Gov. Haley Barbour Takes BP’s Money and Blames the Media for the Oil Spill

oil spill

If there is one small silver lining in the oil dense cloud that is consuming the Gulf Coast it is that the politicians who are owned by big oil are being exposed. On CBS’ Face The Nation today, Gov. Haley Barbour continued to downplay the oil spill and blame the media, without disclosing that oil and gas companies have given $1.8 million to his gubernatorial campaigns.

Here is the video of Barbour on Face The Nation today:

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When asked by Bob Schieffer about the media coverage, Barbour said, “There should be a differentiation, Bob. The– the– the news coverage of this is– is, of course, there’s a lot of it. And, it’s very sensational and it’s the worst pictures that you can get. And it shows every hour on cable news and several times a day on the regular networks. And the people of the United States have the impression the whole Gulf of Mexico is ankle deep in oil, which is simply not the case. Everybody knows it’s not the case. By God’s grace, we haven’t had any oil yet reach the shore of Mississippi. We’ve had a couple of incursions on our barrier islands but we have lost the first third of the tourist season. And, as Admiral Allen said, there are a lot of people on the coast that make most of their living in three months. And they have been clobbered because of the misperception that our whole coast is knee deep in oil. The– the– the news media could have differentiated between what’s going on in Louisiana and what’s happened to us.”

One might think that Barbour was engaging in the typical Republican speak of blaming the media while sheltering corporate America, but there is a bit more to it than that. As Climate Progress pointed out, “Barbour’s rise in politics has been largely fueled by the oil and gas industry. When Barbour served as the chairman on the RNC during the 1994 and 1996 election cycles, he courted oil and coal companies to donate over $30 million to Republicans — nearly three times the amount given to Democrats.”

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the lobbying firm that Barbour founded, Barbour, Griffith & Rogers, pulled in $2.24 million in energy company money in 2001 and 2002. (Barbour left in 2003 to run for governor of Mississippi). The icing on the cake is that Barbour leveraged his ties to big energy to the tune of $1.8 million for each of his gubernatorial campaigns. This means that Haley Barbour is nothing more than a paid spokesman for BP.

It is the only explanation for how Barbour can go on television repeatedly and blame the media coverage of the oil spill without acknowledging that the media would have nothing to cover if it wasn’t BP causing the oil spill in the first place. The moral of this story is next time you see a politician from either party say something outlandish, don’t automatically assume that they are stupid or crazy, because most of the time the true answer can be found by following the money. In the case of Haley Barbour a couple of million dollars bought BP a fine spokesman disguised as a governor.

5 Replies to “Gov. Haley Barbour Takes BP’s Money and Blames the Media for the Oil Spill”

  1. Palin will condemn haley for being in bed w oil in 5 4 3 2 oh right. Rethugs are all hypocrites who stand for nothing but greed.

  2. LOL @ Dani, good post.

    Barbour is little more than a big mouth. He should be out doing ads that say there is no oil in Ol Miss and not worrying about the media that is informing the rest of the US on what is happening.. I wonder what he would be saying if he did have oil and NO media coverage.

    I like your description “politicians who are owned by big oil are being exposed.” Any dem that wants to run agasinst him has cannon fodder now.

  3. While this is all true, I am at a loss as to why people in Mississippi keep electing this man? He’s been a bellowing buffoon for ages, yet the Republicans evidently think he is fit to govern.

    How sad for our country that individuals like this represent our leaders.

  4. It’s amazing how all of the Republican governors who campaigned on the “less government” mantra now cry for the government to help their respective states.

    The previous poster wonders why people in these states repeatedly vote in these individuals. I’ll take it a step further. I believe that elections have consequences. If the majority of the voters support their “less government” leaders, they should get just that: less government assistance. Less funding for schools. Less police and fire protection. Less highway improvement. Less assistance for oil cleanup.

  5. I’m steppingstones. My real name is Shelby, and I come from a humble home in Michigan. This is my first post on hipblogs, and I hope I do this right. I really like the Earth, and realizing new things and getting much too excited over them. I love learning. I lead a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, and I dance, a lot. I have a fierce addiction to traveling and weddings and ridiculously thorough note-taking in class. I doodle on everything and eat mangoes and ice cream on the roofs of parking garages with my beloved boyfriend. And most of all, I am really, really soft-hearted. So, greetings! It’s nice to meet you.

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