This Week’s Cartoon: “The Tale of Tarball Timmy”

One thing I don’t get about this whole oil spill fiasco is why BP insists on denying or downplaying scientific facts about the leak. I’m sorry, I mean the death fountain. It’s not like we aren’t going to find out that there are, in fact, giant billowing plumes of schmutz spiraling out into the Gulf six ways from Sunday. We’re well past the point of spin here, BP! Seems like they’d have less of a PR problem if they just said “Yeah, we really screwed the pooch on this one. Words can’t even express how awful this is. We suck.”

In other news, I’m off to Portland OR tomorrow for 3.5 days of drinking with the nation’s editorial cartoonists. I’ll try to post from AAEC as I can.


  • Tom

    I loved this one. When I first saw this one, my reaction was that Gary Trudeau will be jealous!

  • Michael Welle

    After thinking about it I was reminded of a time when I was watching the summer Olympics with my older brother back in 1992 and the announcer mentioned the exciting unveiling of the new mascot for the 1996 summer olympics. It was like a moment out of “The Simpsons”. The announcer said something like: “the all new…’What IS IT?’” It was this blue blob thing with golden rings on it. We both laughed heartily. Your comic is not far from the truth.

  • Michael Welle
  • Jen Sorensen

    Tom: Thanks! As a matter of fact, Tarball Timmy and Mr. Butts belong to the same country club.

    Michael: Wow, that’s quite an amazing… uh… thing.

  • Tom Schmidt

    Why doesn’t BP just fess up? Among other things to limit their liability. For the myriad court cases they’re going to be tied up in for the next decade they want the numbers as low as possible. Plumes? What Plumes? There’s no Plumes. Bp scientists said so.

    The bigger picture is that corporations are nation states in a way, at least corporations of BP’s size are. Controlling information is what they do. Corporate propaganda (read: corporate misinformation) is a multi-billion dollar business in itself. Why did BP buy up oil spill related search terms. To control the information.

    Make no mistake, when BP is in court they will stick to their story. The facts be damned. Any BP employee that would actually say “Yeah, we really screwed the pooch on this one. Words can’t even express how awful this is.” would be summarily fired, and likely find him or herself on the receiving end of some kind of shareholder lawsuit.

    Sorry, that’s reality in a world run by corporations.

  • Bill Freese

    Yes, Tom Schmidt, even if BP employees want to speak candidly, they can’t say a word or make a move without being attacked publicly and privately, so they speak and move as little as possible. It is almost as if they were trapped in some viscous fluid.

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.