Urgent memo to the shareholders of the oil corporation formerly known as British Petroleum: Cap that gusher!
Some of the worst damage being done to BP's credibility and reputation is not coming from the 30,000 to 40,000 barrels gushing every day from its well on the Gulf floor, but from the torrent of stupid comments gushing from the mouths of various BP honchos.
The oil giant's CEO, Tony "Tone Deaf" Hayward, has already been enshrined in the Goofball Hall of Fame for what apparently is his bottomless well of gushing insensitivity. From his early assertion that the environmental impact of BP's failed well "will be very modest" to his recent narcissistic whine that "I'd like my life back" — Tony is a one-man plume of pollution. And that was before he went to see his boat in a race last weekend.
Unfortunately, he's not BP's lone ranger of galloping goofiness. In mid-June, after the corporation had told lie after lie about the volume of its crude that's contaminating the Gulf, Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles stupidly spewed his own stream of nonsense by flatly announcing that the gusher would be reduced to a "relative trickle" within days.
Days passed. Oil kept gushing. More and more birds, turtles and other wildlife died. More marshes and beaches were soiled. And, once again, hopes of people on the Gulf Coast were suffocated, having been thoroughly coated in the goo of BP's steady flow of BS.
The oil giant's top executives can't even apologize without mucking things up. At the White House on June 16, corporate chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg declared:
"I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are really companies that don't care, but that is not the case in BP. We care about the small people."
Small people? The more this giant talks, the smaller it becomes. Memo to shareholders: Invest in some duct tape. Pronto!
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.