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Gannongate Update

So where's the Jeff Gannon/James Guckert story at these days? [Note: The pseudonym Gannon will be used for the rest of the article]

Even as the blogs investigating this story have continued to play the gay sex/escort/prostitution angle for all it's worth, focusing on the the ancillary allegations shows how marginal the story actually is.

Allegation - Jeff Gannon received a special permanent White House press "hard pass."

Fact - The bloggers who made that allegation have now retracted it. It appears that Gannon received day passes under his real name just as he has previously indicated.

Allegation - The White House should not have credentialed Gannon because he was a conservative shill not a real reporter.

Fact - Ari Fleischer, in an interview with Editor &Publisher, notes, "It is a slippery slope for any press secretary in any administration to pick and choose who gets a credential based on ideology, so long as they are a legitimate reporter." A debate on the merits of Gannon's journalistic credentials is beyond the scope of this post, but he certainly wrote and published stories at an online news organization, regardless of ones opinion of the relative quality of Talon News.

Allegation - The White House should have know about Gannon's sexual history and barred him from the White House.

Fact - Ari Fleischer, in an interview with Editor &Publisher, notes, "The last thing our nation needs is for anyone in the White House to concern themselves with the private lives of reporters. What right does the White House have to decide who gets to be a reporter based on private lives?"

Allegation - Gannon had full access to the White House and was running around unchecked in the White House for years.

Fact - To make it scarier the blogs perpetrating this angle of the story need to mention the sexual angle, but on its face it's a ridiculous claim. Regardless of how you try to spin it a day pass to the White House press briefings is not an all access pass. I don't know it for sure, but they probably hustle you right out of there when the events of the day are over.

Allegation - Gannon got a press pass while others were rejected.

Fact - Gannon was denied the only passes that matter in this story - the Capital Hill pass issued by the Standing Committee of Correspondents and the White House hard pass, which allows ongoing access to the White House press briefings. The White House hard pass requires a pass first be issued by the Standing Committee of Correspondents. Gannon was left to apply for the only other type of pass available, the daily pass. The daily pass, like its name implies, is good for one day only and by all indications does not have the same restrictions as to who may receive a pass as the the others do. While goofy Maureen Dowd complains that her pass was rejected, she most certainly was writing about a hard pass or a Standing Committee pass, which Gannon too was denied. If Dowd really wanted to cover the White House she could have stood in line for day passes too...

Allegation - Gannon attended a press briefing before Talon News was founded.

Fact - This appears to be true. Gannon appears to have attended a press briefing under the auspices of GOPUSA. From Ari Fleisher's interview it's not hard to imagine that Talon News was created to insulate the press coverage that GOPUSA decided it wanted to do from it's organization. This likely occurred in response to questions from Fleisher about whether GOPUSA was a party organization.

Allegation - Gannon received the Valeria Plame memo and was subpoenaed by the special prosecutor in the Plame case.

Fact - Highly unlikely. Tom McGuire and The Washington Post's Dan Froomkin debunk that myth pretty convincingly.

Allegation - Gannon asked softball questions.

Fact - True. This is the essence of the Gannongate story. Gannon was "outed" (not sexually) by mainstream media types with the help of David Brock's Media Matters For America. The reporters got their wish when Gannon quit. The bloggers continuing to pursue the story only "succeed" is they can claim a scalp besides Gannon's, which is why they continue to search for new angles to implicated ANYONE else...


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Comments (186)

I thought the new fresh mea... (Below threshold)
julie:

I thought the new fresh meat of the Kos Kids was Brit Hume.

Jackasses... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Jackasses

Oh this is priceless! The ... (Below threshold)
Gary Donnell:

Oh this is priceless! The wacked out fringe left pollutes the blogosphere. Next on tap for them: Why 9/11 was perpetrated by Karl Rove, and an investigation into the types of nuclear tipped missiles he used.

It's extremely funny -- the... (Below threshold)
Ken:

It's extremely funny -- the right side of the 'sphere takes down some people with serious horsepower (Dan Rather, etc.), and in doing so is reshaping how we, as a culture, receive and communicate news. The left, not to be left behind, is desperately trying to catch up and show their relevance in the new medium. Unfortunately (for them) they are only marginilizing themselves more and more.

" While goofy Maureen Dowd ... (Below threshold)

" While goofy Maureen Dowd complains that her pass was rejected, she most certainly was writing about a hard pass or a Standing Committee pass, which Gannon too was denied."

No, she was referring to the WH; "I was rejected for a White House press pass at the start of the Bush administration, but someone with an alias, a tax evasion problem and Internet pictures where he posed like the "Barberini Faun" is credentialed to cover a White House that won a second term by mining homophobia and preaching family values?

At first when I tried to complain about not getting my pass renewed, even though I'd been covering presidents and first ladies since 1986, no one called me back. Finally, when Mr. McClellan replaced Ari Fleischer, he said he'd renew the pass - after a new Secret Service background check that would last several months."

"A debate on the merits of ... (Below threshold)

"A debate on the merits of Gannon's journalistic credentials is beyond the scope of this post, but he certainly wrote and published stories at an online news organization, regardless of ones opinion of the relative quality of Talon News."

Guckert couldn't get a House/Senate pass because he did not work for a non-partisan news organization. Ari Fleischer says (in E&P) that he stopped calling on Guckert for a week because he didn't think he was legitimate. Ari then says, with a straight face, that he spoke to Bobby Eberle, the founder of GOPUSA, and was convinced that GOPUSA was not partisan. Bobby Eberle is a major Republican operative from Texas and GOPUSA is essentially a party organ.

"Allegation - Gannon had fu... (Below threshold)

"Allegation - Gannon had full access to the White House and was running around unchecked in the White House for years."

Where did you find this one?

QUOTE "A debate on the meri... (Below threshold)
Duncan:

QUOTE "A debate on the merits of Gannon's journalistic credentials is beyond the scope of this post". Then what is the point of it then?

The whole point of the fuss is that this is a man with no journalistic credentials. He had no training, did not work for anything remotely resembling a proper news organization and cut and pasted Republican talking points whenever he did get anything pubished. He should not have been in the White House.

Do not dismiss this as insane leftwing hysteria. It is a major security issue. If White House security personnel can't spot someone who not only has an assumed name, who does not work for a news organization and, on top of all of that, is a male prostitute then we should all be very worried.

"Allegation - Gannon receiv... (Below threshold)

"Allegation - Gannon received the Valeria Plame memo and was subpoenaed by the special prosecutor in the Plame case."

I'm not sure who claimed that he was subpoeneed but Guckert admits in E&P to being questioned by the FBI for 90 minutes.


so all the moonbats worryin... (Below threshold)
Jake:

so all the moonbats worrying about Gannon running around the whitehouse unchecked as some big scandal adn security leak are playing into the stereotype of the homosexual traitor and betrayer!

This is a good current wrap... (Below threshold)

This is a good current wrap-up of the real story:

Congresswoman wants explanation of White House ties to ex-reporter

By SCOTT SHEPARD
Cox News Service
Friday, February 18, 2005
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/content/shared/news/nation/stories/0218_GANNON.html
WASHINGTON —With the mystery of "Jeff Gannon" deepening, Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., on Thursday renewed her call for the White House to explain its relationship with a conservative ex-reporter linked to an online gay escort service.


[Note: Steve if you publish copyright materials (in whole) in my comment section again you will be banned permanently. Links and exceprts are fine... ]

"Do not dismiss this as ins... (Below threshold)

"Do not dismiss this as insane leftwing hysteria. It is a major security issue. If White House security personnel can't spot someone who not only has an assumed name"

Oh jeez, he received security clearance based on his REAL name. Duh! How many times must this be repeated?

Funny thing is that us guys on the right have already ACCEPTED the fact that Gannon probably got his day pass because he was a Bush supporter. Yes, they put him there to be a shill. But until leftwing partisans are ALSO removed from the press room we just don't give a fuck.

I pray that the God Of Leftwing Asshats deliver you guys from this idiotic non-story so you can have your lives back.

"The whole point of the fus... (Below threshold)

"The whole point of the fuss is that this is a man with no journalistic credentials."

As opposed to,say, high school dropout Peter Jennings...

" He had no training, did not work for anything remotely resembling a proper news organization"

How much training do you need to get up and ask the President what his biggest mistake was, like a journie did in April 04? Talon News has had fewer scandals than CBS and New York Times lately.

"and cut and pasted Republican talking points whenever he did get anything pubished."

Which is a damn shame -- only DNC talking point allowed! Not to mention Helen Thomas, who gibbers out speeches with question marks at the end.

"He should not have been in the White House."

Why not? They let a whack-job Texas partisan (gives fundraising speeches to Democrats) into the White House... his name is Dan Rather. If Dan gets in, why not him?

"Do not dismiss this as insane leftwing hysteria. It is a major security issue."

An allegedly gay journalist is a security issue? oh, how 1950s of you! Partisan journies a security issue?!? Quick, someone tie Dana Milbank down with rope, he may go crazy on us!!

The goofballs at Kos and DU... (Below threshold)

The goofballs at Kos and DU are pushing this nonstory for all it's worth. I agree with Charles Johnson at LGF when he gave this tempest in a teapot a big YAWN.

Hmmm.So what's the... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

So what's the problem? Aren't the floggers (lefty bloggers) hammering the White House for NOT investigating reporters enough?

Hey who knows. Perhaps MoDo has got some sexual episodes in her past. Could happen.

Hmmm."Guckert coul... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

"Guckert couldn't get a House/Senate pass because he did not work for a non-partisan news organization"

The humor and irony in this one sentence exceeds the federally allowed daily limits. Read with caution.

Way to go MSM! You've just... (Below threshold)
Birdsongsofthemesozoic:

Way to go MSM! You've just lowered the bar incredibly! Now we're all free to delve into the sex lives of David Gregory, Howard Kurtz, Wolf Blitzer, Helen Thomas... well, maybe not her.

There's SO many more targets on the left than on the right, and you effected this sea change to get a guy most of us have never even heard of before now.

It just got a whole lot dirtier out there, and you've got no one to blame but yourselves.

It must be terrible to have that little forsight.

"Funny thing is that us guy... (Below threshold)
Brian:

"Funny thing is that us guys on the right have already ACCEPTED the fact that Gannon probably got his day pass because he was a Bush supporter. Yes, they put him there to be a shill."

You accept this, and you think it's OK? It's sad that people like you who I would assume are quite smart and reasonable would just blindly ignore abuses of the system for the simple reason that it favors your politics. Are you able to be objective at all?

Would you think it would have been OK for Clinton's administration to hire a shill affiliated with *no news organization at all*, and put him in the white house press pool so he could ask friendly questions? Don't be disingenuous. You guys on the right would be screaming bloody murder.

"But until leftwing partisans are ALSO removed from the press room we just don't give a fuck."

Nice way to falsely change the issue. Yes, there are lefties in the press room, and there are righties. But they are all *legitimate*. We're talking about a shill who was *not affiliated with a legitimate news organization, and initially not affiliated with ANY news organization*. How many lefties are there in the press room who fit that description?

