Waxman Wants to Know: How Much Has BP Spent on Ads?

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Last month, I estimated that BP had spent at least $5.6 million on ads in major newspapers alone to promote its “recovery” efforts. That was as of June; the company has spent plenty more since then, and plenty on television and web ads, too. How much? Well, Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, wants to know. He sent the BP America CEO Lamar McKay a letter this week demanding a detailed accounting of the oil giant’s ad buys.

Waxman demands that the company provide “a chart identifying the total amount spent on advertisements placed, published, or aired by, or on behalf of, BP” since the April 20 disaster—radio, TV, print, and web. The ads are still running in major papers (I saw one in the Sunday Washington Post last weekend).

I’ll be interested to see how much the company has forked out in promoting itself over the past four months. I’d guess $5.6 million is just a tiny slice.

Special Report: Check out our in-depth investigation of BP’s crimes in the Gulf, “BP’s Deep Secrets.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

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Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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