The Azerbaijani government instructed its embassy in Washington to apprise US officials and the press of its account of the Karabakh war, something which is normal and part of its job.
However, the embassy has also contracted public relations agencies for the publication of pre-written articles, obscuring the fact that the authors are paid by Azerbaijan.
According to The American Conservative journal , this is a long-standing practice , on which the embassy spent $ 1.3 million last year. The commissioned articles shamelessly touted Azerbaijan as a “democracy” or as a “peaceful” state.
The public relations agencies involved are: Livingston Group, Stellar Jay Communications, BGR, the Podesta Group, and DLA Piper.
The newspapers and magazines involved are: The Hill, The Washington Times, The Daily Caller, The National Review, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.
These facts shed a harsh light on the alleged neutrality of the press in the United States.1] “How Azerbaijan is Lobbying Washington to Sanitize its War”, Barbara Boland, The American Conservative, October 12, 2020.  “Azerbaijan’s American Media “Manipulation””, Casey Michel, June 10, 2016.