Tag Archives: BP spill

Former BP communication manager shares important lessons learned

Neil Chapman is one of the world’s true gentlemen. I got to know him about ten years ago when I was just starting to sell PIER and Neil, in his role as a lead for BP in crisis communication, became one of our best clients, and one of my most valued friends. (It’s one of the great benefits of almost any business, to meet people who come to mean a lot to you.)

Neil, unfortunately, found himself at the forefront of some of the events for which BP is now infamous, including the Texas City Refinery accident, pipeline leaks and corrosion issues in Alaska, and of course, Deepwater Horizon. Neil retired from BP and is now a consultant to primarily industrial companies looking to protect their reputation in the challenging public information environment we find ourselves in. If you believe in the value of experience, married to a genuinely smart communicator who is also someone deeply in touch with the human element involved in crisis events, you cannot do better than listen to Neil Chapman.

Neil lives in northern England these days and I live in the Pacific Northwest so we are on near opposite sides of the globe. But, I took the opportunity that Skype provides of talking with Neil about some of his experiences and recording that conversation for you to share. There is a 14 minute edited version and a 50 minute unedited version. I’ve heard from other communicators, including Jim Garrow, whom I respect greatly, that Neil’s comments are eye opening. I hope you get a chance to review them. If you do, I’d love to hear if you find this kind of Skype interview with leading lights useful. If so, I’ll be happy to continue.

Neil Chapman 14 minute discussion

Neil Chapman 50 minute discussion

What CEO’s need to learn from Tony Hayward

Every CEO with serious crisis risk must want to sit down with Tony Hayward, the ignominious former BP CEO, and ask him: What the H happened? This blog post from speedcommunications may be the closest CEO’s may get to that opportunity. And the lessons learned here should not be missed.

When asked what he would have done differently, he states it clearly: “What would I have done differently? I would have had more of the senior team around me to handle communication with the media.” While the person in overall charge of the business should face the media music, that music is now so loud and persistent that one man alone cannot handle it.

On preparing in advance: He said: BP wasn’t sufficiently well prepared with communications processes and resources to handle what happened, and it showed. It was an unprecedented incident, but better planning was needed.

The point I would like to make however, having worked with BP on preparations as well as many other similar companies, they were far better prepared than most. Except for cutting back considerably on their communications and emergency response staff as part of overall corporate leaning efforts, they did take crisis communications more seriously than most other oil companies and far more than most other major corporations. Yet, it was far from enough.

Another key point: managing expectations: But one standout point was the need to ensure expectations are managed when the entire world is watching. This referred specifically to the ongoing efforts to cap the leak on the sea bed, during which the understanding of the degree of testing and due process required to be successful wasn’t nurtered as it could have been. That led to most people assuming that BP was throwing the kitchen sink (not literally, obviously) at the hole in desperate bids to plug it, rather than had a clear and proven process for successful resolution.

Media coverage. I would next expect Mr. Hayward to take the media to task further than his reference to “vicious.” But he does make the very telling point that there seems to be a huge gap between the media’s treatment of an event like this and how the public perceives that coverage. The blog post said: He said most people in the UK shake his hand and say they believe the media coverage and US Government’s intervention was over the top, while he told of a visit to New York City late last year when Americans approached him to say much the same.

What has social media done to crisis communications? In his words, the “viral media” created an immense burden on the communication team, on top of the impossible-to-meet demands for information from conventional media. At its height there were 50 people at BP working around the clock purely on countering “inaccurate” information being posted on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking platforms. It was a social media storm the likes of which the world had never seen before and hasn’t seen since. For the team trying to manage it, the pressure was immense and the tide impossible to turn around.

Bottom line: Crisis communications as a way of life: It was the mother of all ways to pinpoint that the people at the very top of businesses need to be not only in the media glare in the event of a crisis, but that they must make communication capabilities and process part of the organisation’s lifeblood at all times.

If that last sentence starting with the “people at the very top of business” was printed and posted on the wall outside of every senior executive’s office, we would be well ahead.

Stories now challenging conventional wisdom on BP

It is of course far too late to have any real impact on BP’s shattered reputation, but we are starting to see a whole different kind of story emerge about the spill. One that is far more complete, comprehensive, nuanced and–accurate.

