Facebook group defends “harassed” BP

June 18, 2010

OIL-SPILL/

BP’s chief executive Tony Hayward branded “the most hated man in America” may be surprised to find himself cast in the role of victim by a growing clan of web-based supporters on Facebook.

One such group ‘Support BP’ calls itself the defender of an “undeservedly harassed institution” and seeks to show that the public opprobrium BP faces over its now 60-day-old Gulf of Mexico oil spill is not universal.

Members have been increasingly vocal since a succession of strong rebukes of BP by U.S. President Obama and lawmakers at Thursday’s congressional hearing, which they are calling a “lynch mob”.

The outburst of sympathy follows an apology to Hayward from Texas Republican Representative Joe Barton on Thursday, later withdrawn, for having to agree to a deal with President Obama to set up a $20 billion fund for Gulf claim damages.

Some of the Facebook posts echoed this same spirit of regret: “My apologies as an American to Tony Hayward for the rude and insulting conduct as well as the rush to judgement by U.S. politicians on 16/7,” wrote George Gray, 50, from Pennsylvania, referring to Thursday’s hearing.

The bulk of the group’s posts are written by Americans.

One woman offered financial support, brandishing a copy of her BP petrol receipt as proof of her solidarity with the oil major’s plight.

“I buy BP petroleum products and I am proud to say that I do so. Did BP have an accident? Yes. Are they working hard to correct the problem? Yes,” said Lara Olmos from Georgia.

Others urged readers to look beyond “dead fish” to the potential damage of the “Obama hysterics” on the future of BP and transatlantic relations.

“Our concern is Obama’s folly and injustice,” said the site master and received 42 votes of approval from group members.

Members also cheered a brief BP share price rally on Thursday.

Pity for the beleaguered oil major is still a marginal sentiment. On Friday the ‘Support BP’ site had 1,039 fans while the ‘Boycott BP’ site had 652,128.

But it shows that for some, victim-status has shifted from drowning birds and idle fishermen to the hunched, penitent figure of Tony Hayward in the dock even as the oil continues to spew from the BP rig.

Picture credit: BP CEO Tony Hayward walks past protesters as he arrives to testify about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico at the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Capitol Hill, June 17, 2010.     REUTERS/Larry Downing

Comments

Interesting that Mr Gray uses European date notation in his comment defending BP. American? Really? HaHaHa

Posted by mrdrjrsr | Report as abusive
 

I’ve seen a lot of people supporting the BP “accident”, do what you got to do. As for me, I’m against it. Why should we fund BP 20 BILLION dollars to fix this mistake? BP should have made sure everything was in proper working condition before they started this project. Another thing that irritates me, is the fact that the oil leak has been going on for 60 days now, and BP suddenly has a solution that will only take 2 weeks to resolve this issue. Why did they let it go on for so long? As for our “president”, he can find time to golf and admire his “luxuries”, but it takes him 57 days to make an appointment with the chief executive? What’s wrong with this picture? We as AMERICANS need to wake up and look around at everything going on and start voicing our opinions, instead of backing down, or taking up for them because you think it’s the right thing to do. Is it ok to agree with the 20 BILLION dollar fund and put us even furthur in debt and raise our taxes even higher??? I don’t think so. WAKE UP AMERICA!

Posted by tabbsfrombama | Report as abusive
 

I am just staggered by the hypocracy and ignorance displayed by the US senators over the BP disaster.

Were they all as vocal in 1984 over the Bhopal disaster, caused as I understand it by gross negligence by Union Carbide, A UNITED STATES COMPANY!

When will Mr Obhama be demanding $20 Billion from Union Carbide?

Posted by colinH100 | Report as abusive
 

Thomas Jefferson Stated if a man has no god or twenty and neither picks my pocket or causes me injury why should I care. Has BP, the company Mr. Hayward directs, done either to the U.S.? If so, then who are the likely candidates to hold responsible? Perhaps MMS.

Posted by coyotle | Report as abusive
 
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