“Guilty Until Flacked” From Forbes
How did media depictions of ex-Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee change so quickly from suspected Chinese spy to sympathetic victim of a bumbling government smear? Hardball Los Angeles flack Michael Sitrick takes some of the credit. Unbeknownst to the public, Sitrick, engaged since the summer by Lee’s lawyers, fanned the flames by challenging all of the government’s “continuing insinuations” and helpfully providing reporters with documents favorable to Lee. Knowing as much as anyone about the value of good publicity, Sitrick waived his normal fee.