“I Cannot Recall”

Photo by Kate Sheppard.


Joe Barton (R-Tex.) clearly stole the show at today’s House hearing by apologizing to BP CEO Tony Hayward. But Hayward made a stunning appearance himself. And by stunning, I mean he was unable or unwilling to answer basically every question House members posed to him. Some favorite responses:

“I don’t know.”

“I cannot recall.”

“I am not prepared to draw conclusions about this accident.”

When Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) asked Hayward why he couldn’t weigh in on the questions Waxman and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) sent the CEO earlier this week about evidence that BP’s corner-cutting may have caused the disaster, Hayward finally admitted that they had raised “legitimate areas of concern.” But he would not respond to the questions. “I am not prepared to draw conclusions about this accident until such time that the investigation is concluded,” said Hayward.

He did state, however, that he believes the company’s attention to safety is improving under his watch. “We have focused like a laser on safety,” he said.

The grilling is on hold for now while House members vote, but look forward to more non-responses when the grilling continues this afternoon.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.