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David Sirota

David Sirota

Posted: May 1, 2006 11:14 PM

Mike McCurry Has Lost Control of His Faculties


Mike McCurry is in one of those tailspins of dishonesty and contradiction that is so wildly out of control, you just have to sit back, grab some popcorn and watch with laughter. Defending his role as a professional corporate PR flack lobbying for telecom companies, he berated folks for having the nerve to mention his financial ties to the Big Business interests he is shilling for. "What a joke you think I am one of them" - them referring to corporate lobbyists.

Actually, what a joke that McCurry has so fully lost control of his faculties that he is now resorting to denying reality. Let's see Mike, where would we get the idea that you now make a living selling off your government experience to become a well-heeled Beltway influence-peddler? Well, how about National Journal, which reported this in 2002:

"With the drug industry facing tough political battles in the United States and abroad, Pfizer appears ready to launch a multimillion-dollar advertising and grassroots campaign to blunt public criticism of the industry and to promote a positive message on its goals and accomplishments. Still, lobbying sources say that Pfizer is primed to start some of the campaign later this month, but that the company is trying to lock up more financial commitments from industry allies. A consultant familiar with the effort said that Pfizer was reaching out to between three and five of the biggest companies for their backing. To get its message in shape, Pfizer has tapped...Grassroots Enterprises, which will provide software for an online component of the project and which is headed by another former Clinton press secretary, Mike McCurry."

It was National Journal in 2004 that also reported this:

"Acting in the 'strike while the iron is hot' mode, former Clinton/Kerry spokesman-strategist Mike McCurry is offering a new service through his Grassroots Enterprise advocacy firm: lobbying campaigns targeted at elected officials who have yet to take office."

Then, of course, there are those pesky official federal lobbying records, which show that McCurry raked in a truckload of cash from lobbying fees in just two years after leaving the Clinton White House. And also there are reports from Free Press and U.S. PIRG noting that McCurry is now heading up a telecom industry front group trying to destroy the Internet. I guess we're expected to believe that the official records and the well-respected nonprofit interest groups are all lying, right?

For a guy who purports to know so much about the Internet, McCurry seems to have forgotten that when you brazenly lie, it takes about 5 minutes on Google for people to unmask you. Similarly, for a guy who sells access and his supposedly smooth communications skills, McCurry's embarassing, pathological, infantile and dishonest denial of the facts about his own career sure raises questions about why anyone would hire him to run their public relations/lobbying campaigns.

Perhaps McCurry has spent too much time in elite Washington circles where his friends just keep telling him this kind of behavior is "brilliant spin." Or, perhaps the payoff he is getting for his work is so huge that he doesn't really care that he is humiliating himself. As I document in my new book Hostile Takeover - this is quite a common occurrence in the nation's capital. Corruption, pay-to-pay politics and the corresponding dishonesty that comes with it is so rampant, that many folks there have lost all sense of self-awareness.

But, then, what's driving McCurry is really just a matter of speculation. What's really important is that this guy is really making a joke out of himself. So as I said to start, everyone ought to just pull up a chair, grab some popcorn and a beer and sit back - it's rare to catch a comedy show like this - especially one that's this hilarious.