The best of all is the story in this issue of New Yorker (yes, the New Yorker.) If I was voting on Pulitzer Prizes I’d award one for this article, in part because it so flagrantly violates the conventional wisdom built by months of media madness and political posturing. I urge you to read it. You have to subscribe to get the whole story, or buy it on the newstand, but here is an abstract.

I’ve also just become aware of a story in PR Week, unfortunately also only available completely by subscription, that focuses on the reputation issues. While I disagree with some of the comments of others, I of course agree with myself and my comments as quoted in this. For example, one commenter talked about the question the media raised about who was in charge, BP or the government. The comment was that the government took a stronger hand once BP’s gaffe’s were made. Not true. The administration (vs. Coast Guard who was initially running the response) initially removed all government agency logos from the website and insisted on calling it BP’s spill, that BP was to clean it up and it was their job to hold their boot on the neck. When the blame thus shifted to the federal government for this kind of “it’s not our problem” response, there was an about face and they then strongly took the position they were in charge. Per ICS and NIMS, they had full authority all along. It was all part of the politics.

But the article overall highlights the sea change in crisis communication brought about by the spill and BP’s (and Unified Command’s) use of digital technology:

Many observers have said digital communications truly came to the forefront as a response tool during this crisis. According to O’Brien’s Response Management, whose PIER (Public Information Emergency Response) system was used by BP to manage daily public affairs operations, the Deepwater Horizon website generated more than 150 million page impressions from April 22 to September. At the height of the crisis, from late May to mid-June, it sustained an average of more than 3 million impressions per day.

More than 60,000 comments were submitted to the Deepwater Horizon website, the Facebook page connected with 40,000 “fans” by mid-August, and the Twitter handle connected with more than 8,500 followers by mid-August during the peak of the response. Baron says five to seven staffers were focused on managing and responding to inquiries.

“BP did raise the bar in crisis communications,” says Chris Gidez, US director of risk management and crisis communication for Hill & Knowlton. “Show me a company that did or invested as much in communications. Its website was incredibly substantive, very interactive, immediate, and dynamic. I don’t know if this is part of their decision process, but clearly they didn’t want any comparisons to the passive response of Exxon Valdez.”

This article in PR Week, actually came out before the Orlando Sentinel blog post which similarly highlighted BP’s level of preparation and their use of technology in helping communicate.


Similarly, Financial Times post by David Bowen highlighted the difference between BP’s (and the government’s) communication efforts to the poor performance of the government of Japan in their current disaster. Here’s the lead:

How important is your website in an emergency? The Japanese earthquake has jolted me into looking at this again, though it is something I spent much of last year pondering. BP’s online response to the Gulf of Mexico disaster should make every company rethink the role of its online presence; and quite possibly of its press office too.

I’ve had conversations with others who have gained their impressions about BP through the media and they note BP’s woeful lack of preparation. Bowen quite correctly contradicts that:

BP has long had a ‘dark site’ ready to launch in a crisis. It used it when the Texas City refinery exploded in 2005, and during a number of hurricane emergencies following that. The site is notably robust, and is set up to handle queries and channel them to the right place for response. It was launched after the Deepwater Horizon rig sank, but not under the BP brand: instead it was a shared platform with the US government and other companies. I noticed that after a while the group was shifting emphasis away from it, towards bp.com and other sites it owned.

By the way, Mr. Bowen, the reason for the shift which you astutely noted, is that BP was “disinvited” from the JIC, or government communication function, effectively ending the collaborative communication that has marked all spills since 1990. That “disinvitation” hangs as a cloud over the plans of all companies preparing to respond to spills not certain if in the future the federal government will turn on them, the Responsible Party, or return to the much better path of collaborative response.

Still, it is very heartening to see that finally some recognition is forthcoming, and some challenges to the overwhelming picture that was so incomplete and in many ways so falsely presented about this event.

Media self-criticism of spill coverage begins to emerge

This is a most heartening sign. I and a few others have complained vigorously about the media coverage of the spill. One thing I complained about was that there were no voices within the media to say, wait a minute, things aren’t quite what we are saying they are. That seems to be starting to change.

Here’s an outstanding commentary from Mike Thomas of the Orlando Sentinel, referencing a story in the New Yorker (of all places!). I haven’t read the whole story yet since I’m not a subscriber but I’m going to run out and get a copy as soon as I can.

