BP’s media attack
And yet, the oil giant has continued to say it didn’t agree to what’s being paid. Some prominent media voices have taken up the cause.
CNBC “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer interviewed BP chief executive Bob Dudley and asked, “Will some people just never be satisfied until you’re put out of business?”
Dudley then railed against the settlement paying “absurd” claims, “not at all in the spirit of the agreement.”
Dudley then took a shot at Juneau, the claims administrator BP appointed, saying his interpretation of the agreement had “hijacked” the claims process and “is leading to absurd payments to people not affected by this and, in many cases, far away from the Gulf.”
New York Times columnist Joe Nocera joined the anti-Juneau attack, calling him a "good-ol’-boy plaintiffs' lawyer" when he actually spent 48 years as a civil defense attorney. The Times later corrected the error.
And Bloomberg BusinessWeek featured an article saying BP was getting “screwed.” The cover blared: “BP is getting rolled in the Gulf.”
That didn’t earn any sympathy from commercial fisherman George Barasich.
“Have Mr. Bloomberg come see my boat and he'll see who's getting rolled,” said Barasich, an oysterman and shrimper whose boat is in drydock for lack of work. He says he and others got severely underpaid, not overpaid, in the settlement.
“The way this was orchestrated -- you know, we're seeing it now with the benefit of hindsight – (BP) played it out so that they would become the victim,” he added. “And I'll be goddamned, that's exactly what happened. 'Oh we're the victim. We’re getting screwed on the money. We’re paying way too much money.’ But you caused it! And you agreed to it! How could you be a victim?”
They could lose appeal after appeal (and they have) of their settlement. They could lose their soon to resume Clean Water Act case. It doesn't matter. They're finished "making amends" and are focusing now on push-back. And, as you can see above, they can count on getting plenty of help in that regard.