Friday, July 07, 2006

Birds of a feather

Vladimir Putin has a PR firm in the run-up to the G8 summit in "St Pete" (as Bush will call it):

The Kremlin has launched a huge publicity drive, with the help of Ketchum, an American PR firm, to counter critics of its campaign to curb democracy.

The PR team denies having anything to do with “that kiss”. It is, however, helping to organise media events like the webcast to give Mr Putin a chance to explain his policies to a Western audience.

This would be the same firm that figured in the White House pundit payola scandal:

The contract, detailed in documents obtained by USA TODAY through a Freedom of Information Act request, also shows that the Education Department, through the Ketchum public relations firm, arranged with [Armstrong] Williams to use contacts with America's Black Forum, a group of black broadcast journalists, "to encourage the producers to periodically address" [No Child Left Behind] NCLB. He persuaded radio and TV personality Steve Harvey to invite Paige onto his show twice. Harvey's manager, Rushion McDonald, confirmed the appearances.

Williams said he does not recall disclosing the contract to audiences on the air but told colleagues about it when urging them to promote NCLB.

What happens when two world leaders with the same spinners come into contact with each other?

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