Thomas sums up the situation with remarkably brevity: “Much of what you saw in the media was not reality. It was a scripted show.”

That is a remarkable assessment from a member of today’s journalism cohort. Thomas explains what he means by a “scripted show.”

I recall a spill scientist, frustrated by the sensational reporting, asking me why the media continue to “believe the loudest and most radical voice.”

This was my answer: “In stories like this, we follow a template. We seek villains and doomsday scenarios because they drive the storyline. And so everything BP does is driven by evil intent.  Everything (the federal government) does is to cover up evil. We then create heroes to battle the evil. And as the information begins trickling in that contradicts the storyline, it doesn’t matter. The big tent has folded up and people have lost interest. So there is no accountability.”

Those of you who have read Now is Too Late2: Survival in an Era of Instant News, will recognize the good and evil reference–black hats and white hats. My theory has been that as news entered primetime (with 60 Minutes) it adopted the forms of entertainment that it has replaced. Specifically the dramatic form known as melodrama, with simplified story lines and audience-satisfying defeats of the bad guys. Why? Because this is what works today and the game is attract and hold an audience or go the way of (insert name of any of a thousand or ten thousand media outlets that have died recently).

Those of you who have been reading crisisblogger during the spill know how I feel about Billy Nungesser and Anderson Cooper’s infatuation with him. So I especially like this comment of Thomas:

But there was plenty of drama. CNN fell in love with Billy Nungesser, a colorful Louisiana parish president who lashed out in his Cajun accent at the feds. Oh, how the big-city media love this shtick.

So, with the New Yorker and the likes of Thomas from the Sentinel beginning to become more critical of the news coverage of the spill, I feel vindicated. But that is not the point. The most important point I have tried to make in the oil industry and executive briefings I have had the opportunity of doing in the past few months is to understand the nature of today’s media environment. This kind of analysis will help us understand it better.

Jack Fuller’s book “What is Happening to News” will help even more because he has the credibility of a major media editor (Chicago Tribune). Now, even our Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is bringing the sad state of our media to light–comparing it negatively to Al Jazeera.

For crisis communicators, understanding this environment is the beginning point of effective crisis communication strategy. If you are a big company, particularly one with already low trust ratings–like Big Oil–and something goes terribly wrong on your watch, you WILL have the black hat on. You will NOT get a fair shake. You are the TOOL by which the media will do their job of inflaming public opinion to secure ratings necessary for them to stay alive. So, what do you do about it?

The sad thing is that most crisis communication strategies rely on the tried and untrue method of pushing out press releases in the vain hope of getting their message out and getting fair coverage. That simply is not the game that is played. Yes, you must continue to deal with the media. And you must continue to work with them to try and get truth conveyed. But if you understand that their concern is not “reality” but the “scripted show” then you can deal realistically with how to communicate. And more and more that means identifying in advance those people most important to your future, establishing an on-going conversation with them in advance of anything bad happening, and then when it does happen, tell them the truth, the whole truth and nothing but. Your primarily role in dealing with the media in this view, is to monitor, then be quick with corrections and balancing information to bring some reality to their scripted show.


See you at PRSA? Speaking on Reputation Resilience

If you happen to be going to the PRSA International Conference in Washington DC this coming weekend, I’d like to cordially invite you to my presentation on Sunday afternoon. I’ll be speaking on Reputation Resilience–why some companies are destroyed by crises and why others come through just fine or even in better shape than before. This topic was submitted and accepted prior to the gulf spill which started on April 20, but having been involved in the communications of that event I’ll be discussing BP from a reputation resilience standpoint as well.

Also, during the exhibit hours I’ll be hanging out around the PIER booth so please do stop by and say hi.

Oil spill damage–let the backtracking begin

Here at least is a scientist with some integrity and honesty. Dr. Crozier, an expert on Gulf of Mexico ecology, admits that he played a role in creating a doomsday scenario around the Gulf spill, a scenario that is proving to be wrong. Before I go further and get attacked for “defending BP” full disclosure–I’ve worked with BP for years and have supported them in this spill, so I will say as I have said before that the spill should never have happened, that the damage created is horrendous, and it is tragic to see the impact on people’s lives and the environment. However, now it is becoming quite clear that much of the reporting and public reaction was overblown.