I'm was what the MSM harped... (Below threshold)
Mihow:

I'm was what the MSM harped on over and over, calling the "value voter" this year. Frankly, I'm a little pissed and wish the WH would put down these allegations sooner than later. A gay hooker with no experience in the press pool is too much.

I still haven't seen an ans... (Below threshold)
Wally:

I still haven't seen an answer to the question: if the Clinton White House had for more than a year given press credentials to a Democratic party operative who was also a homosexual prostitute, what would have been the reaction at places like Little Green Footballs and the National Review?

"It's sad that people like ... (Below threshold)

"It's sad that people like you who I would assume are quite smart and reasonable would just blindly ignore abuses of the system for the simple reason that it favors your politics."

Pot.Kettle.Black.Yawn.

"Would you think it would have been OK for Clinton's administration to hire a shill affiliated with *no news organization at all*, and put him in the white house press pool so he could ask friendly questions?"

He didn't have to. They were shilling for him already.

"How many lefties are there in the press room who fit that description?"

I'm not obsessed with journalistic credentials, you are. I couldn't care less if he/she's a blogger for that matter. I'm far more concerned with a press pool that is ideologically balanced. As it is, most of the reporters are leftwing shills. Until that changes, I will continue to be completely underwhelmed by the Gannon kerfuffle.

This is really quite funny.... (Below threshold)

This is really quite funny. You're actually claiming to disprove the allegations about Gannon based on what Ari Fleisher is telling you??? Oh come now -- can you really not find a better resource than Scott McClellan's predecessor? Fleisher helped give new mening to the concept of spin during his days as press spokesperson, and was even more dishonest than McClellan, if that's possible. And Tom Maguire, cheerleader for the Swift Boat Vets? Please, this is just a case of wingers scratching one another's backs.

PatrickCome on now... (Below threshold)
Duncan:

Patrick

Come on now, you really cannot believe such rubbish.

Quote "Talon News has had fewer scandals than CBS and New York Times lately". That is because they are not a news organization about which anyone cares. CBS and NYT are reputable outfits of whom everyone expects high standards.

Talon News could post excerpts from Hitler's diary and accompany them with pictures of a gay frog in a bonnet and it wouldn't cause a scandal. They are not a news organization and noone cares what they do. They are a cover for GOPUSA. That is all.

Peter Jennings may well have dropped out of high school I have absolutely no idea and don't care. He does seem to have worked his way up through the journalistic ranks though and presents a reasonably objective view of world and national events. Unlike Mr Gannon.

My criticizing Gannon for only posting Republican talking points is NOT the same as my saying only Democratic talking points should be allowed. I am saying it is not journalism.

Your Dan Rather comment is so ridiculous I can't be bothered to reply.

He is not an allegedly gay journalist. He is quite clearly a gay male prostitute. This part is not the substance. This is just the prurient icing on the cake.


Thanks Duncan -- spot on. Y... (Below threshold)

Thanks Duncan -- spot on. You'd think they'd read their own words before pressing the "post" button; I mean, to compare Talon news to CBS -- what can one say? And if it gives them some peace of mind calling Gannon an "alleged" gay man, despite the overwhelming evidence, never disputed by Talon or GannonGuckert, well then more power to them. But they're only fooling themselves. This story has legs, it has meat (sorry) and it has staying power. It's just starting. The more they call it a "kerfuffle" and the more they try to drown it out with lame half-assed arguments from the likes of official Bush leg-humper Maguire, the more we know they're sweating.

"Pot.Kettle.Black.Yawn."</p... (Below threshold)
Brian:

"Pot.Kettle.Black.Yawn."

Wrong. I accepted the Rathergate documents were fake after the first LGF post. I thought those that kept insisting they were real were fools, and wished they would just shut up. That's the difference between you and me, apparently. Yes, I align myself philosophically with the democratic party, but I'm not a blind loyalist. When my team fucks up, I'm secure enough to admit it and tell them to stop fucking up. On the other hand, you simply say "yawn" so you can pretend it's a non-issue, it bores you, and therefore you don't have to feel any shame about it. Pathetic.

"He didn't have to. They were shilling for him already."

Ha ha, you made a Clinton joke. Do you feel superior now? Oh, wait... that was just a way for you to not answer my question and change the issue. Typical tactic. When faced with facts or questions that show how thin your position is, you just fire off an insult and pretend that you're winning the discussion. Lame, lame.

"I'm not obsessed with journalistic credentials, you are."

Uh, we're talking about the White House press room here! You're damned right I'm concerned about journalistic credentials! Once again, you're being disingenuous. If Clinton let non-reporters into his press room, somehow I think you'd be more "obsessed with journalistic credentials".

"I'm far more concerned with a press pool that is ideologically balanced."

Are you telling me that the Bush administration cannot find a handful of conservative legitimate news outlets to let into the press room? I guess they either don't exist, or McClellan is incompetent. Which is it?

How about this... we get rid of the press, and just let them invite ordinary citizens into the room. Equally split between dems and reps. Would you like that? Oh wait, that's called a "town hall meeting", and Bush has already had several of those. Except he only allows reps in, and keeps the dems out. So much for an ideological balance.

"Until that changes, I will continue to be completely underwhelmed by the Gannon kerfuffle."

You're almost laughable. Here you're mixing two completely unrelated issues. One, you think the press room is too left. But because of that, you think it's OK to let paid conservative shills with no press affiliation and no journalism experience into the press room under an assumed name. Nice balance. How about this... "Until airlines have wider seats, I will continue to be underwhelmed by Bush's social security plan."

And keep using "kerfuffle". It's like wearing a tshirt that says, "I'm a lemming."

I truly enjoyed MisterPundi... (Below threshold)

I truly enjoyed MisterPundit's claim that the reporters in the Clinton press room "were shilling for him already." Does he remember Monicagate, when the press became all Monica all the time? Does he remember Whitewater, a big nothing that became a media obsession? And Paula Jones,etc.? If this is how shills behave toward him for whom they're shilling, I'd love to see what they would have done to Clinton if they weren't shilling. Would they have flayed him alive?

Seriously, MisterPundit -- do you honestly believe the media were shilling for CLinton? Do you truly not remember that he was the focus of more scrutiny by the accursed "MSM" than any president since Nixon?

"How many lefties are there in the press room

Man, I've never seen such a... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Man, I've never seen such a lame attempt by the right to try to make a serious abuse of power look like a non-story. You could post "this story is false because it's raining," and you'd have righties abandoning all reason and agreeing with you. Simply stating a story is marginal doesn't make it so. Your citations are lame and vacuous. Plain BS.

You chose the most insignificant and unsubstantiated aspects of this issue, then you "debunk" them, and then you claim that proves the story is a non-issue. Oh, wait. Some of your "allegations" you admit are true. Oh, and another one you don't even bother to address because it's beyond your "scope". Is the right that desperate to rescue themselves from this embarrassment?

Let's take another look, shall we?

Allegation - Jeff Gannon received a special permanent White House press "hard pass."

Fact - Bogus allegation. Everybody knows he used day passes. That was discussed since day one, weeks ago. Then yesterday, for a few hours, Americablog thought he used a hard pass, but then quickly agreed that it wasn't. And that's what you choose as your #1 argument?!

Allegation - The White House should not have credentialed Gannon because he was a conservative shill not a real reporter.

Fact - So you pose an allegation, and then claim the discussion of it is beyond your scope? So why the hell did you include that allegation in the first place? That is so lame, you big scaredy-cat. Let's have that discussion right now. He wasn't a real reporter. He had access to the white house before Talon News even existed. It doesn't take a genius to see that Talon was established for the sole purpose of giving Gannon the appearance of legitimacy. And since you're so hot to quote Ari Fleischer, how about the quote, "I found out that worked for a GOP site, and I didn't think it was my place to call on him because he worked for something that was related to the party." And "I don't think that party organizations should have people in that room acting as reporters," Fleischer said, explaining his initial concerns. "They are advocates, not reporters, and a line should be drawn."

Allegation - The White House should have know about Gannon's sexual history and barred him from the White House.

Fact - Bogus allegation. Nobody mainstream said this. Yes, some are freaking out because of his sexual history, but no one ever suggested it was grounds for barring him from the White House. This one you're just making up. If not, let's see a source.

Allegation - Gannon had full access to the White House and was running around unchecked in the White House for years.

Fact - Bogus allegation. Nobody mainstream said this. You're making it just so you can call it "scary".

Allegation - Gannon got a press pass while others were rejected.

Fact - This is absolutely true. They don't hand out daily passes to everyone who wants one. You have to be chosen. And Gannon was consistently chosen above reporters who worked for fully legitimate press organizations. This one you can't deny.

Allegation - Gannon attended a press briefing before Talon News was founded.

Fact - You admit this is true. And this doesn't disturb you? They let a shill into the press room, even when he was affiliated with no media organization whatsoever! And you accept this? Are you so blindly loyal to Bush that you can't even criticize a blatent abuse of power? If Clinton pulled that crap, I'd be ashamed. Too bad the righties have no shame.

Allegation - Gannon received the Valeria Plame memo and was subpoenaed by the special prosecutor in the Plame case.

Fact - Bogus allegation. Nobody mainstream said he was subpoenaed by the special prosecutor. You're making this up.

Allegation - Gannon asked softball questions.

Fact - True, this in and of itself is no big deal. Many reporters ask softball questions. But Gannon wasn't a reporter. Do you think it's OK to pad a press room with non-reporters who will ask you softball questions?

Next time you want to defend a position, try addressing the pertinent, mainstream issues. By "debunking" these lameass points, and not even doing that well, you're just showing how weak your position is, and you're embarrassing yourself.

On another blog they headli... (Below threshold)
Wil The Coyote:

On another blog they headlined this story as "Male prostitue lobs softballs at Bush"

Works on so many levels.

Brian, all they'll do is de... (Below threshold)

Brian, all they'll do is demagogue you, jeer at you and snarl that you're a moonbat. Tom Maguire and the Wizbang's Kevin are very, very smart people. They know they took a tiny non-issue (the hard pass) and made a big deal out of it. That's the Sean Hannity MO -- find a tiny little thing, or something someone said 20 years ago, twist and conflate it and, voila, you can make anyone you like appear to be a liar, an idiot and a menace to society. No, these guys are shrewd. I watched Maguire do this during the Christmas in Cambodia kerfuffle (and that was a true kerfuffle) and he's playing the same game now. It'll convince the others wingers, but not anyone who looks at the issue dispassionately and with a modicum of critical thinking.

Raise your hands if you eve... (Below threshold)
DBL:

Raise your hands if you ever heard of Gannon before this brouhaha erupted? Talon News? No one? Ok.

How about Dan Rather? CBS? CNN? Oh.

This is about a "serious abuse of power?" OK, whatever you say, I can see you are feeling seriously put upon these days, kind of left out and wondering if the wheel will ever turn again. I don't want to pop your balloon. Enjoy!

