An intellectual freedom blog with an emphasis on libraries and technology

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

BP's hostages

I was inspired by Tom Tomorrow's latest This Modern World cartoon to look for citations for the statements of fact I found in it. Sad to say I am so disconnected that I had to learn about this from a cartoon:

BP has responded to the disaster with all the resources at its disposal: money, personnel, lawyers. That's right. It's responded aggressively to the PR disaster.

For the wonks among you, here are the sources:

International Business times on BP's buying keyword searches to direct people to its own page about the oil spill. and the ABC news story on the keyword buying spree.

A YouTube video showing a segment from CBS News which shows a member of the U.S. Coast Guard (rank unknown) saying "BP's Rules, not ours." He is accompanying a boatload of BP contractors who tell journalists they can not go to the oil fouled beach.

Even more obnoxious: BP forces clean up workers to sign non-disclosure agreements. Since that last was a less well known source, here's another on non-disclosure agreements from CNN.

Don't worry folks, it gets worse. Yahoo news on BP blaming sick clean up workers illnesses on food poisoning. (For some reason this conjured up the memory of 19th century mine owners in Rhodesia publishing articles that claimed that black mine workers suffered from scurvy due to poor oral hygiene - we give 'em toothbrushes but they just don't use 'em). And, of course, there's worse: Amy Goodman interviews clean up workers (formerly fishermen) who BP has threatened with firing if they wear their own respirators.

And now for the comic relief.

ABC News on BP's $50 Million dollar ad campaign. Darn, $50 million does not buy as much belief as it used to. Credulity inflation.

And the winner in the comic relief dept: A conservative liberal-baiting internet news site's report on Haley Barour's statements that the media is doing more harm than the spill (was he trying to channel Bagdad Bob?!).

The big issue I have not seen covered very much:

Here's a Reuters story on the structural economic blackmail that keeps BP politically protected: it accounts for 12 percent of the dividends paid into British retirement funds. Don't impose any realistic accountability on BP or the old limeys are screwed. This, what I call structural blackmail, has to change before corporations lose their power over the world. As long as corporations such as BP have hostages they can shoot the rest of us can not do much without harming each other.


One more in the PR hit parade: BP has hired mercenaries (call them security guards) in addition to enlisting local law enforcement and the Coast Guard.

1 comment:

  1. Finally Someone else who knows what Wackenhut is. I linked to your blog, specifically to this story at my blogsite. I am digging up other bloggers stories on BP. I know that politically and socially we fall on a continuum of beliefs and political affiliations, but regardless I believe its interesting and pertinent to show on this one thing, how many people are asking the same questions over and over and over.
    Hope you visit.
    The Oily Beau-Hunk also at Blogspot. Your post made my day, which is saying something after watching this slow motion murder of the Gulf and our Democratic Republic by BP and Wackenhut.