BP Gives PR a Whole New Dimension in Ineptitude

BP PR

BEE PEE PEE RRR-They may suck at drilling for oil, but there's an area where they are monumentally worse...getting you to believe they are responsible for anything.

There is, perhaps, only one area in which BP is more incompetent than in drilling for oil…public relations. The old adage may be that Britain and America are two countries separated by a common language, but BP’s PR department separates the two countries by speaking in some sort of crazy Esperanto that’s incomprehensible to everyone except rocks and Joe Barton.

Of course they know they suck at it. They even hired The Big Dick’s™ former campaign secretary, Anne Womack-Kolton, as their PR guru…now stop laughing, they were serious.

Since then they’ve banished their original plutonium-tongued orator, CEO Tony “I Want My Life Back” Hayward, in favor of BP exec Darryl Willis – who inexplicably wears an orange prison jumpsuit in his advertisements – to look all contrite and humblish. But as Alabama mayor Tony Kennon points out, making empty promises and lying about it isn’t quite the right formula for winning friends and influencing government.

The public has been Pavlovianly conditioned to expect oil companies to lie. No one except a few Republicans expect such upstanding, forthright corporations to do otherwise. But if your entire PR strategy is to outright lie, you need to learn two things.

First, make an attempt to make the lies sound real. Exponentially misunderestimating spill damage and denying there are oil plumes long after every university and high school science lab has confirmed them is a non-starter. Throw in at least a grain of truth.

Oiling for Dollars

OILING FOR DOLLARS - Why the damage escrow account doesn't matter.

Try something like, “Yes, there are hundreds of miles of oil plumes, but in relation to how much of them would fit into a tea cup, they really are negligible.”

The second lesson is don’t appear to be hiding anything. It only makes people dig harder and increases the number of lies.

Somehow, BeePee managed to enlist the help of the Coast Guard and local law enforcement agencies to chase off the media in an attempt to keep…shhhh…the big secret – there’s been an oil spill. WHO KNEW?!!

Any random third-grader with a passing knowledge of that slut Hanna Montana appearing on TMZ knows that if you try to hide something juicy the media will hound you to the ends of the Earth and beyond.

The best thing the Beepsters could do is throw off the blanket of secrecy and let the sun shine in. Embrace their crapulence. Not only should they show clips of the oiled birds in their commercials, they should tout the fact that they are well on their way to creating the largest environmental disaster the world has ever known.

Now that’s some good old-fashioned Cheneyesque PR!

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Afghanistan and Iraq: They’re Baaaack

Out of Afghanistan

SHOCKINGLY AWFUL AWFULNESS - The wars are and were ill-advised, poorly planned, and haphzardly carried out. How about next time we think about what we're getting into first?

America – distracted as we’ve been by teabaggers, congenital naysayers, and gulf shrimp drizzled with a rich BP aioli – hasn’t paid much attention to the festering holes of Afghanistan and Iraq lately. It took a general with all the PR acumen of  Tony Hayward to get us to pay attention…this week anyway.

The Messiah™ had no viable alternative but to go all Harry S Truman on McChrystal’s ass. The whole affair was dressed up in pretty language guaranteeing that McGeneral’s shove off the ledge signalled no change in strategy. But more’s the worse, because it’s not like the current strategy worked when Bush tried it nor when Obama doubled down on it.

Short and Sweet…NOT!
The previous Carbuncle-in-Chief guaranteed two things: the wars would be short and there would be no nation-building. The amateur videographer would be quickly vanquished and the Wolfowitzian view of a democratic utopia would rise from the shattered lands as if by Godly, or Rumsfeldy, decree.

How’s that workin’ out for ya there neocons?

Repeatedly surging, partially withdrawing, and shocking an awing for 10 years hasn’t yielded much. Sure, there’s the “success” in Iraq – if by success you mean that jihadists still wander the streets with C4 stuck up their asses and itchy fingers on the triggers. Or that Osama has given up his position as anchor of the 6 o’clock Crackpot News (but his video production values seem to be improving). Or the purple-fingered set still can’t form a government that can even agree on a shape for the parliamentary chambers.

I Don't Blame Him

So Do We

Despite all the blood and treasure poured into those god-awful lands, we’re still trying the same things we’ve been trying for years. And sadly, we still don’t have a definition for what constitutes victory nor a practical way to hold the unholdable at bay while we sneak out in the middle of the night.

Counter-insurgency warfare is the strategery du jour, but it has some drawbacks. It doesn’t work on a predictable timeline and, more often than not, results in something other than a traditional “victory”. (See the many uneasy, lengthy standoffs between governments and insurgents in dozens of nations around the planet). Countering insurgents costs a shocking amount and the nation has to be in for a long and indefinite haul.

That’s a pretty tough sell for a country that’s already been on the road for 10 years.

Admiring the Quagmire
Despite all the assurances the US wouldn’t end up in an unwinnable quagmire, that’s exactly where we find ourselves. It seems we learned the wrong lesson from our last insurgent war in Vietnam.

Yes, starting wars with shock and awe scares the skivvies off the insurgents and give the invading army an advantage. However, the more important lesson is to think before hurling the Weapons of Massive Awesomeness against people who just take to the caves and wait for us to blow our awesome load before coming back out to fight.

If you don’t have a plan – or in the case of Mr. Bring it On and Hugs McHopey, a clue – don’t start the war. And if you do find it necessary to start it, figure out how you’re going to finish it.

If you can’t, you’re going to have noting but shockingly awful awfulness.

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The Return of Jack ‘The Hat’ Abramoff

Pizza! Pizza!

THROWIN' THE DOUGH - Former lobbyist and amateur hat model, Jack 'The Hat' Abramoff is out of the hoosegow and dishing kosher pizza. There's no word yet on if, or when, he might treat those whose careers he destroyed to a nice slice of the humble pie.

Fresh off a 43-month stint as a guest at Uncle Sam’s deluxe Cumberland, MD penal colony, Jack ‘The Hat’ Abramoff has moved into a halfway house and scored a new gig at a Baltimore pizza joint.

It seems like a strange move for a former lobbyist and amateur hat model, but he’s paid his debt to society and it’s time for him to once again become a productive member of society – if you consider his former career as a lobbyist productive.

It turns out he actually has the right skill-set for the pizza biz. He’s the former owner of a swank DC eatery and devoutly Jewish, making him the perfect fit to eventually take over marketing for Tov, the kosher pizza place. After all, marketing isn’t that different from lobbying. You convince people to gobble up all sorts of tasty morsels in the hope they will grow fat and happy, come back again and again, and leave you a really good tip.

While he’s certainly no Bernie Madoff, he did do considerable damage to many people. Nineteen people, including Congressman Bob Ney (R-Stupidville) and a Dubya Deputy Secretary of the Interior, were convicted in the investigation. He was also partially responsible for some of the grief John McTheusela garnered while being all mavericky on the campaign trail and provided fodder to hammer Tom ‘The Hammer’ Delay his ownself. Even his erstwhile “clients” took a beating. Bernie Sprague of the Saginaw Chippewa tribe said Abramoff cost them millions.

“It totally destroyed our tribe,” Sprague said. “All he was worried about was Jack. Jack has to get his next big check. . . . That was the only thing on his mind.”

His stink may still linger too. Jack was BFF with Arizona Senate candidate and Tea Bagger zany J.D. Hayworth. Hayworth is known for slugging an already punch drunk John McCain during the bruising campaign and one can expect the ancient scion of what passes for Arizona politics to remind everyone of the connection.

Lobbyists come. Lobbyists go. But, the crapulent aroma of their pizza lingers on.

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