Sunday, February 27, 2011

A profile of the guy whose firm produced Ratner's brochures: "Josh is highly motivated by making profit"

The 2/22/11 profile in Capital NY, How former liberal operative Josh Isay became the default paid-media guy to the New York establishment, concerns SKDKnickerbocker, once known as Knickerbocker SKD.

It's an interesting piece of inside baseball, but without an attempt to evaluate the content of the firm's work. The press does such evaluation with certain political ads, but not (despite my argument) with the firm's misleading brochures for Forest City Ratner.

The article notes:
Both the corporate and the political clients ostensibly benefit from the same essential asset: Isay’s knowledge of how reporters, politicians and regulators process information.
And that's why the press should take the message seriously.

Clients

The article lists several clients, but not FCR:
In addition to NYSE, the firm has been hired by a host of corporate and union clients, including Thor Equities, the firm that sparred with the city over the redevelopment of Coney Island; the Rudin family, which controls some 14 million square feet of real estate in New York City; Genting New York, a subsidiary of the Malaysian gambling giant that won state approval to install slot machines at the Queens Aqueduct; and Education Reform Now, the Joel Klein creation that’s battling teacher unions in New York. (Anita Dunn, Isay’s partner in D.C., is advising a group with a similar agenda: Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst.)

Meanwhile, Isay seems to have worked at one time or another with all of the best-known politicians in New York City...
The bottom line

Here's the bottom line regarding Isay's choice of political clients, which likely applies to corporate clients, as well:
Certainly, he will not feel constrained by any sense of partisan duty.

(As one of Isay's consultant friends put it, "Josh is highly motivated by making profit, which is fine.")

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