Tries to Link Ed Gillespie To War Criminal Slobodan Milosevic

“It’s sad to see MSNBC participate in shameful smear tactics under the guise of journalism.”

In an article, "GOP Senate Candidate Lobbied for Company Run by Milosevic Crony," writer Zachary Roth suggests Ed Gillespie, who is a GOP candidate to represent Virginia in the US Senate, was a supporter of the former Serbian President and war criminal Slobodan Milosevic.

Quinn Gillespie & Associates, the Washington lobby firm Gillespie co-founded, was paid $300,000 by Belgrade-based Pink International Corporation for lobbying work in 2007, lobbying disclosure records reviewed by MSNBC show. Gillespie himself, along with two other employees of the firm, is listed as having personally lobbied for Pink on “general business issues,” as well as on “visa issues.”

Pink International, founded and owned by media entrepreneur Zeljko Mitrovic, runs Pink TV, a popular music and entertainment channel in Serbia. Mitrovic was a high-ranking member of the Yugoslav Left party, run by Milosevic’s wife and political partner Mirjana Markovic, and was personally close with the Milosevic family. Pink played a key role in Milosevic’s wartime cultural propaganda machine, Serbian media experts and journalists say, and the regime eagerly provided Pink with state media resources—support that they say was crucial to the company’s rapid expansion.

As pointed out by the Daily Caller, at the time the firm was working for Pink TV, Gillespie had already taken a leave of absence to join the Bush administration.

Even Roth himself backs away from the incendiary headline toward the end of the piece when he says;

By all accounts, Mitrovic wasn’t a pro-Milošević true believer. Rather, he was a businessman who was willing to do what was necessary to grow Pink TV. And Pink didn’t produce explicit pro-Milošević propaganda.

When Pink International Corporation became a client of Quinn Gillespie & Associates, both Pink and its founder Zeljko Mitrovic were supportive of the pro-western Serbian government. The LA Times reported in 2008 that “Mitrovic these days is an enthusiastic supporter of Serbia’s emergence from isolation and its tentative rapprochement with the West.”

Asked about the story by the Daily Caller, Paul Logan, a spokesman for Gillespie’s campaign said:

Here’s one thing Mark Warner and Ed can agree upon: Slobodan Milošević was a despicable person whose war crimes deserved worldwide condemnation. It’s sad to see MSNBC participate in shameful smear tactics under the guise of journalism.”