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.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Scrushy Scandal Expands: The Scrushy payola scandal has now expanded to include Charlie Russell, a well-known Denver area public relations executive who says he paid faux-journalist Audrey Lewis $2,500 on behalf of the embattled HealthSouth CEO. He says the money was an advance for possible work after Scrushy’s fraud trial was concluded—although Lewis never actually did any of that work.

I’m not going to comment on the Scrushy-Lewis story that they took pity on Lewis because she was “a nice Christian woman that we thought had been treated badly” (Scrushy) and “one of her relatives died in Detroit and she lacked funds to get to the funeral.” Suffice it to say that a 40-point headline above the fold in the Denver Post does little to restore the reputation of either journalism or public relations.

We’re a full year on from the Armstrong Williams debacle, and this kind of ethically indefensible behavior seems to be more prevalent than ever.

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