

2 comments:

Anita said...

I'm enjoying your blog. I am delighted with your park series. Have you seen Plaza d'Italia yet? I haven't been downtown in years and wonder if it survives. It was one of my joyous early discoveries when I moved here decades ago.

Whalehead King said...

I haven't stumbled across Plaza d'Italia yet. All in good time, I'm sure. Thanks Anita.

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