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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Goodbye, Rev.Billy Graham

Newsweek: Point Man for the 'Kingdom'
Billy Graham's publicist thinks of marketing as his mission.

Thank you, Rev. Billy Graham. And thank you, PR man Larry Ross for taking care of him.

June 27 issue - So Moses turns for advice to his public-relations man as he's wondering how to cross the Red Sea, according to a story Larry Ross told in New York last week.

And the guy says, Here's what to do: stand at the water's edge and raise your staff, and the sea will part for you and then the Egyptians will all drown.

And Moses asks, Is that really going to work?

And the PR guy says, I don't know, but if it does, I can guarantee you two pages in the Old Testament.

The point being, behind every great man in history, there's a public-relations consultant spinning posterity on his behalf. That, in fact, is exactly Ross's preoccupation these days, as his longtime client, the 86-year-old evangelist Billy Graham, prepares to lay down his burden after more than six decades of preaching. Graham takes his crusade to New York City for three days this weekend, and has no plans beyond that; he has been invited to England in the fall but says he won't make up his mind until after the New York revival. Ross refers to his efforts for Graham as "reputation management," which means assuring he's remembered for the millions of people he has brought to Christ, for his reassuring presence at the side of presidents at times of crisis and not for any embarrassing things he might have said in casual banter with Richard Nixon.



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