The British media are mightily offended over what they see as anti-British rhetoric in the administration's attacks on BP. My feeling is that the specifically anti-UK element in the U.S. reaction to the oil spill has so far been impressively slight--and far smaller than would be the anti-US reaction in Britain if the case were reversed. Americans seem no angrier with BP than they would be with one of their own oil companies. I don't think they care one way or the other that the firm is British.Even if this counterfactual didn't happen off of the British coast, but rather involved an American oil company spilling oil on American shores, you can imagine the mood on BBC News: "American oil company destroys environment, spill due to lax regulations, bad corporate management, when will they learn?"
Of course, I can't prove the hypothetical, but in the first weeks of the spill I noticed how muted British news had been over the BP-spill matter (yes, I watch it often). So I am furious - yes, let me repeat that- furious when I see the British media canting obscenely about the victimization of a UK company. An outrage, made more corrosive by the fact that the American mood has been so mature (in this case) regarding where to lay blame for the gusher (it's not really a 'spill' anymore, is it?).
They should stop whining. Now. People will get mad, closest ally or not.