Two PR Firms Pitch Bahrain Dictator to U.S. Public

Thursday, March 24, 2011
Michael Petruzzello, CEO of Qorvis
Bahrain’s monarchy, which has been brutally cracking down on protesters seeking political reform in the tiny oil sheikdom, has turned to two American public relations firms in Washington, DC, to help improve the government’s profile.
 
In mid-February, the regime of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa hired Potomac Square Group, a brand new operation started by former Wall Street Journal journalist Chris Cooper. For helping spin Bahrain’s PR crisis, Potomac will be paid $20,000 a month.
 
Already on retainer with Bahrain is Qorvis Communications, one of Washington’s largest PR firms, which began providing communications services to the government last summer.
 
Much of the world was shocked when King Khalifa called in Saudi-led foreign troops to fire on his own citizens. Not to worry in the United States, though. Qorvis helped spin the story for Khalifa by issuing a press release that selectively quoted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by saying that “She affirmed the ‘sovereign right’ of Bahrain to invite security forces from allied countries.”
 
Left out of the release was the fact that Clinton said, “We're alarmed by the situation in Bahrain, and we have spoken very forcefully against the security crackdown, in fact, at the highest levels of the government.” She also said that the country was “on the wrong track.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
 
Bahrain's PR Team (by Paul Blumenthal, Sunlight Foundation)

Comments

Sami Ahmed 9 years ago
i'm from bahrain. dictator brutal khalifas should leave. situation now: doctors, bloggers, teachers, are arrested. even popular footballers alaa hubail and his brother mohammed hubail have been arrested. alaa hubail was awarded top footballer in asia 2004. soooo popular. check his ad in pepsi. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebtdhvsr7_0
John 9 years ago
the previous post is incorrect about bahrain's demographics. bahrain is two-thirds shia and one-third sunni. everyone knows that.
mohamed 9 years ago
I am surprised about the wordings used here. First of all, Bahrain and GCC are under GCC defence agreement, and the army which was mobilized there is part of the GCC peninsula shield army. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Oman have troops in Bahrain now and its normal, like NATO in Europe. The protestors have taken the country over with converting hospitals into gang and torture for Sunni people. They killed labor and poor people. They attacked universities, homes and blocked Roads. Government Security forces took over and reestablished order in the country. I think this is normal and there was nothing wrong there. Shea are only 40 % of people there and there are 60 % sunnis who are not interested in any regimen change. I dont know why Shea play the innocent game and try to buy media attention around the world. I suggest everyone to read about their actions in Bahrain this month to know the real face of Iran backed Shea revolution in Arab world.

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