Over at The Atlantic, I wrote a piece about the super new news that PR firms sometimes work for sketchy countries.
But it’s easy to misdirect outrage. This lobbying firm appears to have been doing its job — and lobbying firms work for a lot of sketchy groups, not just reporters posing as Uzbek government agents. The real scandal is that a lobbying firm can sell high-level government access to a well-monied client. That the client in this case happens to be an odious regime reviled for its human rights abuses is, in a sense, almost immaterial.
In the U.S., there are lobbyist, public relations, and even law firms for anyone: shady gangsters, evil corporations, corrupt tyrants, churches, NGOs, human rights activists and labor unions, farmers, and whatever else might come along. The effect of these high-powered firms is generally acknowledged but rarely discussed in explicit detail.
More there, as always.