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View Diary: 'Top Kill' confusion (173 comments)

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  •  he can't reset the context every time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spit

    It was explained before they started the process that stopping the oil flow (or more properly, replacing the oil flow with a mud flow), was only a stage in the process, often. And it was explained that it would take a long time to know whether success was being achieved. I'm going to admit, maybe I'm being harsh on the public, but at a certain point, you can't tell the whole story over each time you do a press conference. I looked at the video again, and I just don't feel he was being misleading in any way, unless a person had no knowledge of what this operation entailed.

    As for the engineers, unfortunately you have to stop and have those meetings with management and customers, because there's really no other way to communicate what's going on other what is visually obvious. So it's a necessary PITA. My point was just to note that it's a legitimate choke point on how complete and up to date the info Allen can have (and therefore give).

    •  We don't really disagree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vaughan

      but the public isn't made of engineers or people with any background in math or physics at all, it's made of lots of people who don't necessarily know what questions to even begin to ask. They are working too much to do more than microwave a couple of hot pockets for dinner and, if we're lucky, catch some five minute summary of some actual news in between stories about gigantic litters of puppies and inspiring foster children who overcame the odds to become olympic curlers.

      No offense meant to puppies or curlers, but yes, you have to explain the background, again and again, or people will absolutely walk away not understanding what you meant. Then, when it becomes clear that this isn't going to work, you've got a bunch of people saying, wait, but you said it was working! And honestly, that's an awful lot what it sounded like. From BP, it's flat out spin, and it was obvious to me that it was carefully crafted that way. I'll give Allen more benefit of the doubt, and assume he was communicating poorly or only had the information BP was giving him (which would also be a problem, but not one that's his fault).

      I wouldn't have the patience to explain it all again, either, but that's why I'd make a pretty lame public information officer. If Allen can't do that, he needs to find somebody who can.

      •  pretty much agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Spit, oklahoma cherokee

        except, being the public face is not Allen's primary job, even though it's the job we, the public, want him to be best at. Someone's got to be coordinating Logistics for the ships in the gulf, laying the boom, getting more boom, where are cleanup crews, where is NOAA saying the cleanup crews need to be tomorrow, etc, etc..

        It's an assumption, but I'm going to assume that he is doing a reasonable job in those other areas.

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