Thursday, July 1, 2010

"In Pictures: Would BP's CEO Have Been Executed In China?' (BP)

This is hilarious. And note perfect.
From Forbes:
Some time ago we reached the "China Zone" for the BP story. The China Zone is where you are ready to believe any story you hear happened in the country, because no matter how unbelievable it is, you just think to yourself, "Ha, that's China!"
It has reached the point where we will believe anything we hear about BP. Tony Hayward spear-fishing for The Little Mermaid, as The Daily Showrecently posited? Only implausible because she is a fictional creature. (Inspiration for the China Zone comes from The Sports Guy Bill Simmons' "Tyson Zone" at
I came to this realization as I tried to imagine how the BP oil spill would have unfolded if it had happened in China. In recognition of China's tendency to do everything roughly 1,000 times faster than in the West, I imagined the crisis reaching its conclusion in just 10 days. --Gady Epstein 
Day One
What if...? An explosion ruptures a well that is run by BP and its Chinese partner CNOOC (the company that tried to buy Unocal five years ago, only to lose out to Chevron), letting loose a gusher of oil into the waters of Bohai Bay, less than 200 miles southeast of Beijing. CNOOC's offshore rig, the Harmonious Tranquility, sinks in the accident.
Day Two
What if...? No mention is made of the oil spill in state media. CCTV, the national TV giant--imagine a U.S. government-owned merger of the networks owned by Time Warner, CBS and General Electric, and you're a fraction of the way there--instead airs a short feature on "beautiful Bohai Bay." The piece extols China's commitment to preserving its natural wonders and notes cryptically, "China is still a developing country and is held to an unfair double standard, unlike Western countries that have been allowed to pollute wantonly first and then clean up their environment."
Day Three
What if...? Rumors of a disastrous oil spill are all over the Web. Netizens post updated Google Earth satellite photos on Chinese portals Sina and Sohu only to see them removed immediately by censors. Chinese search engine Baidu directs queries for "Bohai Bay oil spill" to Web pages trumpeting China's pressing need for energy security. Aggressive Chinese media outlets, trying to circumvent strict instructions from propaganda officials, report obliquely that fishermen in Bohai Bay are complaining they cannot leave shore due to an "atypical ocean event"--a phrase that immediately becomes a trending topic on Chinese Twitter clones.
Day Four
What if...? The oil spill is now officially news. Premier Wen Jiabao, cutting short a trip to a Zambian copper mine, races to the disaster zone. Outfitted in fishing attire, Wen cleans the oil from a seabird and consoles Chinese fishermen. He promises the government will "resolutely" defend China's natural resources against the "atypical ocean event."
"I understand the pain that you are going through," Wen says, holding back tears. "We will unswervingly dedicate the Communist Party Central Committee to the goal of achieving an overall moderately prosperous society." Images of sympathetic "Grandpa Wen" blanket the state media.
Do not miss days 6,8,9 and 10.