They are the sultans of spin. And in a media-driven age, they exert enormous power. Spin-doctors, lobbyists, flaks--they have become important and often reviled players in the shaping of public opinion. No major corporation or government body is without them. Truth Merchants enters the twilight world of public relations--part propaganda and part showbiz and advertising--and explores the symbiotic relationship between PR people and journalists. An executive gets lessons in public speaking from a communications consultant. NASA does damage control on an unsuccessful space mission involving dead lab animals. A PR agent for Starbucks receives an industry "oscar" for having carefully shepherded her client through a difficult period of public scrutiny. Truth Merchants provides a disturbing and intriguing and behind-the-scenes look at the growing influence of the PR professionals and the journalists they court--an "uneasy alliance."