Remember—we’re now 37 days into the BP oil spill.
3/24/89 - Valdez accident
4/7/89 - 14 days later
“It took him a while to make up his mind. Fourteen days after the oil began pouring out of the Exxon Valdez into Prince William Sound, President Bush has ordered the federal government to take over control of the effort to clean it up, which makes it a hotter political issues, too little too late the Democrats are crying up on Capitol Hill.” - Peter Jennings
4/8/89 - 15 days later
“Decision to send troops (and equipment) is long overdue” - Dallas Morning News
4/15/89 - 22 days later
ALASKAN OIL SPILL; CRISIS NOT UNDER CONTROL DESPITE ALL THE PROMISES….
THE inexcusable delay in the cleanup of the Exxon Valdez oil spill continues. More than a week after President Bush expressed interest in the catastrophe, little federal help has arrived on the oil-soaked beaches of Prince William Sound…” - Seattle Times
4/20/89 - 27 days later
“The Bush administration yesterday faced sharp criticism from the US Congress for not decisively taking control of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, as senators called for new laws that would require the president to direct such clean-up efforts in future.
Senate majority leader George Mitchell said President Bush was "slow to comprehend the magnitude of this disaster" and valuable hours were lost after the Mar 24 spill in Alaska's Prince William Sound when it might still have been controlled.”
4/23/89 - 30 Days Later
How did this press coverage effect Bush? His handling of the environment dropped from 60 percent approval---to 39 percent approval …in 30 days. 21 points in 30 days. This wasn’t just the approval of the handling of the spill---it was his overall handling of the environment----because the news was filled non-stop with oil drenched birds and criticism of the president for not doing enough.
Now, we are far further in, to a much bigger spill, where the government is doing much less---and the media is just (sort of) starting to wake up.