Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Did the Bush Administration Spy on Kerry PR Man?: There's an interesting buzz in the liberal blogosphere right now about a question posed by NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell to New York Times reporter James Risen, who broke the warrentless wiretapping story and whose book State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration is among Amazon's top 20 best-selling books. The blogosphere being what it is, this could be a storm in a teacup or the beginning of the tsunami. But it is interesting.

The initial transcript of Mitchell's interview with Risen included the following exchange.

Mitchell: Do you have any information about reporters being swept up in this net?
Risen: No, I don't. It's not clear to me. That's one of the questions we'll have to look into the future. Were there abuses of this program or not? I don't know the answer to that
Mitchell: You don't have any information, for instance, that a very prominent journalist, Christiane Amanpour, might have been eavesdropped upon?
Risen: No, no I hadn't heard that.
NBC has now removed the reference to Amanpour from the transcript, but says the possible use of a wiretap on her phone is "a topic on which we had not completed our reporting," which suggests an ongoing investigation.

The fact that the Bush administration might have been eavesdropping on a prominent reporter is troubling. But not as troubling as the fact that it might also have listened in on the phone conversations of her husband, James Rubin, a public relations executive who used to work at M&A specialist Brunswick Group but is probably better known as a senior aide to President Clinton and foreign policy advisor to Senator John Kerry during his presidential campaign against President Bush.

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