Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Agitprop, Totally

There's a new BP protest site that's getting some serious buzz this week. It's called You Should Totally Apologize to BP and it's inviting visitors to "click here to say you're sorry" for buying the oil company's gas for your car or eating its cheese snacks. [BP sells snacks through its Connect convenience store franchise.]

The site was launched over the weekend by some of the same folks who have been bringing the world @BPGlobalPR, the spoof Twitter site that masquerades as the beleaguered oil company's PR stream.

It's just the latest in a series of anti-BP oil spill sites to get organized over the past month as the enormity of the spill begins to seep into the American psyche. Chief motivation for this latest bit of agitprop, organizers say, were remarks made last Thursday by Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton, who called the new BP-funded, $20 billion victim compensation fund a "shakedown" by the White House. "I don't want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something legitimately wrong, it's subject to some sort of political pressure that amounts to a shakedown," Barton said in remarks broadcast on C-SPAN, "so I apologize" to BP on behalf of the American government.

But the last word on Barton goes to the spoofsters, who wrote on their site (under a video clip of Barton's remarks) the following:

Rep. Joe Barton is right. BP deserves better than the horrible treatment they've gotten from America. The GOP is ashamed of America, and you should be, too. All BP did was try to bring us delicious crude oil with which we could drive our SUVs. They made tremendous sacrifices. And what did they get out of the deal? Just a little profit, which they could ow lose, thanks to mean American holding them accountable. This year, they could make over 25% less billions in profits, thanks to America's socialist agenda. The best America is one that privatizes profits and socializes losses. So Apologize to BP.

Though put up just recently, You Should Totally Apologize to BP has already started netting hundreds of followers on Facebook and Twitter. A tweet posted a few hours ago on the site's #ImsorryBP feed reads as follows:

Dear BP, We are so sorry we are carbon-based life forms requiring water and air free of misplaced petroleum to continue living.

What do you think? If you were BP's social media director (or Barton's press secretary) at this point -- and still wanted the job --where would you go from here? Let us hear from you.

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