It wasn't Gannon so much wh... (Below threshold)

It wasn't Gannon so much who abused his power, but Bush and McClellan, who obviously knew this was not a true reporter and who bent the rules to use him as a plant, and who, in this age of terrorism and background checks, managed to allow a fake-named male prostitute with no true claims to journalism into the White House, claimed total ignorance, and even gave him some incredible leads on highly controversial stories. Not a big deal? Depends on how you look at it. If I were in Bush's shoes, I'd sure like to sayt it's no big deal. As an American citizen, however, I have to say it's a huge deal -- a sign of a conscious and persitent effort to propagandize and control messages, and to slam "liberals" in public. It's really black and white: they turned the press briefing into a choreographed partisan show. Period, end of story, full stop. And yes, a very big deal iundeed.

Brian, Richard, Moonbats, e... (Below threshold)

Brian, Richard, Moonbats, et al.

Sorry, didn't read your posts. Not bored enough. Been there, done that, don't give a shit. But kudos to you for flogging this dead horse so passionately. Seriously. It's idiotic, and sad, but you deserve credit for your perseverance. Kos will be proud. Say "Heil" to him from me, will you?

Anyway, it's Friday. Time to partaaayyyy!

Remember what I said: taunt... (Below threshold)

Remember what I said: taunt, ridicule, laugh it off. Sean Hannity and Rush honed it into a fine art, MisterPundit pales in comparison. So Republican -- don't want to face an issue, simply make fun of and deride it.

"Remember what I said: taun... (Below threshold)

"Remember what I said: taunt, ridicule, laugh it off."

Sorry, been reading too much "Screw Them" Kos and Willis lately. They're rubbing off on me.

"don't want to face an issue, simply make fun of and deride it."

Allow me to clarify. I'm actually making fun of, and deriding YOU, not the "issue". Sorry if I didn't make that clear before.

Now, I got to go. I'll belittle and ridicule you guys some more tomorrow.

Hugs.

If Kevin hasn't covered the... (Below threshold)
liberalstastelikechicken:

If Kevin hasn't covered the "pertinent, mainstream issues" regarding Gannon, just what are they?? While you're at it, please explain why the resignation of a "fake" reporter from a "fake" news organization amounts to a hill of beans.

This whole thing makes me s... (Below threshold)
JimmyJohn:

This whole thing makes me sick. See all of this Republicans? This is what you've become! A bunch of whiners and backpeddlers.

"I can see you are feeling ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

"I can see you are feeling seriously put upon these days, kind of left out and wondering if the wheel will ever turn again."

Huh? Left out? Wondering if a Democrat will be president "ever" again? Man, you must have been so bitter under Clinton that you have "divorced yourself from reality". You must have felt so marginalized that you project that onto Democrats today.

I'll tell you how I feel. I feel disappointed that Bush won, but pleased that he won by such a small margin. That shows me that although the country is leaning right these days, it's only by a slim majority. And I also feel glad that I live in a country where the idealogical bent of the citizenry determines the presidency.

This is another aspect of right-blindness that I don't understand. You act like you won permanent ownership of the presidency. Or that Bush won 99% to 1%. Need I remind you that prior to Bush's 8 years there was a Democrat in charge for 8 years? And that after Bush is gone, there will be someone else, either Republican or Democrat? And that even if a Republican wins, then 4, 8, or 12 years later there will most likely be a Democrat again?

Does it really make sense to act like such a jerk now, and then expect to be taken seriously when the country goes through its inevitable swing back to the left? I don't know when that will be, and of course I hope it's soon, but non-thinkers like you will surely be left in the dust.

"Sorry, didn't read your po... (Below threshold)
Brian:

"Sorry, didn't read your posts. Not bored enough."

Oh, man, thanks for the good laugh! Translation: You find yourself unable to justify your views in any intelligent way, and so you feign disinterest. Just what I said you would do. Thanks for proving my point. It's idiotic and sad, and you deserve absolutely no credit. Now go enjoy your kerfuffle with your fellow "who needs facts?" non-thinkers.

please explain why the ... (Below threshold)

please explain why the resignation of a "fake" reporter from a "fake" news organization amounts to a hill of beans.

His resignation isn't the issue, it's the fact that he was there under extraordinary circumstances, vanished under extraordinary circumstances and was given access to extraoridnary information.

Maureen Dowd couldn't get a press pass for a year. This guy just shows up, and he's in! Not a real reporter, not a real news service, but those are trifling matters. So, Talon's owned by GOPUSA and their man with a fake name is tossing softball questions to the president of the united states and getting called before journalists from large-readership pubs and syndicates -- so what? Oh, I almost forgot, this fellow no one seems to know anything about and uses fake names -- he's also a male prostitute, 8 1/2-inches cut. Silly me, why should any of this matter? It's everyday stuff. If it had happened under Clinton, no one would have said a word! That liberal media always went easy on Clinton, and gave him total proivacuy and never tried to pry. So it's only right, in the name of fairness, that we extend the same love and courtesy to Bush.

Oh, brother.

"please explain why the res... (Below threshold)
Brian:

"please explain why the resignation of a "fake" reporter from a "fake" news organization amounts to a hill of beans."

Try to keep up. The issue isn't his resignation. The issue is the admission of a "fake" reporter from a "fake" news organization into the White House press room. Oh, and the wonderful coincidence that, according to Ari Fleischer, he was "related to the party."

KERFLUFFLE*bzzt bz... (Below threshold)
Some Guy:

KERFLUFFLE

*bzzt bzzt*

MORAL VALUES

*bzzt*

FLOGG-AAARGH

"Oh no! The BushBot has broken down!"

Prostitutes in the press room. Way to go, Values Voters.

Seems Kevin covered all thi... (Below threshold)
liberalstastelikechicken:

Seems Kevin covered all this...better re-read. Keep shoveling though.

"Seems Kevin covered all th... (Below threshold)
Brian:

"Seems Kevin covered all this...better re-read."

Once again, a rightie with no intelligent statements to make, so he just hand-waves it off. Richard, you were so right. Why do people like this even bother posting?

"Keep shoveling though."

And you keep licking.

I thought I was going to b... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

I thought I was going to be typing a lengthy comment on Kevin's continued ability to mine the very depths of hypocrisy and distortion, but I'm glad to see that commenters Brian and Richard have already done such a thorough job, validated by the petty taunts of MrPundit!

If this was a non-story, this would not be the third Wizbang! post I'm reading, Ari Fleischer wouldn't need to comment, Chris Matthews would not have been forced to cover it, and Lefty blogs would be talking about why Brit Humes should be fired.

Even as the blogs investigating this story have continued to play the gay sex/escort/prostitution angle for all it's worth, focusing on the the ancillary allegations shows how marginal the story actually is.

Kevin, if you go over to AMERICAblog, the latest Gannon post is about how he told news producers what Bush was about to announce hours before it happened.

You're the one peddling the smut.

The efforts being made to (... (Below threshold)
jag:

The efforts being made to (pardon the expression) "elevate" this Gannon thing to an "issue" is pretty hysterical.
Security risk? I'm sure he wasn't physically screened, right.
Bush was in on this? Riiight
A guy asks (admittedly) soft ball questions to Bush and the "professionals" go ape. Like they didn't constantly feed Clinton soft balls. As if the Rather and Jordan fiascos didn't prove the term "professional" is pretty fluid in the journalism business.
Face it, journalism has become show biz, rarely serious inquiry. Its all about gotcha (unless its a liberal) and finding some scandal to hang on a conservative (any conservative).
Should Gannon have gotten in? No. Should Helen Thomas been allowed to ask asnine questions for decades? No.
Unless you have previously condemned the crap Helen Thomas spewed you really have no business whining about this nonentity.

We always knew who Helen Th... (Below threshold)

We always knew who Helen Thomas worked for and we always knew her name. In the entire history of journalism -- and I have my Master's in journalism from NYU and was a reporter for nearly a decade -- I've never, ever heard of anything like this. Eason and Rather screwed up, and they payed a dear price. But the key issue isn't even journalism in the Gannon case -- it's about intentional deception of the public, having a "reporter" repeat verbatim Republican talking points and bash liberals in front of TV cameras whilst pretending to be objectively asking legitimate questions. It's an extention of the whole macabre trend in DC, where town halls are scripted and packaged and tied with a little bow-tie, where you don't know anymore if someone is on the payroll of the GOP or a legitimate reporter. It's becoming a cancer, and the Gannon episode pushed the issue off a cliff.

You repeat the clichee of reporters lobbing softballs to Clinton. I can show you right now video and in-print proof of Gannon lobbing softballs. I want proof of reporters doing the same to CLinton. Because the way I remember it, they attacked him relentlessly in one of the most shameful and prolonged (8 years) clusterfucks I've ever seen in this country, and for far less serious sins than those committed hourly by our Dear Leader.

Masters in Journalism eh? ... (Below threshold)
liberalstastelikechicken:

Masters in Journalism eh? Then maybe you can do a Google search (maybe not)...try "Clinton softballs".

"maybe you can do a Google ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

"maybe you can do a Google search ...try "Clinton softballs"

Ah, yes, here we go. Fourth site down... "Pitching Softballs: Why Are Journalists Going Easy on Bush?"

Interesting to see the libe... (Below threshold)
equitus:

Interesting to see the liberal rapid-reaction forces in the comments of all these "right-wing" blogs. Gotta give them credit for their tenacity.

I question a few things these guys keep saying, though:

1) "It's an extention of the whole macabre trend in DC, where town halls are scripted and packaged..." and the like. I seriously question the degree of impact Gannon had on media coverage BEFORE he was outed - I think it hardly rises to the level of choreography claimed by his accusers. I don't believe anyone anywhere would have ever heard any of his softball questions outside of Talon news, if this story had not broke. If this was an act of conspiracy to change the tenor of MSM coverage, it is the lamest scheme I've ever heard. (I guess then this would be proof of what an idiot Bush is.)

2) "Gannon was a shill paid by the WH." I haven't seen any proof that he was on the WH payroll. True, he likely got money from partisan groups, but there are a plenty of mainstream journalists who sometimes make a few bucks this way - through honorariums, free-lance articles, etc.

3) "Gannon had no journalistic credentials." Is there really a rule about this, that admission to the press room is restricted to people who meet certain "credential criteria?" If so, what are these rules and where are they published? (btw, Helen Thomas stopped being a reporter years ago.)

4) "Gannon was invited into the press room while Dowd was not." Is press room access always (or at least usually) initiated by invitation? I always thought access was based on the journalist's initiative. I speculate that if Down hung out each morning as Gannon did, she'd likely get in (i.e. her 'rejection' was for a hard pass).

5) I'm not at all clear what Gannon's alleged homosexuality has to do with anything. Why is the left flogging this aspect, mentioning it frequently? If it's hypocrisy you claim, this is a straw man - the Bush admin does not hate homosexuals and only wishes to limit them in marriage - not professional achievement.

6) In spite of facts to the contrary, it's still common to see statements like this: "Bush and McClellan, who obviously knew this was not a true reporter (UNPROVEN,AND UNLIKELY WRT BUSH) and who bent the rules (UNPROVEN) to use him as a plant (UNPROVEN), and who, in this age of terrorism and background checks, managed to allow a fake-named (FALSE) male prostitute (SO WHAT) with no true claims to journalism into the White House, claimed total ignorance, and even gave him some incredible leads on highly controversial stories. (LIKELY FALSE)"

Again, I have to hand it to the commenters at this blog and others for really giving it there all. Unfortunately for them, they can't see how much their exposing the weakness of their arguments for all to see.

