The intense propaganda campaign to protect BP at all costs is heating up. The wagons are being circled and the propaganda flows like a busted oil well.
The current meme in the Tory community, both here and across the ocean, is that Obama’s an evil Brit-hating Socialist out to destroy business.
The Economist has a pathetic leader this week criticizing Obama for hammering BP and raising the ridiculous idea that his corporate-friendly administration is anti-business.
It actually (really!) calls the president “Vladimir Obama” and writes:
The collapse in BP’s share price suggests that he has convinced the markets that he is an American version of Vladimir Putin, willing to harry firms into doing his bidding.
The normally sober Economist has gone off the wagon here.
First, it knows better than to “suggest” what “the markets” think. Second, that blew up in its face rather quickly. Instaputz points out that BP shares soared 10 percent on news of the $20 billion fund.
Most importantly, you have a giant oil company that cut corners while drilling a mile-deep well, killed eleven people, and sprung a hole in the ocean floor that’s gushing an Exxon Valdez-size spill every four days. The company has consistently lowballed the amount of oil it’s spilling (remember the 5,000-gallon barrel days?), and has caused an environmental and economic disaster in the Southeast United States. It’s a true national emergency.
But this shouldn’t surprise anyone. Tories on both sides of the Atlantic, and the media organs that prop them up (the Economist, Torygraph and Daily Hitler Worshippers in the UK, FOX News et al in the US) have been doing everything in their power to shield the poor ickle BP from the oil-soaked pelicans coming home to roost.
One favorite meme: "BP is at death’s door because of you American meanies!" Erm, not exactly: Shares of BP actually rose nearly 10 percent once the deal to set up a $20 billion escrow fund was reached.
Another favorite Tory Story is the Blame Shirk: "BP’s not the real culprit here — Transocean/Halliburton/Space Aliens are!"
Wrong. The evidence continues to mount that BP (which ignored contractor recommendations in favor of cost- and corners-cutting on the Deepwater well) bears the lion’s share of the blame. As a result, the world’s stock exchanges are easing off of their punishment of Transocean and Halliburton stock.
And of course there’s the "Lay off BP or the grannies get it!" argument, which is undermined by the fact that UK pension fund exposure to BP tops out at 1.5%, at most.
But the new Cameron-led Tory government, which is about to unleash some nasty austerity measures on Britain’s pensioners (and everyone else who isn’t filthy rich), would probably like to see Obama and the US take the heat for Tory-instigated suffering. Think of it as David Cameron’s camouflage — or Cammie-flage, for short.