Orion Strategies LLC

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Orion Strategies is was a small lobbying firm in Washington which run by Randy Scheunemann. Its main activity is to feed its framed-information to journalists and to affect the way a story is spun in the media. I operates as a neoconservative "echo chamber", and it has on several occasions been involved in hyping and pushing wars/[1]

Ken Silverstein writes:

Orion is run by Randy Scheunemann, a former advisor to Donald Rumsfeld who helped set up the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and was a leading advocate for the U.S. invasion in 2003. The committee in turn was created by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), whose other leaders included Robert Kagan and Bill Kristol, founder and editor of the Weekly Standard. Scheunemann was John McCain’s foreign policy advisor during his 2008 presidential campaign, and later worked for Sarah Palin.
In 2010, Orion hired Michael Goldfarb, a McCain presidential spokesman who previously worked for PNAC and who was a contributing editor at the Weekly Standard (and who even as a lobbyist continues to periodically write for the magazine). Lake is also an ardent conservative whose reporting championed the Iraq war.
Orion seeks to create a media echo chamber on Georgia and Russia. Essentially it works like this: Tbilisi’s lobbyists generate contacts and information that they feed to sympathetic journalists. Orion frequently arranges interviews with Georgian officials and, not infrequently, stories centering on their charges magically appear soon afterward. Orion has wined and dined some reporters on its tab or picked up their travel expenses. There’s certainly nothing illegal about that but it’s worth noting that lobbyists are barred from maintaining these sorts of relationships with members of Congress because it so clearly presents, as we say in Washington, at least the appearance of impropriety.
Orion is friendly to and works with government officials and politicians who its reporter friends regularly cite (especially McCain). Orion also works very closely with experts and organizations cited by these reporters, like the Foreign Policy Initiative, whose board of directors includes William Kristol, Robert Kagan and other neocons from the PNAC and the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq.[2]

Business dealings

"Randy Scheunemann ran a very small firm in Washington called Orion Strategies, which had only a handful of clients, most of which were fairly prominent Eastern European governments: Latvia, Georgia, and several others who were seeking membership in NATO. And that was Scheunemann’s job, to help stir up interest and get them support for joining NATO."[3]

Clients

Principals

Embedded Journalists/hacks

Orion's main strategy is to plant stories and to generate a media spin. The main way it does this is by wining/dining journalists, tweeting, taking journos on tours to countries seeking to change image/story, or to outright hire them. Some of the journalists who have propagated Orion's spin:

References

  1. Ken Silverstein, Neoconservatives hype a new Cold War, Salon, 5 October 2011. One can hear an interview with Silverstein on this topic on AntiWar.com (8 October 2011).
  2. Silverstein, ibid.
  3. http://www.democracynow.org/2008/9/5/convention_cash_journalist_peter_stone_on
  4. Silverstein, ibid.
  5. Silverstein, ibid.
  6. Silverstein, ibid.
  7. Justin Elliot, Top Palin Aide is on Soros' Payroll, Salon.com, 12 November 2010
  8. Silverstein, ibid.
  9. Silverstein, ibid.
  10. Silverstein, ibid.
  11. Silverstein, ibid.