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.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Ketchum Kudos: The G8 summit has been at best a mixed success for the Russian hosts—there is only so much lipstick you can put on a pig—but Ketchum, which was brought on board to convince people of Russia’s commitment to democratic ideals, earned some kudos for a two-hour webcast in which he fielded “more than 162,000 questions ranging from when he lost his virginity to why he kissed a five-year-old boy on the stomach during a Red Square walkabout last week.” There were, of course, more serious questions about Chechnya and North Korea, and Russia’s relationship with the U.S., which can hardly have been improved by a testy exchange between Putin and President Bush.

After Bush suggested that Russia should establish a democracy with a free press and free religion, like the one the U.S. hopes to establish in Iraq, the Russian premier retorted, not unreasonably that “We certainly would not want to have the same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq, quite honestly.” Don’t suppose Ketchum scripted that zinger. (Bush’s point about a free press was later undermined by the fact that the exchange was purged from the initial White House transcript of the conversation.)

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