Well, what did I see shouted at me as the top AP headline when I checked my mail this morning? (Yes, I use a web-based mail a lot...that way spammers leave my home address alone.) The top headline, complete with a picture of Tony Hayward looking embarrassed at the recent congressional hearings, read "As oil spews in Gulf, BP chief at UK yacht race". Oh, here's a fun passage from this totally impartial article:*
In a statement, BP described Hayward's day off as "a rare moment of private time" and said that "no matter where he is, he is always in touch with what is happening within BP" and can direct recovery operations if required.
That is likely to be a hard sell in Gulf states struggling to deal with the up to 120 million gallons of oil that have escaped from a blown-out undersea well.
So, apparently Mr. Hayward took a bit of leisure time and attended a sporting event (I'm not going to debate here whether yachting is a sport).
The coverage Mr. Hayward's excursion has received, of course, is as opposed to the coverage of President Obama, who, it has been said, has been fully engaged in this mess since Day One. And how did he choose to engage himself in it last night (that would be Friday, June 17, 2010, or Day 60, for those keeping score at home)? That's right: he attended a sporting event!
After hunkering down for several weeks to deal with the oil spill, President Obama finally made it out of the house for some fun – and showed up at the Nationals game on Friday night.
(It should be noted that the preceding quote came from the Washington Post's Nationals blog linked by Liberty Scout through the link above. The blog goes on to point out that coming soon on President Obama's agenda is to congratulate the Los Angeles Lakers at the White House. Busy times, indeed.)
So, Tony Hayward gets pilloried for attending a yacht race, and Barack Obama gets his usual fawning coverage for attending a baseball game. That doesn't quite seem fair, does it? I mean, if either of them were effective at all in solving this huge problem in the gulf, I suppose the disparity in coverage would be justified. But they haven't been.
And, while this is apparently Mr. Hayward's first leisure time in quite a while, that can't quite be said for certain other people:
Draw your own conclusions as to what I think of the media coverage of this mess.
*Sarcasm detectors for reading articles on my blog may be picked up in your grocer's freezer, if you don't already have one.