The Man Who Wasn't There: A Whole Day Of Tony Hayward's Obfuscating In Four Minutes
You really have to marvel at the amazing way we have ordered the universe, circa 2010, in America. If I grabbed a ball peen hammer and a can of spray paint, dashed across the street to the Au Bon Pain on Pennsylvania Avenue, and started smashing out the windows and tagging the hell out of the building, you can bet your ass that the cops would come, they would rough me up, arrest me, throw me in stir, put me on trial, and find me just as guilty as homemade sin.
On the other hand, if I was the CEO of a major oil company, I could jack up an entire region of the country with oil and chemical dispersant and incompetence and fraud and contempt, and if anyone called me on the carpet to ask, "Pardon me, hello. We, the representatives of the American taxpayers just would like to know how it came to pass that your oil is now, well ... what's the word I'm looking for? Oh! Yes! KILLING AMERICA," I could just sit back and tell everyone that despite the fact that I am the CEO of the company involved, and thus theoretically in charge, that I actually have no idea whatsoever about any of the decisions or processes or conversations that took place.
That's what your House of Representatives was up against today, in the form of BP CEO Tony Hayward. He's the captain of a foundering ship who just doesn't know anything about ships. He was not party to any important decisions. He cannot recall important moments. He managed to get through nearly three decades of working in the oil business without actually learning anything about it. And given the opportunity to prepare for specific questions in advance, what do you think he did?
It all got to be too much for Representative Michael C. Burgess, who, amid calls to get the MMS -- an organization that Congress will probably have better luck putting the screws to -- into the hearings, summed up Hayward's essential uselessness by saying, "Any one of us could do his job!" And this is one of those rare occasions where that is absolutely correct.
Anyway, you can enjoy the the whole misbegotten episode in the form of a four minute video, by Ben Craw, in which Tony Hayward does his best imitation of a blowup doll.
You know, the ancient Greeks had these magical ladies named Alecto and Megaeara and Tisiphone, collectively known as the Furies, who would just relentlessly hound the liars of the world to misery and ruin and death. Don't you wish we had some Furies? Man, I could really go for some Furies, right about now.
OP Note: You know, I had this on in the background basically all day, and I was astounded at the almost universal frustration the members of the committee were obviously experiencing (with the exception of Barton from TX, who did his best imitation of a battered spouse begging forgiveness from their corporate abuser). I will point out that before this hearing, he had been provided with a detailed letter of the information they wanted. So, apparently he seemed to have done virtually no preparation for this hearing AT ALL.
This entire thing was oddly reminiscent of another set of hearings we had a few years ago with Alberto Gonzales.....remember the ones where he had no bloody clue what was going on in his own department?
Here's a great reminder courtesy of Jon Stewart:
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