Reading the posts of MrPund... (Below threshold)
Duncan:

Reading the posts of MrPundit, liberalstastelikechicken (what a clever name) et al is like watching a child cover her ears, close her eyes and shout "la la la I can't hear you".

"You find yourself unable t... (Below threshold)
Joe:

"You find yourself unable to justify your views in any intelligent way"

Hyperbole.

Look, this is getting sad. Gannon is YOUR addiction, not ours. If you want something more than ridicule in exchange for your obsession with Gannon, go to Kos and join a circle jerk. Or go see a psychiatrist. They probably won't be interested either, but at least they'll pretend to listen in exchange for payment.

Has Barney the dog been connected to anything yet? That may be interesting.

Damn!! This Gannongate is g... (Below threshold)
Lepuchica:

Damn!! This Gannongate is getting a lot of airplay.

* Kos mentioned on Keith Olberman's show on MSNBC.

* Kos mentioned by John Stewart on the 'Daily Show.'

* Now I just saw a screenshot of the Kos website on Anderson Cooper's show on CNN.

The folks at LGF must be green with envy.

Quote: He wasn't a real rep... (Below threshold)
Septeus7:

Quote: He wasn't a real reporter

And Helen Thomas is?

Has Barney the dog been ... (Below threshold)
Gannon Who?:

Has Barney the dog been connected to anything yet? That may be interesting.

He's been caught licking himself on more than one occasion. The little pervert!

I'm still not quite getting... (Below threshold)
Michael:

I'm still not quite getting it, if the administration were willing to go down the risky path of giving a pass to an "operative" so as to receive favorable press, why would they choose a "homosexual prostitute" with no credentials and virtually no readership? If they were going to take that sort of risk, wouldn't they at least pick someone who wasn't going to be so easily discredited and whose comments might actually be seen by someone?

Maybe it went something like this -

Evil Republican person (1)
"Ok guys, lets see, who shall we give this last day pass to?"

Evil Republican person (2)
"well, we have this guy, he regularly works with Fox, you know, the HIGHEST rating Cable news network, exceptional journalistic credentials and has written many widely read sympathetic articles"

Evil Republican person (1)
"hmmm, he doesn't quite do it for me, anyone else?"

Evil Republican person (3)
"Ok there's this male prostitute that I know (don't ask) that occasionally writes for the uh Tolan...no hang on, I think that might be Talon...yep that's it...Talon Magazine. Hardly anyone reads his words and his background means that he will be very quickly exposed and used to try and embarrass us.
So, what do you think?"

Evil Republican person (1)
"Yep, he sounds perfect, give him full security clearan...doh...I mean give him the pass"

Septeus7Of course ... (Below threshold)
Duncan:

Septeus7

Of course Helen Thomas is a real journalist. She covered the White House for 57 years beginning with John F Kennedy. She was the only female journalist to travel to China with Nixon. She's covered every presidency and probably knows more about what goes on in Washington than every member of the blogosphere combined.

Your post is so typical of republican commentary it makes me sick. So she gave the President a hard time. She asked tough questions. You don't then need to just insult her. How about dealing with the issues she raises rather than just shooting the messenger.

I don't believe anyone a... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I don't believe anyone anywhere would have ever heard any of his softball questions outside of Talon news, if this story had not broke.

Wrong. I myself heard and read his "divorced from reality" question in the MSM. Then after Gannongate broke, I thought, "oh yeah, I remember that!"

3) "Gannon had no journalistic credentials." Is there really a rule about this, that admission to the press room is restricted to people who meet certain "credential criteria?"

C'mon, now you're being silly. This is common sense. It's the "press room" at the "White House". Would you really trivialize it to suggest that there not be criteria as to what qualifies as a legitimate news organization that's allowed access to the most powerful man in the world? How 'bout we let The Onion in, or the Daily Show? Heck, the White Nationalist Report meets McClellan's criteria better than Talon News does.

4) "Gannon was invited into the press room while Dowd was not." Is press room access always (or at least usually) initiated by invitation?

It's a figure of speech, Mr. Literal. You apply, and if they accept you they "invite" you. Just like getting into the AMPAS. They "invite" you in, after reviewing your application.

5) I'm not at all clear what Gannon's alleged homosexuality has to do with anything. Why is the left flogging this aspect, mentioning it frequently?

I have to agree. I wish this aspect was left out of serious discussion. But Americans flock to the prurient.

If it's hypocrisy you claim, this is a straw man - the Bush admin does not hate homosexuals and only wishes to limit them in marriage - not professional achievement.

You. Can't. Be. Serious. Even as Guckert's true colors were revealed, the administration issued orders that the words "gay," "lesbian," "bisexual" and "transgender" be removed from the program of a federally funded conference on suicide prevention. Or is it OK to limit them in living?

6) In spite of facts to the contrary, it's still common to see statements like this

No more common than seeing unsubstantiated statements that go the other way. So we'll call this one a draw.

Again, I have to hand it to the commenters at this blog and others for really giving it there all. Unfortunately for them, they can't see how much their exposing the weakness of their arguments for all to see.

Typical righty statement. You'd rather be condescending and vacuous than defend your position with fact.

"Damn!! This Gannongate is ... (Below threshold)
Dan:

"Damn!! This Gannongate is getting a lot of airplay.
* Kos mentioned on Keith Olberman's show on MSNBC.
* Kos mentioned by John Stewart on the 'Daily Show.'
* Now I just saw a screenshot of the Kos website on Anderson Cooper's show on CNN.
The folks at LGF must be green with envy."

A lot of airplay? MSNBC and CNN combined do not touch Fox News. A lot of airplay. That's funny.

The only ones "green with envy" are those driving this non-story.

Look, this is getting sa... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Look, this is getting sad. Gannon is YOUR addiction, not ours.

So the right never shuts up about Jordan, Churchill, Dan Rather, etc., and thinks the whole country should be up in arms. But a paid shill for the White House is just an "addiction" of the left. Got it.

Has Barney the dog been connected to anything yet?

You tell me. It's you conservatives who are "addicted" to associating cartoon characters with morally subversive behavior.

"well, we have this guy,... (Below threshold)
Brian:

"well, we have this guy, he regularly works with Fox, ...

One thing I never accused Republicans of being is stupid. But if you're really suggesting that it's better to plant a high-profile shill than a low-profile shill... well, let's just say that Karl Rove won't be calling you for strategy advice.

Of course, fabricating docu... (Below threshold)
Dan:

Of course, fabricating documents to influence a presidential election is something about which the whole country should not be up in arms.

And, access to the Saddam r... (Below threshold)
Dan:

And, access to the Saddam regime was more important than truth.

And, finally, referring to ... (Below threshold)
Dan:

And, finally, referring to the almost 3,000 men and women killed at the hands of terrorists in the Twin Towers as little Eichmanns should not boil our blood.

Rather, Jordan, and Churchi... (Below threshold)
Dan:

Rather, Jordan, and Churchill got what they deserve.

Let me clarify my last stat... (Below threshold)
Dan:

Let me clarify my last statement with respect to Churchill.

He deserves all the negative press for his ludicrous and insensitive statements.

He does not deserve to be fired. Hey, he's tenured and that's the contract the university signed.

He simply should never have been hired.

Now, if he is proved to be a fraud, that's a horse of a different color.

"he's also a male prostitut... (Below threshold)
west:

"he's also a male prostitute, 8 1/2-inches cut."

And here I thought lefties liked gay people - I guess they think less of them than regular folk after all.

They really are having a problem getting their message out. How's this:

"Being gay and being allowed too keep your sex life private is your right - unless you are conservative, in which case beiong GAY is BAD, and you deserve whgatever you get - especially if your dick is longer than mine."

A little long for a campaign slogan, you should boil it down some, but the basic important ideas are there.

Look whose calling someone ... (Below threshold)
Papertiger:

Look whose calling someone a partisan media whore.

Brian, I'm a news ... (Below threshold)
equitus:

Brian,

I'm a news junkie and I missed Gannon previously. Not that you're wrong - just that I don't think he was effective at what you claim was his mission.

It seems to me that the left relies a bit too much on such figures of speech to make their point - coming to repeat and even believe them literally. So language matters, and accuracy when making charges is important.

Most of the sentences that I wrote that ended in "?" were serious questions. I don't know what the criteria for the WH press is, and I suspect it's a little more loose than you presume (regarding press cred, not counting security of course).

I don't want to digress into a debate about conservative views of homosexuality, but I will say that the left routinely mischaracterizes the conservative POV on the subject. Yes, there are some homophobes in the GOP (as well as some among the Dems), but this idea is not the root of the Admin's gay policy. Yes, I. Am. Serious. I hope you'll take the time to rethink for yourself and not rely solely on accusations from the likes of Blumenthal.

(I haven't read all the com... (Below threshold)

(I haven't read all the comments yet, but wanted to skip down to comment)

Hey, Brian?

So journalistic standards are your only raison d'etre to join up on the gay-bashing of Gannon? Am I reading that right?

How about telling us then, about Russell Mokhiber [from editor&pub] "Every day there are a whole bunch of people there I have never seen, and their questions make you wonder who they are representing," said Judy Keen, a USA Today White House reporter whose time there dates to 1992. "It is not as rigid and structured as people might think."

Several reporters pointed to Russell Mokhiber, editor of Corporate Crime Reporter, who has been attending press events through a daily press pass for several years. Some say he is as partisan as Gannon in his questions, but often with a left-leaning approach. One reporter called him "the ideological flip-side of Gannon."

Day passes are the equivalent of 'standby' status at the airport, or standing outside the theater to see if there are any unclaimed tickets to be purchased cheap. It allows the great unwashed access (and experience). What, you think only those with a Bachelor's from an "approved" School of Journalism should get in? Or an organization with "prior clearance" from yet another Goverment bureaucracy? Just how far do you want to go in order to re-solidify the anointed elite who will filter for us lowly plebes what comes out of WH press conferences?

I realize Al Gore is probably kicking himself every night about inventing the Internet, but why are you willing to join the gang that wants to put the blog genie back in the bottle?

I just find this whole "get Gannon" meme so, so Jr. High (and y'all make Fred Phelps PROUD)

westThe Left is a ... (Below threshold)

west

The Left is a cult and as such, they claim to be an "authentic" [gay/woman/black, etc] one HAS to be a member of the cult or one is an apostate.

Gannon, whether or not he is gay is irrelevant. The Left has declared him gay and "inauthentic"

vis a vis Jim Jones and Islamists, we know how cults treat apostates. This is why the FredPhelps style of "f**"bashing you see from the Left in regards to Gannon.

Thank god Samuel Clemmons is dead. Think what the Left would have done to him with his access to the WH and Congress after having used a "fake" name and his writings containing the "n" word.

