Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Day at The Races

Yesterday's big news and tirade du jour was that Tony Hayward took a day off and took his son to see some yacht race somewhere. Now I'll agree that such upper class recreation doesn't do much for his PR standing, but I think a lot of the reaction has been eye-rollingly over the top. For example, from the linked article,
President Barack Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, condemned Hayward's attendance at the event as "part of a long line of PR gaffes and mistakes" on ABC television, adding: "I think that we can all conclude that Tony Hayward is not going to have a second career in PR consulting".
Ooooh! Zinger, Rahm! Didn't Obama go to Chicago to watch a baseball game? Shouldn't he be skipping meals and sleep to get the goo gusher gone? Let alone watching a contest? Several points here:
  1. People do not do their best work under prolonged stress. Breaks and recreation, despite cutting into "work" time, can increase productivity.
  2. Tony Hayward has done squat, as best as I can tell, over the last two months. Getting him the hell away from work might have the unintended side effect of some actual information being released, as opposed to Hayward-approved snake oil, smoke, and mirrors. Does it really matter that he's not going be around to talk about how wonderful he, his company, and the spill are?
  3. The White House should be very cautious about throwing stones. Boldly and alertly springing into action and taking "control" of the situation six weeks after the explosion is not exactly the kind of track record I'd want people paying real close attention to.
Look, I'm no fan of Tony "I know nothing" Hayward, and I don't deny daydreaming endless numbers of appalling "poetic justice" scenarios to reward him for the corporate environment he shaped and cultivated. I want more than I can say to support Obama, and heaven knows I want him to be successful in finding ways forward through the seemingly endless numbers of crises faced by our country and our planet.

But making this kind of fuss over what amounts to a justified break- however bad a PR choice it might be- does nothing to reassure me that this administration has it's eyes on the ball. It makes me think they're paying closer attention to the shiny thing in the third row with the tight halter top. And that pisses me off.


Terrant said...

That certainly summarizes the yacht incident accurately. Never thought about the fact they might be more productive point. :)

Silver Fox said...

Yeah, I thought all the commenting on his choice of what to do on a day off was OT, also. No one works 24/7 forever.

Soldis1917 said...

I agree. His choice of recreation may have been in poor taste, but lets face it, a little over one week after the end of the last trimester and I am still sleeping my life away in recuperation.

On the other hand, at this point I am starting to agree with my husband's solution to just nuke the damn leak. It's not like things could get much worse, and it is really starting to irk me that they are still trying to make a profit off of their huge, fucking mistake.