The Oil Spill and What Caused this Summer’s Economic Disaster

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by October 21, 2010 • 18 comments

The BP Effect series is brought to you by attorneys Reich & Binstock and Seeger Weiss LLP, which are helping businesses in Panama City Beach recover losses sustained directly and indirectly from the Deep Water Horizon oil spill. They can help your business too,

With The BP Effect article series, I keep seeing a resounding theme of comments, and I wanted to clear something up.

The cause of the “disaster” part of this whole incident was two fold and without both of them, there would have been no “disaster” here in Panama City Beach.  The word “disaster” in terms of how Panama City Beach was effected relates not to how much oil was on the beach (because there was practically no product EVER reported on our beaches), but to how our area was effected ECONOMICALLY.  The first was the actual BP oil spill.  Had that not happened, the second wouldn’t have been a factor.

The second causal element wouldn’t have been relevant had the BP oil spill never happened.  The second is how the media responded to the incident and it’s ripple effect it had on our area – or shall I say tidal wave effect it had on our area.  The old adage, “blood sells” was never more true than this summer, only with this summer, it was more like “oil sells.”  Media outlets all over the country wanted a piece of the action, willing to do whatever it took to get the traffic.  In this interview with Pam Anderson, one of the owners of Captain Anderson’s Marina, she recalled a reporter standing on the beach in Fort Walton telling her viewers that in one week from that point, those pristine white sandy beaches would be black, covered in oil.  That never happened, and there was no way for that reporter to know whether it would.  But you can sure bet she captured her viewers attention.

Reporting like this was duplicated all over the country, mis-information spread like wildfire and out-of-towners were convinced that oil covered the Gulf Coast, when the reality couldn’t have been further from the truth.  The extremely careless part of this frivolous reporting was the media not recognizing how much of a dramatic effect this would have on people, at the individual level.  People ultimately lost jobs, families went hungry, businesses went out of business, not only because of an oil spill that happened dozens upon dozens of miles away, but because the way it was reported was ALL WRONG.

We recognized early on how important it was to have regular and consistent pictures and video published on all our channels (here, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube), showing the real picture of what it was like down here.  it was amazingly beautiful all summer long.  But we could barely work against the negative media that was spreading the fallacy of us having oil on our beaches.  We were repeatedly called liars and fabricators, accused of publishing videos of the sections of the beach that had no oil and not telling anyone about all the supposed oil that was being reported to have been washed ashore.  People that were not in this area were telling us that there was oil on our beaches and that we were lying when we said there wasn’t.

So, what caused this summer’s economic disaster?  The BP oil spill AND the way the media handled it.  The disaster wouldn’t have happened without ether one, and they both worked together.  So, now that we’ve got that settled, I’m going to the beach.

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1 James D. October 24, 2010 at 12:04 am

Just like the old mantra from the liberal playbook:
“keep repeating the same thing over and over — eventually people will believe it to be true!”

Who runs the overwhelming majority of all media??
Liberals. Most with a staunch environmental agenda.
By making things sound much worse than in reality — it bolsters the cause!

Hope people across the Florida panhandle have learned the media (with a couple of exceptions) were never on their side! Some media outlets were downright disappointed the beaches weren’t covered in black goo! Drilling has resumed and environmentalists are mad as hell. The Obama White House mantra of “never waste a good crisis” didn’t pan-out as planned. The sands of PCB and the Emerald Coast are still incredibly white and very inviting!!


2 Ron October 25, 2010 at 3:20 pm

It is a delusion and an insult to say that the media are to blame. Real people with limited vacation time and money had to make a choice. They knew there was an oil spill, they could see it was not being plugged. Why should we have expected them to gamble there vacation on whether or not the spill would have stopped, or whether or not the beach would be clean?


3 Greggt October 24, 2010 at 7:53 am

James it is just not a Liberal thing, Fox was as bad as the rest. Both the Right and Left know, bad news sells. If it’s not that bad, let’s stretch it to make it sound worse.


4 jamnolfin October 24, 2010 at 10:55 am

The Obama Whitehouse sent the President here to swim in the water and show people there was no oil here. Make everything out to be political. Every media outlet there was was running oil stories. Obamas approval ratings are over 50% and have nowhere to go but up, most of the really badstuff caused by the Bush administration is starting to be in the rear view mirror.


5 James D. October 24, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Second fact check. . .just for “jamnolfin”:
The photo of our so-called President was staged in St. Andrew Bay. Alligator Point (to be specific) was where the infamous photo was taken showing Obama and his daughter in the water. It was NOT a dip in the Gulf of Mexico as was widely (and erroneously) reported by the media. Of course there was no oil in the water! The worst of the oil never arrived in shallow waters around PCB — and St. Andrew Bay was protected behind a massive boom system deployed at the entrance to the bay.