After reading both sides of... (Below threshold)
Harry Mallory:

After reading both sides of the argument, I would agree with the liberal viewpoint that if a Gannon, non-journalist soft-ball question asking shill had existed in the Clinton WH, conservatives would not have missed the oppurtunity to rake the administration over the coals for allowing this guy into the press pool. They (Clinton Admin officials), would have gotten rid of the guy and made sure they were more careful of making sure this incident would not be repeated. Thats what this administration needs to do. I dont know what they were smoking.

Having said all that. Democrats would have accused conservitives of making a big deal out of nothing, and they would be right. This comes no where near the scale of scandal liberals are trying to make this out to be. Gannon was not involved with any serious breach of "jounalist ethics". Not on this scale: He did not accuse the US military of using nerve gas to silence American POW's held in N. Vietnam, (Arnet), attempt to use questionable documents to turn an election, (Rather), or Accuse American soldiers of bumping off newsmen in Iraq, (Jordan).

Common! Perspective here!

HarryAnd let's not... (Below threshold)

Harry

And let's not forget that CNN was Saddam's pool boy...Jordan admitted that, too -- a story our sainted, credentialed and All.The.Correct.Degrees mainstream media left on the cutting room floor.

Ironic how the Left continues to belie all the "values" it says it champions when such things work to the "infidels" advantage.

I'm a news junkie and I ... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

I'm a news junkie and I missed Gannon previously. Not that you're wrong - just that I don't think he was effective at what you claim was his mission.

At some point equitus, those of you on the Right are gonna run out of even the most convoluted assertions of what supposedly motivates us.

Yes, there are some homophobes in the GOP (as well as some among the Dems), but this idea is not the root of the Admin's gay policy. Yes, I. Am. Serious. I hope you'll take the time to rethink for yourself and not rely solely on accusations from the likes of Blumenthal.

Creative, but still a distortion. This is what Blumenthal actually said:

Thus a phony journalist planted by a Republican operation, used by the White House press secretary to interrupt questions from the press corps, called on by the president for a safe question, protected from FBI vetting by the press office, disseminating innuendo and smears about critics and opponents of the administration, some of them gay-baiting, was unmasked not only as a hireling and fraud but as a gay prostitute, with enormous potential for blackmail

I can't think of a better example of an attempt to use the Gannon salacious sexual evidence as a political weapon.

And here I thought lefti... (Below threshold)

And here I thought lefties liked gay people - I guess they think less of them than regular folk after all.

I like gay people, and I am gay myself. But there are supposed to be background checks done before we let people in to romp around the White House. No, the checks shouldn't go after irrelevant things that are legal, like being gay. But running a prostitution ring -- hell, all we had to do was google his name and there it was! We're dumping gazillions into national security and we can't do a background check on Kerik or Gannon?

This thing has now exploded onto the national television stations, and it won't go away, no matter how loudly InstaPuppy and Tom Maguire shout out, "Move along, there's nothing to see here!" Well, obviously there's something to see or Wizbang wouldn't have three posts up about it and the wingnuts wouldn't be in a veritable frenzy of hysteria insisting there's nothing to be hysterical about.

Bottom line: Somebody let Gannon in and we all know he had no more business being there than I do (I'm not a journalist anymore). You don't just get handed a pass every day simply for materializing, and I know because I worked in DC for 2 years as a reporter. Cut the crap guys -- it's simply not true, it's simply a lie to say it was standard procedure for a guy like Gannon to be given a daily press pass every day. He was there with someone's blessing. I won't say it was GWB's because I have no proof of that, but there seems to be evidence Bush was at least aware that Gannon would kiss his ass. Scott, on the other hand, has no way out. His fingers were caught in the cookie jar and he can squirm and lie, as he does daily at his briefings, but his career and reputation are now in deep shit. Luckily, every sleuth in DC and all over the country are now looking into this, and I'm willing to bet we're just at the tip on an iceberg. Hold tight -- the pyrotechnics haven't even started.

Clive, I love that quote fr... (Below threshold)

Clive, I love that quote from Sidney Blumenthal so much, I can't resist repeating it. Read it, my see-no-evil Republican friends, and weep:

Thus a phony journalist planted by a Republican operation, used by the White House press secretary to interrupt questions from the press corps, called on by the president for a safe question, protected from FBI vetting by the press office, disseminating innuendo and smears about critics and opponents of the administration, some of them gay-baiting, was unmasked not only as a hireling and fraud but as a gay prostitute, with enormous potential for blackmail.

Yikes!!

Wow... so every 'journalist... (Below threshold)

Wow... so every 'journalist', even those with day passes, need FBI vetting? Do we stop with just running their name through NCIC? How about IRS records? Current year or 10 years back? How about their international travel? Local police databases?

Heck, if we are going to go even BEYOND police records to "private" life consensual stuff ... do we get to look into what movies/books/dvd they've bought, rented or were seen attending? (Bork, anyone?) How about swinger clubs, infidelity or, in Wonkette's case, "backdoor" obessions? Alcoholism, recovering or not? How about what ex-spouses and ex-lovers have to say about the 'subject' being vetted? How about credit reports?

How many "journalists" will be left standing in the press room after this sanctimonious purge by the Easily Offended by Apostasy?

heheheheh.

yes richard, repeat...espec... (Below threshold)

yes richard, repeat...especially the "gay prostitute" angle

and then look up the term "libel per se"

I will adore the lawsuits in this regard.

And let's not forget tha... (Below threshold)

And let's not forget that CNN was Saddam's pool boy...Jordan admitted that, too -- a story our sainted, credentialed and All.The.Correct.Degrees mainstream media left on the cutting room floor.

Oh, so you're now telling us that the "MSM," that awful liberal media left that story "on the cutting room floor." Prepare to get fisked and proven to be either a.) very misinformed and lazy or b.) a conscious and willing falsifier of fact. I suspect you are not lazy and that you read the news, so I have no choice but to conclude that it's letter b!

Why do I say this? Cut and paste the following into google and click "enter," and then come back and tell us the "MSM" didn't cover the story:

saddam + CNN + eason 2003

Liar. Heh. Indeed.

Harry, good points. John F ... (Below threshold)
Joe:

Harry, good points. John F Kennedy also had his own "shill" reporter, but I agree with most of what you said.

On the "partisanship" issue - I think it should become POLICY that ONLY openly rightwing and leftwing partisan reporters are given press passes, and in equal numbers each. Forget the nonpartisan bullshit. There is no such thing as an nonpartisan reporter. The only way to achieve true transparency is to be transparent.

The "false name" thing - Gannon was credentialed using his real name. I don't care what Gannon calls himself professionaly. He probably did it to hide his gay past. Can't blame him.

On the "not a real reporter" issue - To me this was actually a plus! I wish the Whitehouse would approve more reporters OUTSIDE of the mainstream media establishment. In fact, I believe that at least a third of ALL press passes should be reserved for citizen reporters ONLY. Perhaps then we'll get some questions that actually make fucking sense to us CITIZENS.

The most interesting part about this story is the gay prostitute angle, but only because it's kinda weird. I'm a libertarian though so I think prostitution should be legal - gay and straight.

Darleen, I've really tried ... (Below threshold)

Darleen, I've really tried to be civil and will try to remain so. But you don't know how things in DC work, and your comments betray a serious ignorance of White House clearance processes. Really. Again, if you believe anyone can just show up at the White House and be given the clearances Gannon was, then there's no point arguing. And yes, I know, you'll react with the typical deer-in-the-headlights snark and jeering and demagoguery. Then again, what else can you do? Rational argument can work in this case; you can't rationalize a scandal as ripe and juicy as this -- Americans aren't that stupid.

On the "not a real repor... (Below threshold)

On the "not a real reporter" issue - To me this was actually a plus! I wish the Whitehouse would approve more reporters OUTSIDE of the mainstream media establishment. In fact, I believe that at least a third of ALL press passes should be reserved for citizen reporters ONLY. Perhaps then we'll get some questions that actually make fucking sense to us CITIZENS.

Brilliant. When the level of conversation reaches such a level of idiocy there's not much we can do. Yes, let's allow all citizens into the White House press briefings. Gee, why didn't I think of that? Anyone wants to go into the White House, step right in! We're handing out press passes to aall who ask.

Idiot.

Thus a phony journalist ... (Below threshold)
Joe:

Thus a phony journalist planted by a Republican operation, used by the White House press secretary to interrupt questions from the press corps, called on by the president for a safe question, protected from FBI vetting by the press office, disseminating innuendo and smears about critics and opponents of the administration, some of them gay-baiting, was unmasked not only as a hireling and fraud but as a gay prostitute, with enormous potential for blackmail.

Again, hyperbole, innuendo and more unproven allegations. Want to know why we think this story is so stupid and retarded? Read the above quote.

Did Eason resign? Was he fi... (Below threshold)

Did Eason resign? Was he fired?

Obviously it was an even bigger firing offense than his slander was.

A flurry of "criticism" ... Jordan shrugs his shoulders in the NYTimes and to Wapo and

what? any calls for his resignation?

And the story dies after a very decidely brief exposure.

Reminds me of the Los Angeles Times/Staples scandal.

No wonder "msm" has gone down in credibility with the public and why newspaper circulation has dropped and ratings for The Sainted has, too.

Joe, you just showed us you... (Below threshold)

Joe, you just showed us your level of political savvy and seriousness with your previous post, where you said everyone should be allowed into the WH press room. You're not arguing in a reality-based manner, but simply shouting out the first thing that comes into your head.

"Yes, let's allow all citiz... (Below threshold)
Joe:

"Yes, let's allow all citizens into the White House press briefings."

Richard, I'm not suggesting we pull some dumb fuck like yourself off the street and hand him a pen. Bloggers will do.

Now, go fuck yourself.

richardit's obviou... (Below threshold)

richard

it's obvious you are wildly unfamiliar with this.

Let me know when you've at least read it.

Darleen, you crack me up. T... (Below threshold)

Darleen, you crack me up. The MSM condemned Eason across the board. CNN got blasted. Did you check the links? Sorry that he wasn't scalped for you back then, but the media was anything but silent or biased in this case. Why he wasn't fired at that time is something you need to take up with CNN.

Richard, I'm not suggest... (Below threshold)

Richard, I'm not suggesting we pull some dumb fuck like yourself off the street and hand him a pen. Bloggers will do.

Now, go fuck yourself.

Joe, now you're showing us the person you really are, and I appreciate your honesty. I guess I was wrong -- you really are sophisticated, witty and urbane. And to think, for a moment I thought you were a nasty guy. Thanks for sharing.

Darleen, you linked to an a... (Below threshold)

Darleen, you linked to an article on the First Amendment. Does the 1st Amendment guarantee every citizen the right to a White House press pass? Tell us, tell us -- inquiring minds want to know!

Not only is MoDo referring ... (Below threshold)
HH:

Not only is MoDo referring to a hard pass as opposed to "Gannon's" day pass, MoDo may very soon get her pass - which I suspect was the whole point of that column.

richardGannon got ... (Below threshold)

richard

Gannon got a friggin' DAY PASS...meaning he gave them his LEGAL name which they ran a check on.

Now unless you want to go full BORE security check ...which is something I'm very familiar with through both the DOD/FBI and local check (Ex-husband and I have worked with defense contractors and I now work in a DA office) ... then you are asking for a STOP for day passes, which allows startup or tiny organizations, or freelancers, access to PRESS conferences.

