What matters most to BP

This’ll fix things:

As for BP, it has taken steps to beef up its PR operation, in an attempt to limit the damage to its reputation. The company has recruited as head of the firm’s US media relations Anne Womack-Kolton, the former press secretary to Dick Cheney.

from this morning’s UK Guardian

True, the company’s public relations since the explosion have been terrible: suppressing and lying about things that will become known eventually anyway, and ridiculous efforts to play down the seriousness of the oil spill. Tony Hayward, BP CEO, “told Fox News sister network Sky News on Tuesday [May 18] that he is largely unconcerned:

I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to be very, very modest. It is impossible to say and we will mount, as part of the aftermath, a very detailed environmental assessment as we go forward. We’re going to do that with some of the science institutions in the U.S. But everything we can see at the moment suggests that the overall environmental impact of this will be very, very modest.

After BP has squandered any potential public credibility, the most silver-tongued revolving-door lobbyist-cum-government appointee (such as Ms. Womack-Kolton) will be hard pressed to reverse the tide. We all know which tide they really truly care most about, when it comes to the tide of financial-world and public opinion, vs. the tide of oil.

Young heron dying, SM.jpg

Young heron dying in oil-soaked marsh. Photo by GERALD HERBERT / AP. Copyright by photographer and AP, not used with permission.