That is not at all surprising and is totally to be expected. It is how I try to advise clients if they find themselves with the black hat on in a major disaster such as this. Why? Because the media is in a hyper-competitive environment and they fight every day against every other media outlet (including social media and blogs) to get attention–it is the only way they are going to survive. They do it by playing on the three things certain to get attention: FUD–fear, uncertainty and doubt. You don’t win the media war by saying, hey everyone, things are looking pretty rosy. Now, they don’t “create” the news. But they do find “experts” who will say what needs to be said in order to generate a headline or a TV teaser certain to get attention. And the likes of Dr. Crozier and many others provided that opportunity.

It’s just the way things are. But two things really bother me about this. One, is the public never seems to understand this and take this game into consideration in their perceptions of an event. Which is why I am so adamant about going direct with your information at every opportunity. I read reecently (and I’m going to look at the research closer) that the public is pretty happy with the coverage on the spill. They shouldn’t be–but how would they know how much misinformation is conveyed if no one will counter it? Second thing is the media never admits culpability. Unlike Dr. Crozier who is willing to admit that he played a part in creating hysteria, he was a tool, a pawn so to speak, in the hands of the media who had everything to gain from this hysteria. I just wish someone, maybe even NYT, would come around to saying, you know, some of our reporting was a little overheated. Ain’t gonna happen.

Vacation musings–it's a beautiful, ugly world

If it seems crisisblogger has been quiet lately it is because I was enjoying an absolutely wonderful family vacation in the San Juan Islands. When you combine the delights of spending time with your beautiful wife, three grown children, their wonderful spouses, and seven angelic (usually) grandchildren all under the age of seven, along with the majestic beauty of the San Juans, what can be better? The weather was great, and we were successful on two out of four whale watching adventures in my little boat.

What can I say, other than it is a beautiful world and if we have eyes to see it we can catch glimpses of Eden through the veil of this life. However, the veil is there and while the vacation gave some respite from thoughts about crisis management, BP, the Gulf Spill and all that, it also provides some time to get perspective. And the perspective I have on the overall situation is that it is a beautiful, ugly world.

There are few things uglier than the sight of millions of gallons of dirty oil spewing into water inhabited by so many good things and on which so many people depend. To think that this tragedy is caused by ordinary people making bad mistakes makes it more painful for all of us to endure. Our natural reaction is anger, frustration, rage. The spewing forth of this anger matches in ugliness that which came from a mile deep. But there are some differences. The investigation into the spill will no doubt get focused on a few key decisions that had they been made differently would make all the difference. But the spewing forth of vitriol that has accompanied this is not the decision of a few, but of millions. And it is fed by the economic necessity of our desperate media whose only response to the hyper competitive environment they are in is to find a flame of anger and fan it to the greatest extent possible. This too is great ugliness.

This is not just my cynical observation and obsession. “Bagehot,” the pseudononymous columnist for the Economist made this comment about the media in his farewell column in the July 3 issue of The Economist. He is referring to British media but what he says about them can be said even more about American media: “The British newspaper business cultivates provocation rather than consideration. The crowdedness of the market mean people feel a need to yell to be heard; for all their virtues, political blogs and the Internet have intensified the competition and the shrillness, making analysis ever more instant and intrusive.”  Provocation rather than consideration–a wonderful but somehow too quiet way of saying what we face in media coverage around an event like this spill.

Bagehot goes on to comment about the British voters. He is a British political commentator so he writes from that perspective but what he says about politicians applies also to business leaders, particularly when caught in the cross hairs of a major crisis: “British voters seem increasingly inclined to think of their politicians as either heroes or (more often) villains. There is little room for honest mistakes or good intentions gone awry, and little sympathy for the challenges of reconciling competing public priorities. The puerile simplicity of some political coverage, Bagehot submits, reflects a broader and worrying immaturity in the way the country thinks about politics and government.”

Again, in such an understated British way Bagehot has captured the ugliness of our world as it relates to this monstrous event. The problem is, of course, I know many of the people involved, both with the US Coast Guard and BP. I have known many of them for years. These are the villains that have been so thoroughly demonized in the press and in the political firestorm that most of you and the public cannot even any longer conceive of them as decent, respectable, intelligent and honorable human beings. This demonizing it is not at all unlike what happens in a war. Having written a book on a fighter pilot who survived Buchenwald, I have become aware of what happens to both the victim and the perpetrator in the process of dehumanization. That is what is happening here. When you turn someone else into sub-human, it not only destroys them, it destroys you. The people of BP are not perfect. But neither am I and neither or you. No doubt terrible mistakes have been made. But I would bet my life no decision was made with any intent to destroy people’s lives and the environment. If I am wrong, I hope it is revealed and the evil is punished. In the meantime, the judgment goes on every day in the media coverage, in blogs, in conversation, in the criminal process, and in a zillion lawyers offices.

