The Gulf Oil Spill Reputation Cleanup


In the immense new report to the President, “The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling,” from the National Commission on such, there’s just about one whole paragraph that’s getting people all riled up.

Local resentment became a media theme and then a self-fulfilling prophesy. Even those who privately thought the federal government was doing the best it could under the circumstances did not say so publicly. Coast Guard responders watched Governor Jindal — and the TV cameras following him — return to what appeared to be the same spot of oiled marsh day after day to complain about the inadequacy of the federal response, even though only a small amount of marsh was then oiled. When the Coast Guard sought to clean up that piece of affected marsh, Governor Jindal refused to confirm its location. Journalists encouraged state and local officials and residents to display their anger at the federal response, and offered coverage when they did. Anderson Cooper reportedly asked a Parish President to bring an angry, unemployed offshore oil worker on his show. When the Parish President could not promise the worker would be “angry,” both were disinvited.

According to the footnotes, all this comes by way of an interview with a “Coast Guard official” and an interview with a “government official.” (Jindal of course denies this; Anderson Cooper will get around to it no doubt.)

Of course this is the only paragraph people are getting riled up about, because, much like with Wikileaks, who has time to sit and read the whole thing thoroughly? I mean a lot of it is about boom and berms. It’s like the world’s worst John McPhee book!