By the way, Obama’s approval ratings are now hovering below 45%!
According to a recent Gallup Poll, only 41% approve of the job he’s doing. To add insult to injury, just 39% think he even deserves a second term. The only organization showing an approval rating above 50% is Newsweek magazine — widely known as one of the most liberal publications and a consistent cheerleader for the Obama administration. That’s not exactly an “unbiased” source of news — or polling results!


6 James D. October 24, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Greggt – need to fact-check ya’ on FOX News being as bad as the others.
They made a considerable effort to let viewers know our beaches were unscathed and open for business. Almost nightly, for several weeks, Shepard Smith ended his newscast promoting the beaches of our region. Elizabeth Prann did several liveshots from PCB to Destin showing viewers our beaches weren’t spoiled as people were hearing elsewhere. Also, Good Morning America spent several mornings showing-off PCB and telling the masses “the coast is clear here – come on down!”


7 Greggt October 24, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Fox was just like the other sharks in the water James, all the majors were looking for the blood in the water.
By the way, when the Pres was down in PCB, we were under a double red flag, it would not have looked too well for him going into the Gulf.


8 James D, October 25, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Greggt – if they were looking for blood in the water, it was much further west in Gulf Shores, AL and over towards coastal Louisiana. PCB and other areas nearby were touted as the place(s) to be. You can try to group FOX with the others, but facts are stubborn things — and video doesn’t lie! FOX News went above and beyond in providing an accurate picture of where the oil was — and where it wasn’t!

You were correct in saying “all the majors” (ABC, NBC, CBS) were out looking for blood in the water. While they aren’t so major anymore, they are still referred to as such. FOX does not have a national nightly newscast for any of its local affiliates. As far as FOX News (the cable channel), they’re now in their own league since the two closest competitors (CNN, MSNBC) don’t even show-up in Nielsen’s top-rated rankings anymore. Again, facts are stubborn things.


9 Rob N October 25, 2010 at 1:37 pm

yada yada yada.

All of you are blinded to the real deal with both liberals and Conservative politicians. Keep arguing among yourselves while they keep shoveling money out the back door as fast as they ALL can carry it.


10 James D. October 25, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Good point Rob N.
Next Tuesday I plan to brew some tea and have a party as the election returns roll-in!


11 Greggt October 26, 2010 at 7:26 am

More than a good point Rob N, it’s the truth!


12 Cathy October 26, 2010 at 9:16 am

In my opinion what caused all this was a combination of all “bad” things……. BP Oil, “News” placing vacationers in panic and our whole world economic situation. When you have all three of these major things combined yes, many did stay away from the beach & the many who did come to PCB enjoyed themselves. Maybe not quite as well as they have in the past, but they did enjoy themselves.
This is why at Capt. Andersons Marina the fishing boats were sitting. People in economic times tend to spend what money they have on items that they need like a condo, room to sleep in & good food to eat. They will therefore forgo pleasure fishing boat trips that are quite expensive to save their money and do other things with. My husband went out on a 6 hour fishing trip last year. Granted he had a great time & caught fish but, the cost of his trip was rather pricey. Maybe the Andersons Boat Fleet should have lowered their costs to have some people fishing rather than having noone. At least then they would have been collecting money and making somewhat of a profit & vacationers would have been going out, having fun & fishing. But, when companys will not lower prices to take in some funds rather than none…… nothing happens thus $000.00 funds collected.
I’m getting rather bored at people blaming all this on BP Oil…… it’s time others step up & take their fair share to the blame.
Our nation will rise again & slowly rebuild our economy….. it is happening now.


13 Gi October 26, 2010 at 9:45 am

Oil doesn’t vote. Lack of safety on a multi million dollar oil rig can have consequences. So as far as I can tell these comments make practically no sense. I hate to breaknto the Fox fanboys but Obama didn’t spill the oil. And given the wikileaks it probably isn’t the rights finest hour to talk about honesty, a word not present under the previous administration.

Bottom line, let’s hope the large multiple nationals don’t completely gut the nation while destroying the very area we live and that we ALL have a better year next year.


14 James D. October 28, 2010 at 11:48 am

Never said “Obama spilled the oil” — it was truly an accident — but one that could have been prevented if BP was so bent on saving money by cutting corners.

As far as your comment on large multi-nationals. . .if you look at who sits on the boards of those corporations, most have directors that overwhelmingly contribute to democrats and liberal causes!! They’re the same ones you say are “gutting the nation”. Again, facts are stubborn things!


15 James D. October 28, 2010 at 11:50 am

Correction. . .
One that could have been prevented if BP was not so bent on saving money!


16 J October 26, 2010 at 11:49 am

Wake Up America, REALLY??? This failure is the cause of alot of our problems he knows nothing about governing just reading a teleprompter. Show me how he has led this country towards the good path. He is leading us into a dark debt hole never to get out. Our liberties are being stolen piece by peice and yes the media is to blame also they are in his back pocket NBC,ABC & CBS they would never say a bad word abouth their boy!! So you tell me one thing this man has done that is good?? I can answer that NOTHING!!!!! Drink some more koolaid