Revolving Door: Katie Couric Using Same Publicist as Hillary

The "revolving door" is a term reporters often cynically use to talk about the close relationships that political and lobbying people have with each other. It's certainly true that in American politics, many people do move readily between working in government posts to lobbying positions.

But what many journos won't tell you is that there's another revolving door that politicos use, from politics to media. They also won't tell you that only Democrats seem to have the key. The number of Republicans moving into positions of influence inside the media is small enough you can almost count it on one hand. And in many cases, the sheer audacity of a former Republican politico daring to set foot in the press has caused left-wingers, journalist and blogger alike. The recent Ben Domenech fiasco or the disgraceful hounding that Susan Molinari experienced after being hired as an anchor at CBS are potent examples of this.

Not only are media companies far more likely to recruit staff from among Democrats, they also are more likely to retain the services of public relations specialists who are Dems. CBS has always been especially bad on this account. One of its publicists, Donna Dees-Thomases, formerly worked for Democratic senators, came to CBS, left to found the Million Mom March, and was hired back to her former position. During her tenure at MMM, CBS News never once disclosed its relationship with her.

With that kind of record, it comes as no surprise to learn that as part of CBS's efforts to patch up its poor relationship with the public, it has retained the services of the same PR firm that helped launch Hillary Clinton's first Senate campaign:

At the Dunn Brothers coffee shop a few doors away, Bill McGill — he’s more an Economist magazine man than a TV watcher — displayed a shocking level of cynicism about the shocking level of cynicism that he says he thinks is driving the listening tour.

“It’s clear she came for show,” said Mr. McGill, who owns an executive search firm. “She isn’t going to use what she has learned, it’s just soft promotion. It seems very much like what a politician would do.”

There may be a reason for that. Ms. Couric’s personal publicist, Matthew Hiltzik, organized Hillary Rodham Clinton’s listening tour when she was considering running for the Senate in New York. But it is worth recalling that Ms. Clinton, who seemed to start from a very deep hole, got off to a remarkably productive, popular start once she was elected.

The media's revolving door for Democrats is a topic that has been covered for years by Brent Baker and others at MRC. Click here for a Google list of some of our best research on it.

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