We just spent a few minutes chatting with Melissa Rein, the former director of public relations at Rose & Allyn Public Relations, the firm that likely planted the story about Congressional candidate Ben Quayle's ties to The Dirty.
If you're unfamiliar with the saga, click here.
She claims she's not involved in any sort of Jason-Rose-inspired conspiracy to humiliate Quayle but says she did advise The Dirty's founder, Nik Richie, to talk with a reporter about Quayle's connection to the Web site.
Rein, who left Rose's firm to start her own PR gig earlier this year, used to rep Richie while working at a different firm in Los Angeles. She says she no longer represents him but he often seeks her advice.
"He's not under contract, but I still count him as a friend," Rein tells New Times. "He's not a showy guy who's out there being flashy all the time, so sometimes when reporters need to get a hold of him they call me."
Below is a flier for a Nik Richie birthday appearance at a Las Vegas nightclub. Note the watch and the half-assed "duck face." Not a "showy" guy? Puh-lease.
Rein says Richie called her after he was contacted by Politico reporter Scott Wong. She says she "advised" Richie to talk to Wong, and the Ben Quayle/ The Dirty story took off.
We still find it hard to believe that Wong came up with this story out of thin air. We spoke to him today to see if he had any interest in telling us who fed him the story but he declined to comment.
Rein says there are a lot of candidates in the race and to blame one specific campaign for planting the story is unfair.
"I'm sure there are people behind the scenes digging this kind of stuff up," she says.
We agree, his name's Jason Rose.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.