Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Salon Keeps the Faith With Its Payola Pundit


Salon today publishes a predictable attack on John Bolton by the Payola Pundit, UN consultant-correspondent Ian Williams (left), while continuing to not disclose Williams' history of working for the United Nations as a media trainer and public relations factotum.

Williams, who recently slapped James Wolfensohn on the back for not allowing a handicap -- being a Jew -- get in the way of his UN work, says he doubts that "senior U.N. staff will have the temerity to speak out in public" about the horrible Mr. Bolton. He goes on to say, "But in private discussions, they may well relish challenging Bolton's credentials to speak on behalf of a nation whose legislature has failed to endorse him."

When Williams talks about "senior UN staff" he speaks from experience. He has been paid in the past to prepare senior UN officials to deal with people who wear Williams' other hat, the one with the press card stuck in it.

Williams is still boasting about his UN jobs as he advertises for work on his website , "Ian Williams, Media Consultant." He's still more than happy to tell us that

"for the last five years he [that is, Williams referring to himself in the third person] has played a significant role in training UNDP Resident Representatives and UN reps in media handling, both at HQ and overseas, with a particular emphasis on coaching for interview techniques. The UN’s training section also called upon him to help with training senior officials at HQ. He has conducted training sessions for journalists and UN staff in places as far apart as Albania, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Macedonia and Morocco."

The Nation began disclosing Williams' UN work -- he is listed on the masthead as "UN correspondent," though his work rarely appears there -- after it was exposed by Accuracy in Media and FrontPage Magazine. Not Salon. Odd, isn't it? Williams is proud he has taken money from people he covers. Gee, you'd think that Salon would share his pride.

Sounds like a job for Columbia Journalism Review! Oops.... almost forgot..... that's not happening.

UPDATE: Williams was out on Aug. 4 with a predictable anti-Bolton rant.
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