Gawker.com, the media gossip blog, recently had a testy exchange with Richard Edelman, CEO of the giant Edelman public relations firm, after Gawker published an item which quoted an unnamed Edelman employee who reportedly advised a client, "Sometimes, you just have to stand up there and lie. Make the audience or the reporter believe that everything is ok." Richard Edelman responded by telling Gawker that the report was "completely false and needs to be taken down. You bet we take ethics seriously." This in turn prompted a rejoinder from Gawker blogger Hamilton Nolan, who retorted that Edelman himself had been dishonest about the nature of his company's work for Wal-Mart. "You lied and said that the 100% company-controlled Astroturf group 'Working Families for Wal-Mart' was 'A real group of people, as far as I know,'" Nolan stated. "I made the case that that was a blatant lie when I was at PRWeek, and I still believe it." Nolan also pointed to a detailed report in New Yorker magazine, which detailed Edelman's work for Wal-Mart, including its effort to "co-opt liberals" with the help of former Environmental Defense board member and PR pro Leslie Dachs.
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