The article was also published online by ProPublica in collaboration with the Columbia Journalism Review.
Below is additional commentary from McCormick that was featured in the article:
Gary McCormick, former chairman of the Public Relations Society of America, said that [the belief that public relations professionals practice in "spin"] was unfair. McCormick acknowledged that there have been PR abuses, but he said most public relations people try to steer clear of falsehood. And he makes a pretty logical argument: lying does not work, because you are almost always going to get caught. And when you do, it makes it worse for your client.
“If I burn you, I am out of business,” said McCormick, whose organization has a membership of twenty-one thousand. He concedes that can be a tough message to relay to a client facing bad press. “The problem is when you get caught up with a client, and the business drives you to tell a message differently than you would advise,” McCormick said.
McCormick is right: lies are not ubiquitous, and they are not the heart of the matter. The problem is that there is a large gray zone between the truth and a lie.