The British press, enraged over the handling of the Gulf oil spill by their namesake oil company, have come out swinging against both the BP CEO Tony Hayward and President Obama, for what they call the incompetent handling of the crisis.
The Economist magazine on Friday came out in support not just of a British company but of business itself, which it judged to be unfairly maligned in the spill fiasco.
"America's justifiable fury with BP is degenerating into a broader attack on business," the Economist's editors wrote in today's lead editorial.
The Economist expressed concern that business leaders who are "already gloomy, depressed by the economy and nervous of their president's attitude towards them" will likely not be encouraged by the treatment of BP.
Because Obama's now pushing "firms into doing his bidding" — the magazine's characterizaion of efforts to hold BP responsible for an environmental catastrophe of its own making — the Economist draws parallels between the president and Russia's strong-armed former president and current prime minister. Hence the editors' new nickname: "Vladimir Obama."
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