Pity Poor Enron

M.A. Shute, a former staffer from the Hill and Knowlton PR firm, orchestrated the tearful media interview of Linda Lay, wife of embattled former Enron CEO Ken Lay. The Lays are trying to portray themselves as victims rather than villains in the company's financial collapse. According to PR pro Jeremy Garlington, however, putting the wife in front of cameras is a "flawed media strategy." It was a mistake, he says, to claim that the Lays are "on the verge of financial ruin ... despite Kenny Boy cashing in nearly $200 million in company stock last year. According to Linda, a majority of that money was used to pay off 'bad debts.' But they didn't live lavishly, or so says the subject sitting against a backdrop of mahogany walls and oriental rugs in their own home."