Good LORD man ... I would hope that even Jane Smith from Little Town High School's Herald reporting for the GSA should be able to stand in line, just like student standby at the airport and get a chance to the press conference.

Who the f**k are YOU to define "press"?

(kevin, excuse my 'french' but the veil has been dropped by the "freedom loving" Left and the dissembling annoys the h*ll outta me)

RichardGET A CLUE.... (Below threshold)

Richard

GET A CLUE...the first amendment disallows the government from DEFINING what is/is not "press."

And no one said any one has a "right" TO a pass, just a right to stand in line and wait for one.

Jaysus on a Pony ... the Tories would have loved you at the time of Revolutionary pamphleteers.

Darleen, I am a former DC j... (Below threshold)

Darleen, I am a former DC journalist and I know how things work there, that's all. Seriously -- I know how it works, and you don't. Period. Full stop. You may say that everyone who wants a day pass to the WH can get one for the asking, but you betray your ignorance. It's nothing to be ashamed of; I'm ignorant about certain things too. But I do know you have a misconception of who is allowed into the WH, especially in lieu of 911.

So Darleen, you're now sayi... (Below threshold)

So Darleen, you're now saying it's impossible to identiy who is or isn't the press. Funny, there have been journalistic standards for years, with a defined press corps acknowledged by Republicans and Dems alike -- for centuries!! and there's never been too much confusion until everyone's favorite male prostitute popped up in the WH like a bald jack-in-the-box. And now, all of a sudden, wingnuts are insisting it's impossible to define who's in the press or not. Sheesh!

Since when is the White Hou... (Below threshold)
Papertiger:

Since when is the White House press corps job to bury the President's message?

I'm reading up on this Gannon story and it seems that he was the person with the scoop, that Mary Mapes was the contact point for the Fake Tang Memos.
Gannon got that scoop> none of the other press got that. I'm not niave enough to think that these other news agents couldn't have had the scoop on this story. But if there is a unianimous block of press corp who is unwilling to report a "Mary Mapes trades DNC access for fake memo" story, then that makes Gannon the true reporter. A man who is necessary, a check on the mediawhores to keep them honest rather then a phony journalist planted by a Republican operation, used by the White House press secretary to interrupt questions from the press corps

And I'm the daughter of a n... (Below threshold)

And I'm the daughter of a newspaper man of the old school. I grew up with dinner table discussion dissecting news stories. And meaning if you're out of the "journalism" ::cough cough:: schools post mid 1960's, excuse me if I don't think of you as a "real" reporter.

One passes the minimum requirements for a day pass then one gets a chance to stand in line.

Don't stand there and try and snow me that everyone, including the partisan Mukhabir, there for a day pass gets the security level vetting.

OR THAT THEY SHOULD

But go right ahead with the FredPhelps bashing. Just makes the hypocrisy so so clear.

richarduntil you p... (Below threshold)

richard

until you produce a rap sheet, you'd outta watch the 'libel per se'

but I realize you may be just a "journalist" so legal rules don't apply, eh?

Oh my God. Papertiger, Gann... (Below threshold)

Oh my God. Papertiger, Gannon didn't unearth that scoop -- it was handed to him by Rove operatives. He didn't do detective work. (You seem to think the MSM wasn't interested in such information, which is flatly untrue -- any reporter would have KILLED for that info; the "MSM" had Rather's head on a platter and covered every second of Rathergate with glee.) Gannon was similarly handed info on Valerie Plame, or so it appears. Again, not by brilliant reporting, but because he's a lackey for the GOP.

Oh, this has indeed been an interesting exercise! Is there any critical thinking left here? Anyone with some real knowledge of the history here, and Gannon's traditional role as a mere copier of GOP press releases and talking points?? Come on guys, if you want to argue at least do your homework.

Easy, Darleen. Deep breath.... (Below threshold)

Easy, Darleen. Deep breath. Yes, I take it back, anyone who wants a press pass to the WH can get one. I don't know what I was thinking when I said otherwise.

Okay, I need some dinner.

RichardStop the se... (Below threshold)

Richard

Stop the sexist patronizing, dude.

For a "journalist" you have a reading comp problem...

or is it just pseudo-ego problem?

Sexist? Where on earth does... (Below threshold)

Sexist? Where on earth does that come from?

Anyway, I am an ex-journalist. I gave it up many years ago. I am now a mere seeker of truth and sanity. And it's not an easy thing to be, especially on winger blogs.

If I got overly annoyed, my apologies. But when you say the first amendment doesn't let us define who is or isn't a journalist -- I just get frustrated, because it seems like we are suddenly trying to rewrite the rules to accommodate Gannon. Last I heard, the White House took strong stands on family values and was not renowned for its tolerance of gay male prostitutes in its midst. Now it's okay. Now it's none of anyone's business. Now, as of last week, we can't say who is press amd who isn't. Can't you see, we're shifting the goalposts to spare Scott and Bush the embarrassment that it really and truly deserves in this case. I am not for smearing the president. But when the shoe fits, he has to wear it. Something smells so mightily here, and the Republicans are holding one another's nose, and it's a strange and lurid sight. That's all.

So it's left to richard to ... (Below threshold)
equitus:

So it's left to richard to slog it out in hostile territory. He better hope Kos sends in reinforcements - he's running out of ammo.

Re: Joe - A little flare-up there, but I want to note that richard stooped first by calling him an "idiot", thereby revealing HIS "level of political savvy and seriousness." I think Joe overreacted.

It seems we're down to a verifiable issue of what it takes to get into a WH briefing. Richard claims he knows based on 2 years as a reporter in DC (and I wouldn't bet it was the WH beat). Darleen and Joe have promoted the ideal that it *should* be open to persons not in the established media - but no proof that this is the practice. Someone ought to know for sure, but they're not particpating here (and I'm too lazy to research myself - for such a piddling issue anyway).

But then richard slips up and falls off the deep end again with fresh allegations:

"Oh my God. Papertiger, Gannon didn't unearth that scoop -- it was handed to him by Rove operatives. He didn't do detective work. (You seem to think the MSM wasn't interested in such information, which is flatly untrue -- any reporter would have KILLED for that info; the "MSM" had Rather's head on a platter and covered every second of Rathergate with glee.) Gannon was similarly handed info on Valerie Plame, or so it appears. Again, not by brilliant reporting, but because he's a lackey for the GOP."

You're telling me that Gannon is THE direct conduit for WH leaks to tear down the MSM? Better retrieve the tin-foil from the TV dinner, rich. :-) I don't suppose there's any proof of any of this nonsense, is there?

As for the coverage that Rathergate got, we were there. Like so many scoops that hurt liberals and Dems, this story was put off for as long as possible, and once broken (by Drudge or blogs) then finally covered but with a slant that paints the offender as a victim of shadowy forces.


a) I'm not so sure that the... (Below threshold)
equitus:

a) I'm not so sure that the WH was aware of Gannon's salacious background. If they did know, I don't think the WH would have chosen to work covertly with him - as you charge. Occam tells me they didn't know, and this suggests that they didn't have that much to do with him.

b) If they DID know (and weren't working with him), I don't think the WH felt they had any right to exclude him from press briefings based on this info. Think of the fuss from the left if they "excluded based on sexual orientation."

It's just impossible to take this stuff seriously.

Just tell us, equius, in re... (Below threshold)

Just tell us, equius, in regard to Joe's passionate suggestion that anyone who wants a WH press pass, reporter or not should get one -- do you think that's intelligent or idiotic? That's the only point that caused me to use the "idiot" word, and looking deep within my heart I can safely tell you that I was totally sincere; I truly felt it was an idiotic suggestion. Don't you? Honestly now. For him to respond with his "fuck you's" was a real shock and was quite uncalled for.

Excluding him for being gay... (Below threshold)

Excluding him for being gay would be unconscionable. Doing so because he was a working male prostitute would be quite another story. And you know it.

The WH may well not have known, which would indicate they couldn't do the most fundamental ID checks. Fake name, male prostitute web sites that any google search could uncover, you know, little stuff like that they let go by.... No, I guess there's no story here. Even though it tells us any terrorist on the planet can walk right into the West Wing if they ask for a day pass. Yikes.

I'm not sure the WH would h... (Below threshold)
equitus:

I'm not sure the WH would have the right to exclude him even if they knew he is (was) a prostitute. On what grounds? A security risk?

I think the ideal that Joe and Darleen promote is laudable, but perhaps not realistic. (I do know they were NOT claiming that this was the current process. You may have misunderstood.) It's not an idiotic idea, though - in fact it's a good one. I wouldn't be at all surprised if there were means for small, independent, and youth media representatives - if not any schmoe of the street - to get their chance as long as they weren't carrying weapons or bombs.

The thing is, none of here know just what it takes to get in.

Richard:::sigh::: ... (Below threshold)

Richard

:::sigh::: gads, my 2 y/o grandsons have better comprehension powers than you do.

Neither me nor Joe has said any where "all citizens have a right to the WH press room." At this point I have no idea whether your intransigence is real or pretense.

All "journalistic" standards, as you put it, are professionally adopted, not governed by legal fiat (libel & slander are not free speech). However, no matter how "clubby" self-proclaimed "Journalists" are, they do NOT get to silence anyone else that wishes to join the public square in speech in all its forms...tabloids, pamphlets, self-published weeklies, online versions of same, freelancers, etc. YOU have no more right to restrict the legal activities towards reporting, opinion or book writing than the government does. In your opinion Gannon is not a "real" reporter. You may be correct, but it still is your opinion, ONLY. If Bill Gates tomorrow bankrolls a building full of presses and starts "Microsoft, the Newspaper" the government has no more right to tell him he is not "legit" than it does Gannon or it does tell Scientology it's not a "religion" (you and I may agree its a poor excuse for a religion, but we have no right to interfere in the free association or exercise of their religion as long as they act in a legal manner).

I came of age in a time when everyone with access to a mimeograph machine tried their hand at community alerts and newsletters. Were those people "illegitimate?"

Again... Gannon gave his legal and professional name (you call it "fake"... is that how you call about half of Hollywood, not to mention the writers that use noms de plume?) and was then cleared to stand in line for an OPPORTUNITY for a day pass. I guess you believe the other reporters in the WH press room that told E&P (at my link above) that lots of people with unknown backgrounds got in all the time were lying, right?

I'm glad you are an ex-reporter. You don't really seem able to handle the job. Especially were it concerns libel.

Hmmm.What a lot of... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

What a lot of nonsense.

1. So what if Gannon is gay?

Are you liberals suggesting that gays have no place in the White House press room?

2. So what if he had a colorful past?

How many currently accredited reporters broke the law in their younger years? Is the guy still a prostitute? Frankly an assertion that seems more smoke than fire.

3. The MSM press is liberal beyond belief.

Frankly anyone who argues otherwise is an ass. One of the THE unasked questions of the 2004 election was why John Kerry entered into the USNR in 1966 on a 6 year tour, but didn't get his Honorable Discharge until 1978. As a former Marine I can tell you that it doesn't take 12 years.

