Celebrity publicists are definitely busy. They're often liars. Sometimes they try to control media coverage. But are they really a "dark breed of fixers, stuntsters and arch media manipulators"? Do Hollywood flacks count as "an invisible army of Machiavellian schemers"? No, they're more like a very visible army of bumbling media whores and hustlers. But the Times UK has several even more exaggerated descriptions of the prowess of idiot flacks. This story's hyperbole makes it the stupidest article ever written about PR, which threatens to destroy the media forever:

PRs - that mysterious and dark breed of fixers, stuntsters and arch media manipulators - have, for more than a century now, been as fundamental to the Tinseltown fantasy as the Hollywood sign itself. They are, according to Borkowski, in his new book The Fame Formula, the hidden gatekeepers of the Hollywood dream machine "who guard its formula, often to the death"

Even today, Borkowski, whose clients have included Michael Jackson, claims that movie publicists are part of a powerful cabal who mostly go unnoticed, who ruthlessly hold the media in their grasp and who "truly understand the dark Conradian soul of man" (ie, our baser instincts).

And the most incredible line of all:

Here, increasingly, the job of the publicist is to tread the fine line between matching a "suitable" journalist with the talent and choosing a craven sycophantic hack who will play the promotional game.

That would be you, Times reporter Kevin Maher! Flack-turned-author Mark Borkowski thanks you for being enough of a sycophantic hack to make his book sound interesting!

Remember, a "Hollywood publicist" is often a guy like this.

[Times UK]