I once met a guy who pitched for the Saddam Hussein PR account but I don't think he got it (probably just as well really because, in my experience anyway, dead clients don't often pay their fees). He didn't want the business for any other reason than to get himself on the front pages of newspapers of course.
So I've taken a bemused interest in the UK “publicist” who's currently getting a lot of publicity (mainly for himself) whilst speaking about his client, Shrien Dewani.
Max Clifford's speciality is, as you probably already know, the negotiating of all those spiteful “kiss-and-tell” stories to the British tabloids. He's had some famous clients too – Mohammed Al Fayed used him to “polish” his image back in 2000 when all kinds of shady publicity tricks were used. He's handled prostitutes, fading rock stars, alcoholics and terminally-ill Reality TV show stars – most of the time keeping stories OUT of the media (by attention deflection, insinuation and false leads) rather than getting stories INTO the press. All things considered, he's not really a very nice man at all.But as a spokesperson, although he's well known for his cunning, he's clearly struggling to justify his current position but does, somehow, manage to get himself quoted on the Dewani case just about every day.Perhaps, like me, you're wondering why an accused murderer's first act is to appoint a “publicist”? Perhaps there's a book or film opportunity there? You will be forgiven for thinking that by using “the maximiser” and his bag of dirty tricks, Shrien Dewani thinks the increasing suspicions surrounding him will suddenly be made to disappear? To believe in that possibility is extreme optimism.
Here's the thing Max. Do whatever it is you have to do to get favourable press for your client but, be warned, when you start slagging-off South Africa you run a huge risk of making 47 million serious enemies who will all make it very difficult for the rumours to simply “disappear”.You see, WE know our shortcomings perfectly well but nothing pisses us off more than when a dickhead like you starts using us as a scapegoat and making snide remarks about us from 6,000 miles away. So don't DARE to divert the focus away from your client and on to us. You'll regret it.
Before I say anything else, let me say that your client is innocent at the moment. If he's tried and found guilty then he'll be punished. If, however, he's innocent of being involved in Anni's murder he will have this nation's sympathy for the devastating nightmare and horror he's been put through and we will all join him in mourning the tragic loss of his wife.
But you're making your client's position worse Max. God only knows why the Dewani family continue to retain your services. You're a low-life spin-merchant and you continue to trot out ridiculous accusations against South Africa in the stupid belief that you can deflect all the media and legal attention.Unfortunately for us, there are a few you've managed to upset so much that they've responded without thinking first. The profoundly stupid remarks of our Police Chief might cause you some delight because he's stooped to your level – and we're all hoping that our National Police Commissioner will keep quiet in future. (Bheki Cele's actual remark was “a monkey came all the way from London to have his wife murdered here.”) But because of that you might, despite your pathetic utterances, just be able to evade an extradition order after all. Shame on us.And shame on you when you started making slurs against this country. All you achieved was to infuriate every policeman, journalist and citizen here who, in retaliation, will leave no stone unturned in investigating this case. You see, Max, we all know we're not perfect and we ARE allowed to criticise ourselves – and our Police Chief too – but you are NOT afforded the same privilege. Don't you understand that simple fact you imbecile?So I have some advice for your client. (No fee).
Firstly, get rid of Max Clifford because he's bringing you down.
Secondly, say nothing to the media and cooperate with the law.
Thirdly, tell the truth. Don't try and hide even the smallest detail.
Fourthly, if you do ever stand trial here then I can promise you'll get as fair a hearing as you'd expect in the UK.
As for you Max, get some help.
You need to lose the seedy image you've created for yourself and you desperately need medication to help you think straight.
And if I were you, I wouldn't put South Africa on your list of holiday destinations.You have a history of being a pitiful scavenger who picks on the bones of tragedy.
Get a proper job and let Anni's murder have respectful closure.