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A PR Journey from Pyongyang to Shangri-La

Embedded video from CNN Video

The dominant story this week was the white knight rescue by Bill Clinton of the two Current TV journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee from the clutches of North Korea.

Our fellow ‘Bistro blogs were all over it, including Baynewser (on the Current TV angle), TVNewser on the anchor overheards, and FishbowlLA with a complete blow-by-blow.

As it turns out, celebrity megafirm Rogers & Cowan planned the homecoming at the green-pimped Hangar 25 at Bob Hope airport Burbank. Entertainment mogul Steve Bing provided the jet and expenses to retrieve the reporters. Hanger 25 is actually the not-like-other division of Bing’s Shangri-La company.

Guess who is one of the top executives at Hanger 25? Jay Carson, the former PR man for Bill’s foundation, and traveling press secretary for Hillary’s presidential run.

The New York Post reported the news about the PR agency’s involvement with its usual disgust, then proceeded to detail every aspect of the event including the bit about Hanger 25 and its green pedigree, the coordination with Al Gore, and the preparations for the 100 TV crews who showed up to film it.

Guess who’s disgusted with the Post’s tack? Their former gossip girl Liz Smith.

This happy ending did result in an avalanche of publicity for Bing, Clinton, Gore, and Current, with a tax of stroking Kim Jong-il just a bit.

Some are even calling Clinton’s involvement a PR coup for North Korea. If PR firms can help keep journalists out of prison camps, bring ‘em on.

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