MSM isn't liberal? What a crock. Clinton got softball questions all the time. It wasn't until Monica became big news, ratings trump ideology, that anyone dared challenge Clinton on anything. Even then many of the claims made by women injured by Clinton were never addressed or even acknowledged.

...

Frankly unless, and until, you liberals actually come up with something other than penny-ante nonsense, I'll ignore this ridiculous "scandal". So far I'm terribly unimpressed and I plan to treat this subject with the disdain it deserves.

Although I am going to keep an eye out for when Gannon files his lawsuits. I'd bet his lawyers are making copies of websites even as we speak. And don't think that just the website operators will get sued. There's plenty of libel being tossed around by commenters. It would be a truly amusing thing to see a lot of people served with papers over this.

from <a href="http://www.ed... (Below threshold)

from E&P

After a 30-minute sit-down with McClellan, WHCA President Ron Hutcheson said he believed the current system was fine and hesitated to have the correspondents' association play a bigger role in distributing press passes. "I'm not sure we need to do anything," Hutcheson told E&P. "I'm not comfortable in passing judgment on who is a journalist and who isn't. My overriding view is that if I am going to make a mistake, it is going to be on letting people in rather than keeping people out."

-----

Currently, two types of press passes are issued. The "hard pass," which allows reporters regular ongoing access to the White House, and "day passes," which must be issued each morning and are good only for one day. Hard passes are more difficult to obtain, requiring the reporter to first obtain a Capitol Hill credential, issued by a committee of congressional reporters known as the Standing Committee of Correspondents.

Day passes appear to be available to any reporter who provides his or her name, address, and social security number and the name of his or her news organization, and can pass a basic security check.

There it is. Other unknowns from "questionable" news organizations, like Mukhiber, have always had access and gotten day passes. This Monty Python No One Expects the Spanish Inquisition! routine is downright insulting. The WH is much more open to let the "rabble" rub elbows with the Anointed "Journalists" and the Left suddenly is concerned with "standards."

Yeah, right, sure, uh huh.

meshugga

"That's the only point that... (Below threshold)
Joe:

"That's the only point that caused me to use the "idiot" word, and looking deep within my heart I can safely tell you that I was totally sincere; I truly felt it was an idiotic suggestion."

LOL. Don't worry, as long as you meant it I can handle it. Besides, I think your suggestions are idiotic as well. Anyway, big deal. Let's move on. You called me an "idiot", I called you a "dumb fuck". Same thing really.

"Seriously -- I know how it works"

That's nice. Anyway, the "way it works" is completely unacceptable. I want LESS corporate media in the press pool. The whole thing is a sham. It's theatre. I want people like Kevin Aylward, Michael Totten, Kevin Drum, Jeff Jarvis, Charles Johnson, Josh Marshall etc. given the opportunity to ask some questions. Note, not just any old hobo hoping for a free snack at the Whitehouse, but citizen journalists who are untainted by corporate media's corrupt culture and cronyism.

"Last I heard, the White House took strong stands on family values and was not renowned for its tolerance of gay male prostitutes in its midst. Now it's okay."

You're buying into the myth that rightwingers are all "values voters". God knows you leftwingers like to flog that overhyped horse. Sure, Dobson is probably pissed about Gannon being gay, but Dobson is a loser, and he doesn't represent most of the "wingers" I know. He's like our Barbara Boxer, only Boxer hates black conservatives. Dobson hates black gays.

Gannon was similarly han... (Below threshold)
Gannon Who?:

Gannon was similarly handed info on Valerie Plame, or so it appears.

More, like he stooped down, picked it up, and read it in his WSJ. Add the fake press pass lie you keep ranting about, it's not hard to figure out why you are no longer a reproter -- assuming you ever were one.

Allegation: Daily Kos and E... (Below threshold)

Allegation: Daily Kos and Eschaton investigations delved into Gannon's personal life.

Fact: The investigation was built almost entirely from public data.

Allegation: Daily Kos and Eschaton investigations were trying to prove that Gannon was gay.

Fact: Gannon's extracurricular activities were a byproduct of the investigation of his real name, with the original purpose of finding a link between Gannon and the White House.

Allegation: "Media reports" falsely stated that Gannon had been issued a subpoena.

Fact: Gannon himself said he was subpoened at Free Republic--"Well, as many of you now know, I have been subpeonaed by the Federal grand jury for testimony in the CIA leak probe."

Allegation: The left side of the blogosphere are celebrating the Gannon takedown, equating him to Rather and Jordan.

Fact: They agree he's an obscure nobody.

Allegation: Gannon plagiarized RNC fact sheets.

Fact: That's not all he plagiarized. Pick an article of his at random and look for the associated press statement. I've done it three times and come up with three near exact copies.

Allegation: Talon News purged their files when they saw the investigation coming.

Fact: Talon has eradicated every Jeff Gannon article ever written, both from their own website and GOP USA's. When they discovered that people were using Wayback copies, they ensured those were purged, too.

Allegation: Gannon and others at Talon News quickly modified their Internet site domain records in an attempt to throw off the scent.

Fact: Last week, GOP USA and Talon News NIC records listed Bobby Eberle as owner, this week it's Endeavor Media Group. Gannon changed his domain ownership, too.

Allegation: Gannon was a White House plant.

Fact: Unknown, but unlikely. But given that Gannon's strong track record of plagiarism, it's unlikely he wrote any of his investigative pieces and then the question rises: who did?

Oh, and to forestall the inevitable charge: I'm not from the left. Football Fans for Truth, "John Kerry throws like a girl, didn't run the marathon or attend game 6" 527 organization that ol' Hugh Hewitt himself thanked after the election. Haven't changed sides lately, either.

Whether or not the Gannon story leads anywhere else, the right should take note. The left did an impressive job of building a case from data that most people don't even know exists. They didn't piss and moan and jump up and down demanding the media investigate--they did it themselves. The right might want to pay attention to the big stack of information they aren't using yet, rather than dreaming up false equivalencies that no one brought up in the first place.

Why "Getting Jeff Gannon" might matter more than you think

So journalistic standard... (Below threshold)
Brian:

So journalistic standards are your only raison d'etre to join up on the gay-bashing of Gannon? Am I reading that right?

No, you're not. I never advocated gay-bashing. In fact, I stated that I was disappointed that his homosexuality has become such a lightning rod for the left. You must be reading another blog.

Darleen, what's this obsess... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Darleen, what's this obsession with the gay angle? It was barely mentioned in this thread until you came along. Get over it.

And while you're at it, get over Al Gore. Sheesh.

Yes, there are some homo... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Yes, there are some homophobes in the GOP... but this idea is not the root of the Admin's gay policy.

Right. The root of the Admin's gay policy is to amend the Constitution, the most important document that defines the United States, whose amendments grant rights to citizens, for the sole purpose of denying a right. But they're not homophobes.

Jeff Gannon did an intervi... (Below threshold)
Papertiger:

Jeff Gannon did an interview with CNN. Which means that Mr.Gannon has more integrity then the "real" ex cheif of CNN's news department, Eason Jordan.

heh

Richard:"No, I gu... (Below threshold)
Harry:

Richard:

"No, I guess there's no story here. Even though it tells us any terrorist on the planet can walk right into the West Wing if they ask for a day pass. Yikes."

Now we're reaching Richard. We're getting awful desperate to make this into far more than it is and looking totaly absurd doing so.

BrianIf Gannon was... (Below threshold)

Brian

If Gannon was a hack or opportunistic hack that lifted some of his writings from others..go ahead and bust him on that. He resigned.

However the salacious and vituperative attacks on Gannon have almost exclusively focused on his personal life... a scorched-earth virtual crushing that Kos himself said "hey, sex sells" a deja vu variation of his infamous "screw 'em" meme.

And then there was democrat.com with its "Did GW have sex with Gurkert" post with its "promise" to keep "at it" until the "truth" came out.

Yeah, RIGHT this is not about punishing the apostate gay.

And consider support of the FMA is not prima facia evidence of [drum roll] H O M O P H O B I A. There are reasonable arguments against same-sex marriage. However, face the fact that the FMA got rolling for two big reasons... MA judges and Mayor Newsom. When you tell The People "f**k off, we make the LAWS not you!" You're gonna have people decide to go the legal route to try and amend the Constitution.

You know, that IS their right. Or do rights only exist at the behest of the Left?

The left did an impressi... (Below threshold)
Gannon Who?:

The left did an impressive job of building a case from data that most people don't even know exists. They didn't piss and moan and jump up and down demanding the media investigate--they did it themselves.

Oh, give me a fucking break! They did a google search and made some phone calls while pissing and moaning and jumping up and down about why the msm wasn't orgasming over the story.

Typing "allegation colon" does not make what follows relevant. And adding your little "fact"urd doesn't make you credible.

The root of the Admin's ... (Below threshold)
Gannon Who?:

The root of the Admin's gay policy is to amend the Constitution, the most important document that defines the United States, whose amendments grant rights to citizens, for the sole purpose of denying a right. But they're not homophobes.

No, they're not. They're just not willing to play some game of the emperor's new clothes.

Jeff Gannon is clearly a re... (Below threshold)
equitus:

Jeff Gannon is clearly a real piece of work. All of Cal Lanier's minutae illustrate a shady operator and questionable character. He shows very little discretion and therefore left plenty of stuff in the public record for the left to use against him.

But all this stuff (prostitution, plagiarism, etc.) is not important, doesn't matter. So Kos & Co organized a take-down, and the right should take note. I don't see why this matters.

The case for a link between him and the WH is weak; Day Passes are pretty easy to get. Gannon fancies himself a reporter, gets some initial attention as non-hostile to the President, gets a little GOP-USA money and starts getting regular day passes. Big deal.

So, the lefty blogs organize to see if he is one of those "paid journalists" we've all been hearing about. They find his PAC money (but nothing like Armstrong Williams) as well as his sordid background. That is, they don't find what they're looking for that would take down the White House, but they do find some goodies to take down the person.

What's the point of that? Why is that important?

I think the blog-right has a good thing going. The blogger investigations against Rather and Jordan weren't conducted quite as literally as the left has done with Gannon, but instead has demonstrated a sort of self-organizing that can emerge when disseminated agents are suitably motivated and connected. It's a microcosm of the left's statism vs. the right's free market. I trust the free market to be more efficient in the long run.

Darleen,If you're ... (Below threshold)

Darleen,

If you're gonna keep up the hypocritical gay-bashing angle, you might wanna get better evidence than pulling it out of a comment thread at democrats.com! Go to AMERICAblog or Raw Story, and pull your evidence from the blog posts!

But, I know you won't!

It's been 23 days since Media Matters posted it's first report on Gannon. If this was just a salacious assault against Gannon, you wouldn't be here!

The root of the Admin's ... (Below threshold)
equitus:

The root of the Admin's gay policy is to amend the Constitution

No, you're thinking is muddled. (It's getting late, I know.)

Amending the Constitution is the policy - not the root of the policy. Right? The root of the policy - its source and inspiration - is the age-old concept of the institution of marriage.

And I know you will scoff when I say in all honesty: this is not de facto the same thing as homophobia.

