Turkmenistan Reaction: "Lying to Get The Truth" - Mark Lisheron - AJR

Turkmenistan Reaction: "Lying to Get The Truth" - Mark Lisheron - AJR

A powerful article in Harper’s about lobbying in Washington reignites a long-standing debate over the ethics of undercover journalism.

by: Mark Lisheron | publication date: October 1, 2007 | Publication: American Journalism Review | volume: 29 | journal issue: 5 | pages: 29

"Kenneth Case and Ricardo, a fellow consultant for The Maldon Group, sat at a brightly polished conference table for 20, a pitcher of water zested with lemon nearby, and waited for the pitch. Among the bipartisan suits doing the selling were a former aide to Rep. Roy Blunt, the second-ranking Republican in the U.S. House, and Chuck Dolan, a top public relations consultant for the 2004 Kerry-Edwards campaign. There were specialists with serious domestic and political connections and experts in dealing with the nation's top news organizations. Case had come to Cassidy & Associates with a problem. It seems The Maldon Group had considerable interests in Turkmenistan, on the northern borders of Iran and Afghanistan, a country with the fifth-largest reserve of natural gas in the world and a wealth of oil. Investors, however, were having nothing to do with this backward former Soviet republic because, until his death in December 2006, the country had been under the heel of Stalinist despot Saparmurat Niyazov. That Niyazov had been succeeded by his personal dentist, Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, did not exactly kindle confidence. Was it possible, given this climate, that Cassidy & Associates could make the U.S. government see that Berdymukhamedov had reforms planned for Turkmenistan, that things were looking up? Case asked."

A response to the controversy surrounding Ken Silverstein's Harper's article on lobbyists in DC.

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