WASHINGTON: The PR surrounding the case of missing intern Chandra
Levy overshadowed the facts of the story last week, as the players took
center stage. That situation is likely to continue now that former
Monica Lewinsky spokesperson Judy Smith has joined the fray.
Marina Ein, spokeswoman for Rep. Gary Condit (D-CA), was savaged by the
national media for allegedly attempting to smear the missing
24-year-old's character. A little-known veteran of the DC PR scene who
handled a Sizzler restaurant E. coli outbreak last year, Ein was quoted
in a Salon.com article saying that Levy "... has a history of one-night
stands." She denied making the statement.
Nonetheless, the furor was considerable, with The Washington Post
suggesting Ein "obtain some decent PR representation." Thursday's The
O'Reilly Factor and New York Daily News also weighed in.
Meanwhile, The Levy family and its law firm, Dyer, Ellis & Joseph,
signed Smith to a modest contract early in the week, officially adding
her to the team of Porter Novelli execs working on the campaign (PRWeek,
July 16). Smith, a partner at Qorvis Communications who counts Clarence
Thomas, Iran-Contra special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh and Lewinsky among
past clients, has been working behind the scenes with Levy family
attorney Billy Martin as a media advisor for several weeks.
Smith was one of several Democratic PR mavens asked to represent Condit
before the job went to Ein. That list included Al Gore alumni Marla
Romash and Kiki McLean, and Clinton adviser Mandy Grunwald, according to
the National Journal.