I urge you to be cautious in your own judgments about those who have already been accused, tried, and convicted. Remember, it is not only the victim of unjust dehumanization that is damaged in the process. We have enough ugliness in the world without adding to it.

On BP reputation issues–Reuters gets it wrong, Dezenhall gets it right

It’s been fascinating to me to watch the PR pundits deal with BP’s reputation issues. I haven’t commented too much because BP is longtime client in crisis communication and I and others in my company are involved in this situation–that means anything I say will be dismissed by those who disagree and I can’t be as free to comment as I would be if I was not involved.

Reuters has an in-depth article about BP’s PR blunders–a topic that seems to provide endless fascination for the PR press as well as general media. A number of excellent points are made in this article, in addition to the tiresome re-hash of supposed gaffes. For example, the oft-repeated sloppy journalism story about BP’s faulty initial flow estimates–as I pointed out before only Factcheck.org and the Rolling Stone got this right–these were estimates from Unified Command. These were government estimates. Then of course there is the statement by CEO Hayward that he wanted his life back. This is simply unfair–silly perhaps to make a comment like that when so many in the gulf would like their life back, but it seems rather obvious that he was trying to say that there are few people more eager to get the hole plugged and the oil cleaned up more than him. Still, a vitally important media training lesson. Don’t allow your CEO (or Chairman for that matter) to just talk endlessly off the cuff for hours and days on end because sooner or later they will say something that the sharks will bite on.

But while no doubt BP has made a number of serious PR mistakes, this article misses the main point. Of all the commentators on BP’s PR problems, the only one I’ve seen who got it seriously right is Eric Dezenhall. I’ve been a fan of Eric for a long time–I quoted him from his book “Nail ‘Em” quite often when I wrote my book Now Is Too Late. I learned a lot from him about the nature of the media and the truly ugly game infotainment has become.

Here’s what Eric says in the Reuters article:

“PR is not the antidote to what’s happening here. Whenever something like this happens it is a 100 percent certainty that the public relations will be deemed to be botched,” said Eric Dezenhall, a crisis PR specialist for almost 30 years,

Washington-based Dezenhall said BP’s communications efforts must be judged over the longer term.

“All of these PR chestnuts that sound wonderful in a college class, about apologizing and contrition, there is very, very weak data to show these cliches bear out in reality.”

As to where I stand, I have been doing a series of by invitation only webinars and at the end I discuss why the public opinion about BP and the spill response is so bad, considering that earlier on they were doing a pretty darn good job of communicating about what was going on (in my opinion that has deteriorated badly in the last few weeks). Here are my reasons:

1) Media blame game-it’s just the way media is done these days, particularly around big disasters where people are getting killed or hurt bad. Everyday they have to come up with something new to compete for the eyes on the screen or page and what sells is “new revelation” of dastardly deeds or incompetent failures.

2) Politics–politics is simply going to be involved in events of this magnitude. Elections are at stake. Lots of them. And this fact combined with the media blame game means all elected officials from the president to parish presidents are doing their absolute darndest to 1) avoid any of the blame game falling of them and 2) get credit for anything good that happens. In this case, BP provides a completely understandable foil for every political message related to those two point. So all the blame is going to fall on them, and all the credit will be assumed by others–and not much BP can do about it.

3) Ignorance of Unified Command–its clear that few in this country understand the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 that has been driving much of the response and communications, nor do they understand the National Incident Management System or Incident Command System and the Joint Information Center concept.This ignorance has led to some very stupid things being said by politicians, by the press and by pundits.

4) The industry everyone loves to hate. All the reputation studies show that the oil industry is near the bottom of the list in public trust. So every oil company executive starts every day in a deep reputation hole. This is of their own doing in many ways, but the fact is that public opinion is not favorable to fossil fuels and getting less favorable every day–even while we consume like crazy. It’s one thing if a candy company has a crisis, its quite another if an oil company does. By the way, only the media business has a lower trust rating–how ironic.

