Publicist Glenn Selig defends his marquee client Drew Peterson on CNN’s Nancy Grace. Selig also represents Rod Blagojevich.
Geraldo Rivera called him a “sleazy PR guy.” Nancy Grace ripped him on live national TV. But Glenn Selig, the Florida-based publicist representing Rod Blagojevich and Drew Peterson, claims that what he does is more respectable than working in the news business. “It is amazing how untruthful journalism is,” he says.
A former TV news investigative reporter and fill-in anchor, Selig, 41, founded The Publicity Agency two years ago, after he was fired from a Fox affiliate in Tampa for starting a press release writing company on the side without permission. “It wasn’t like one day I decided that I was going into public relations,” Selig explains. “For me it was an issue that I did not want to work for anybody else. I got into crisis management because I always want to be part of the big news story.”
Mission accomplished. Selig is smack in the middle of two PR tsunamis in Illinois. He says Peterson’s attorney, Joel Brodsky, called him at the end of 2007 to get him to represent the ex-cop accused of killing his third wife. The ensuing media makeover for Peterson included a new beard and an appearance on Larry King Live. While few bought into Peterson’s warm and fuzzy image, Selig’s own profile skyrocketed, at least among cable news producers and TV talk-show bookers. (He still runs a press release distribution company, PRNewschannel.com, as well as a website for fathers, interactivedad.com.)
Last January, shortly after Blagojevich’s arrest, Sam Adam Jr., the governor’s lawyer, called on Selig after seeing comments from him in an article about the R. Kelly trial. Within weeks, Blagojevich was all over the national airwaves lobbying for sympathy. Now, after several months out of the spotlight, Blago is back, promoting his new book, The Governor (released on September 8th).
Some have questioned Selig’s handling of his two fame-seeking clients, saying that chasing the media attention has led to some bad exposure. Case in point: Blago’s recent booking at a corporate party where he did an Elvis impersonation, complete with hip gyrations and kicks. “The bottom line is that I do what is in the best interest of my client, no matter who the person is,” says Selig.