I watched T. Boone Pickens on Larry King last night talking about the spill. About the first reasonable perspective I have seen given any air time on this event. Larry asked him about the oil that BP was capturing from the well through the containment device and if BP was making a profit on that oil. Pickens looked at him like “are you out of your pea picking mind?” Of course BP isn’t making money on the spill given the millions it is costing them every day. To be fair, I think Pickens missed the point of the question–I think Larry meant to ask if the oil being captured was being sold or processed and how much money was involved in that.
Pickens appearance reminded me that what this event needs is Arnold Schwarzenegger. I recall when California was facing big wildfires the media starting doing their regular and expected thing. They found someone disgruntled with the fire department and accused them of having a bunch of aircraft sitting on the ground not doing anything. Truth was they were temporarily restrained due to high winds. But instead of letting the media get by with the blame game and building a head of steam around the all-too-expected failure to respond story, the Governor took them head on. He was angry, he was direct. I don’t recall the exact statement but it was to the effect that anyone who suggests we are not doing everything we possibly can is ignorant or a liar and he won’t put up with it. He all but called them girly-men.
That is one thing that is desperately needed in this response–Pickens came the closest I have seen to showing disgust for how this event is being treated politically and in the media. The truth is the response is being conducted on an unprecedented scale. The technology, the brain power, the dedication, the effort is just incredible. And despite the terrible circumstances, battles are being won every day. But that is a story no media outlet fighting for its life can afford to tell.
Someone needs to tell Anderson Cooper that he is being far from honest, letting alone keeping anyone else honest. Someone needs to tell the NYT who almost daily comes up with some angle to say BP is being dishonest about this or that they should see that the news that is fit to print includes the heroic effort going on right now by some terrific people doing their very best. Someone needs to stand up and say all those who see in this event only the opportunity to grab viewers and place blame are, well, just girly-men.