5) Toxic talk–this is the lack of civility and decency in our public discourse, so well documented by the recent WeberShandwick study. Over 50,000 people have submitted comments to the response and to BP through the response website and BP’s state response websites. A great many have been very very negative–a disconcerting number threaten violence. It’s a sad part of our culture but it contributes to an overall attitude of animosity, venom and cultural dis-ease.

6) It’s a very very bad event–this is undoubtedly the biggest reason. The fact is that oil continues to flow as it has for over two months. It is still not stopped and the threat to people, environment and wildlife continues to grow. People cannot understand how this can happen and why it can’t be stopped. It makes everyone furious and frustrated. So, whether you are at fault or not, if you stand up and say, we are responsible you are going to take the brunt of that anger and frustration. That’s far beyond any PR fix.

7) BP mistakes–yep, there have been a number. Mistakes of omission and commission. Avoidable mistakes and a lot of “spinning” of bad information and minor gaffes. But BP cannot avoid responsibility for their situation entirely. But, like Dezenhall suggests, it makes more sense when trying to analyze this for future crises, to consider the whole picture.

I once went to a doctor who advised me if I wanted to live long that I should pick my parents carefully. If BP, or any other company wants to protect its reputation, don’t dump gazillions of gallons of oil into any water.

Gulf Spill propels technology advances in crisis communication

The communicators involved in the Gulf Spill are aggressively using technology of all kinds to help get the story of the spill and response out. We’ve seen that, particularly earlier on with this event, with their use of social media. One of the biggest is the use of live video feeds. I commented on this today on emergencymgmt.com. It is a virtual certainty that any kind of major event, particularly anyone drawing the kind of media and political activity that this one has, will require a live video feed. It will either be provided by those involved, or citizens will find a way to offer it themselves.

As I mention in the emergency management blog, high quality video production just got a whole lot easier. Citizen journalists are suddenly equipped with what used to take a gazillion bucks and a Hollywood studio full of artists and technicians.

Another example of technology being used to help the public get information was just released today: the widget. Add it to any website and it will give you a real-time feed of the latest news, tweets and links from the deepwaterhorizonresponse.com website.

Give it a try. Not just because it kind of slick and cool and will help keep you better informed of what is going on with this event, but because it will give you an idea of what you will have to be able to plan and manage if you find yourself deep in it.

T. Boone Pickens and Arnold Schwarzenegger–cures for what ails us

I watched T. Boone Pickens on Larry King last night talking about the spill. About the first reasonable perspective I have seen given any air time on this event. Larry asked him about the oil that BP was capturing from the well through the containment device and if BP was making a profit on that oil. Pickens looked at him like “are you out of your pea picking mind?” Of course BP isn’t making money on the spill given the millions it is costing them every day. To be fair, I think Pickens missed the point of the question–I think Larry meant to ask if the oil being captured was being sold or processed and how much money was involved in that.

Pickens appearance reminded me that what this event needs is Arnold Schwarzenegger. I recall when California was facing big wildfires the media starting doing their regular and expected thing. They found someone disgruntled with the fire department and accused them of having a bunch of aircraft sitting on the ground not doing anything. Truth was they were temporarily restrained due to high winds. But instead of letting the media get by with the blame game and building a head of steam around the all-too-expected failure to respond story, the Governor took them head on. He was angry, he was direct. I don’t recall the exact statement but it was to the effect that anyone who suggests we are not doing everything we possibly can is ignorant or a liar and he won’t put up with it. He all but called them girly-men.

That is one thing that is desperately needed in this response–Pickens came the closest I have seen to showing disgust for how this event is being treated politically and in the media. The truth is the response is being conducted on an unprecedented scale. The technology, the brain power, the dedication, the effort is just incredible. And despite the terrible circumstances, battles are being won every day. But that is a story no media outlet fighting for its life can afford to tell.

Someone needs to tell Anderson Cooper that he is being far from honest, letting alone keeping anyone else honest. Someone needs to tell the NYT who almost daily comes up with some angle to say BP is being dishonest about this or that they should see that the news that is fit to print includes the heroic effort going on right now by some terrific people doing their very best. Someone needs to stand up and say all those who see in this event only the opportunity to grab viewers and place blame are, well, just girly-men.