In an internal memo by Burson-Marsteller CEO Mark Penn, which PRWeek obtained last week
, the agency's top executive took issue with the way TV host Rachel Maddow characterized its past and current work. At one point in the letter, Penn writes, "Her commentary also significantly mischaracterized the nature of the firm's past – for example, we never took a dime from Blackwater."
However, as PRWeek
has reported in the past
, Burson subsidiary BKSH & Associates has worked for Blackwater. The agency has declined to comment.
Last night, Rachel Maddow returned to the subject. On her show
she pointed to the statement in the memo
, and the seeming contradiction with a previous news report that showed BKSH had in fact worked for Blackwater. Maddow said:
Mr Penn also accused me of getting my facts wrong... If I'm wrong, I'm happy to do a correction... Is it possible that Burson-Marsteller could have worked for Blackwater but not been paid for it... Blackwater is their charity case? ...I welcome any further opportunity to clear up the record.