Wit

BP CEO: His 'unbelievably callous' remark

BP's Tony Hayward says he wants his life back — but, in the wake of so much death and destruction, commentators don't find the plea particulary moving

Adding to his already considerable tally of tone-deaf remarks about the oil spill, BP CEO Tony Hayward told the "Today Show" over the weekend: "There's no one who wants this thing over more than I do. You know, I'd like my life back!" (See video below.) With 11 lives lost in the rig explosion, and an entire region's future hanging in doubt, critics have leapt on the statement as evidence that Hayward is in denial about the scope of disaster. The BP chief executive subsequently apologized for his remarks, but the damage has been done. Here, a round-up of bloggers' barbs:

What a profoundly stupid thing to say: "You know who else would probably like their lives back?" asks Bryan McKay in Technorati. "All the sea mammals you killed with your massive oil spill! Oh, you know, and maybe those eleven guys who got killed in the accident on the rig? Yeah, maybe those guys, too." Hayward's remark is "just such an unbelievably selfish and callous sentiment to air publicly."

Does BP have a time machine? "Poor baby!" says blog Towleroad. "How about he gets his life back as soon as we get the Gulf back, as it was before the rig exploded."

The 'c' in CEO clearly doesn't stand for "compassion": Oh, so that's "how Tony made it to the top — his amazing ability to empathize with the common man," says Brian Merchant in Tree Hugger. Oh wait, actually, "he's nothing like them. He's just an a--hole."

You're really tugging at our heartstrings: Tony may want his life back, says Tyler Falk in Grist. But "when your company profits from ecosystem-destroying techniques and causes the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, you're just not going to get much sympathy."

Narcissistic, perhaps? Sorry for this "dreadful inconvenience," Tony, says Eugene Robinson in The Washington Post. But the "worst oil spill in U.S. history" isn't "all about" you. Then again, perhaps it is time to give this "clueless" executive his life back — "by giving him the boot."

You reap what you sow: Ironically, Hayward "may yet get his wish," says Paul Wachter in Politics Daily. Irish bookie service Paddy Power "is offering 6-to-4 odds that Hayward will be the first BP executive to lose his job because of the spill."

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