BP Hires Cheney’s Press Flack

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BP has hired Dick Cheney’s former press flack, Anne Womack Kolton, to serve as the new “head of U.S. media relations” as the company deals with the PR disaster of the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf. Kolton was Cheney’s press secretary during the 2004 campaign, and then moved to a job in public affairs at the Department of Energy.

One of her tasks in her previous job was defending the administration’s secret meetings with energy officials, even as courts were telling the White House to turn over documents about the task force: “We are ready to defend our principles in court. This goes to the heart of the presidency and to the ability of the president and vice president to receive candid, discreet advice.”

Not a lot is known about the task force, since the administration succeeded in shielding it from the public. But it is known that BP officials were among the oil chiefs involved in the secret meetings.

BP had contracted with Womack-Kolton’s current employer, Brunswick Group, for crisis management following the spill. Womack-Kolton joined the company in 2007 to “focus on high stakes communications surrounding public affairs issues and political risk management for domestic and global corporate clients.”

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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