"The left did an impressive... (Below threshold)
Joe:

"The left did an impressive job of building a case from data that most people don't even know exists. They didn't piss and moan and jump up and down demanding the media investigate--they did it themselves."

Cal, you're too easily impressed. Searching WHOIS data is something your grandmother can do, even after it's changed. For WHOIS change history, use Whois.sc. Here's GOPUSA. Try it. You'll be shocked. From jeffgannon.com to finding the names of the porn sites registered in his name is 5 minutes worth of work, especially if they are all registered to the same registrant, Admin or Technical contact. The rest are all just Google searches. The only thing I find even mildly impressive is getting hold of those pics with Jeff "RockHard" Gannon. As I understand it they caught a break when the guy who did those sites for Gannon heard of the whole kerfuffle. Nonetheless, that is pretty good. Nothing like the reasearch that went into the Dan Rather forgeries though.

By contrast, with Eason Jordan the proof was the video tape of the event and eyewitness accounts. Simple. No amount of Googling around the internet would have produced that video. Eyewitness accounts were collected though. Not much more you can do.

By the way, Eason Jordan allegedly had an affair with murdered WSJ reporter Daniel Pearl's wife. That may be something where digging around archives will be useful. But thankfully nobody on the right is interested in that angle.

Anyway. I'm done with this thread.

Credible? It's the comments... (Below threshold)

Credible? It's the comments section of a blog.

None of the meaningful revelations came from phone calls, and much of it came from domain databases and archive caches. They also did a number of google searches, on a number of subjects. It's one thing to google Talon News, and quite another to google strings from Gannon's articles and find the original plagiarized source.

>Typing "allegation colon" does not make what follows relevant.

You should probably mention that to ol' Wizbang then, huh? See, I was using his format. Kind of a riff, you know?

"However the salacious and vituperative attacks on Gannon have almost exclusively focused on his personal life... "

Cite. Where are these "salacious and vituperative attacks" from the left bloggers that focus exclusively on his personal life? Bloggers, not forum posts, because Free Republic wouldn't stand up to any sort of scrutiny, either.

I ask because, unlike you, I actually read the entire investigation at dailykos and eschaton (and there's a bullet you can thank me for). Apart from the usual chortle at having uncovered a hypocrite (to the left, all gay Republicans are hypocrites), there were no personal attacks. They proved he was a gay male prostitute because he went on television and said he wasn't. Bad move. Ask Gary Hart.

In fact, I stated that I... (Below threshold)
Gannon Who?:

In fact, I stated that I was disappointed that his homosexuality has become such a lightning rod for the left.

Oh, yeah? Then why aren't you on all the lefty blogs telling them you are so *disappointed* in their gay bashing? Otherwise, all you're doing is having someone else do the dirty work for you.

oh...that's right... Raw St... (Below threshold)

oh...that's right... Raw Story was the one accusing Scott McClellan of being a closet gay ... you know, the nudge nudge wink wink about Scott and Gannon... ooooOOoooOOO ..

Yeah, not about gays. Just the "inauthentic" ones.

It's really strange that you accuse ME of gay-bashing because I'm pointing out the beyond the pale attacks on Gannon.

Can we say projection?

the left, all gay Republ... (Below threshold)

the left, all gay Republicans are hypocrites

Of course. The Left is a cult and only THEY can confer authenticity on who is or isn't a "true" gay.

God, that's so friggin' depraved. No wonder they are so apologetic about jihadists.

Joe said, " I wish the Whit... (Below threshold)

Joe said, " I wish the Whitehouse would approve more reporters OUTSIDE of the mainstream media establishment. In fact, I believe that at least a third of ALL press passes should be reserved for citizen reporters ONLY."

And Richard responded by saying "Brilliant... Yes, let's allow all citizens into the White House press briefings. Gee, why didn't I think of that? " and calling him an idiot.

That wasn't what Joe said, though, was it? He said *reporters* outside the MSM, _citizen reporters_, and he suggested reserving only a third of day passes for these citizen journalists. You might not like that idea, but you ought to at least recognize the difference between what he said and what you heard.

Next point- I actually am bothered by the fact that the WH missed his prostitution activities, and I think you make a couple of good points about that. My problen with it is that it is a very illegal activity, and I wish the security clearance process turned it up. Even though I suspect it's not that easy to discover illegal activity that a person hasn't ever actually been _charged_ with, I agree with you that this should be a cause for concern. You say you think most conservatives would have been upset about it had Clinton done it, and while I think not quite so many as you assume would be reacting differently, there are enough who would that I can say I think you got that right.

But you also get some stuff very wrong. His prostitution activities were not easily found via Google before the story broke, and in fact, were not 'found' at all- the creep he paid to do the website contacted the Americablog person and outed his client.

He did not get a daypass under an assumed name- he gave his real name and his social security number to the folks in charge of the passes. You lose mega credibility when you keep talking about him using an assumed name. They knew his real name.

The idea that as a gay prostitute Gannon was open to blackmail and thus a security threat is an idea that you might want to think through further. Gannon wasn't privvy to WH secrets. I know you think he was leaked some documents, but there is just not any credible evidence that he did anymore than read the papers. He's not in the military, he doesn't work for the WH- what security threat might he have been blackmailed to *cause* exactly? I just can't see that outing a reporter as a prostitute is a threat of much serious use to a blackmailer. He could be used for propaganda purposes, maybe (publish this or I publish that), but since his readership was so small, I can't see that being of much value.

You also lost all manner of credibility by insisting that the MSM was out to get Rather during Rathergate and covered that w/o bias in his favor. Come on.

Here's a question, a real question- you mentioned that he showed up with a press pass before the Talon agency even existed. But as I understand it only about a month or so before it was legall incorporated and all that. I have some experience (small, just two organizations) with incorporating and the paperwork involved, and although Talon may not have legally existed as an entity, based on my experiences, that does not mean Talon wasn't functioning, in the planning stages, and that the people involved were not already more or less in place and operating at some level. In both cases where I have some knowledge of the process (in one of them I actually did all the bylaw writing and paperwork filing with the state secretary, and so I know our group was actually functioning as the entity we later legally became _months_ before we existed as an incorporated group) So I'm wondering how accurate it is really to say Gannon had a press pass before Talon even existed. Is it possible that what that really means is Gannon had a press pass before Talon had completed its paperwork? We can't really be trying to say that Talon wasn't even a gleam in its mama's eye until the day the paperwork was magically filed and approved, right?

Well, I had some other questions/comments/brilliant observations, but it's late.


He's just not that big of a fish. I never heard of him before this story broke. I heard that a reporter asked that silly question about Democrats being divorced from reality, but I didn't get a name connected with it, and I knew from the question he didn't work for any MSM org. His sphere of influence was miniscule. He could have read Repub talking points all day long, and nobody knew about it except the reporters in the room and the tiny readership of his own agency, because his questions weren't reported by the MSM until the Dems divorced from reality one.

Darleen, I've read... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

Darleen,

I've read the Raw Story very carefully, and have it bookmarked. I know for a fact that it does not pointly, explicity or directly accuse McClellan of anything!

Such accusations are the product of hysterical and desperate apologists on the Right. Cite the passage, or shut up!

Joe--Mickey Kaus has commen... (Below threshold)

Joe--Mickey Kaus has commented quite a bit on Jordan's affair with Daniel Pearl's widow, and Howard Kurtz mentioned it in his original article (he then edited it).

And....wow, wait! Look here! Wizbang comments section on Jordan and Pearl's widow. Or maybe don't look, if you're so decent. A google reveals that most conservative blogs have had a conversation on the Jordan/Pearl connection, so don't be aping airs.

I never said searching NIC was difficult, but nice try at a strawman. I said that most people have no idea what NIC is, and even fewer thought of searching it. (and I do mean people, not just a narrow corner of the blogosphere)

I agree that there wasn't as much opportunity for investigation in the Jordan incident, although lord knows no one tried. But come on. Research into the Rather memos? Experts got their views to bloggers, who broadcast it from there. I can't recall a single relevant point that was achieved by investigation. The definitive KO was the MSM interviewing document experts, not anything dug up by the blogosphere. The major achievement was in getting the mainstream media to cover the story, do the research, and hold CBSs feet to the fire, when they showed every sign of ignoring it. A second accomplishment was broadcasting expert knowledge that was emailed or posted. Again, great stuff. But it's not the same sort of investigative process that was done in the Gannon story.

Darleen, I've read... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

Darleen,

I've read the Raw Story very carefully, and have it bookmarked. I know for a fact that it does not pointedly, explicity or directly accuse McClellan of anything!

Such accusations are the product of hysterical and desperate apologists on the Right. Cite the passage, or shut up!

Credible? It's the comme... (Below threshold)
Gannon Who?:

Credible? It's the comments section of a blog.

So, your defense for lack of credibility it's a blog?

None of the meaningful revelations came from phone calls, and much of it came from domain databases and archive caches.

They called the damn webmaster and the guy sent them all the porn photos so they could post them. And that was the ONLY meaningful revelation in theis whole crappy affair.

They also did a number of google searches, on a number of subjects. It's one thing to google Talon News, and quite another to google strings from Gannon's articles and find the original plagiarized source.

It's called select, copy, paste, google, dude. A crack smoking monkey could be taught to do that.

>Typing "allegation colon" does not make what follows relevant. You should probably mention that to ol' Wizbang then, huh? See, I was using his format. Kind of a riff, you know?

Wizbang: Allegation, colon, relevant.
You: Allegation, color, irrelevant.
See the difference?

"However the salacious and vituperative attacks on Gannon have almost exclusively focused on his personal life... " Cite. Where are these "salacious and vituperative attacks" from the left bloggers that focus exclusively on his personal life?

Cite where I wrote that first.

I ask because, unlike you, I actually read the entire investigation at dailykos and eschaton (and there's a bullet you can thank me for). Apart from the usual chortle at having uncovered a hypocrite (to the left, all gay Republicans are hypocrites), there were no personal attacks.

Bullshit.

Cal, don't be silly. Are Mi... (Below threshold)
Joe:

Cal, don't be silly. Are Mickey Kaus and Howard Kurtz rightwingers now? And some comments at Wizbang talks about Pearls wife? Oh boy, this thing is going global soon! Tell you what, let's just assume that it's mentioned in a few other places as well, just to cut to the end. The point you're missing is that Pearl's wife has barely been mentioned by most (not all, most) rightwing blogs. It sure as hell didn't feature as prominantly as the gay angle with the Gannon story.

And....wow, wait! Look h... (Below threshold)
Gannon Who?:

And....wow, wait! Look here! Wizbang comments section on Jordan and Pearl's widow. Or maybe don't look, if you're so decent.

Oh, give me another fucking break! One person in one thread as opposed to 500 comments in numerous threads fantasizing about every sex act known to man or beast. Get some perspective already!

This is the first I've hear... (Below threshold)
equitus:

This is the first I've heard of Jordan/Pearle.

I'm outta here...

"Get some perspective alrea... (Below threshold)
Joe:

"Get some perspective already!"

Unlikely. Cal's a guy who is more impressed by Google searches than typographical analysis. If the Kinko's where Burkett faxed his fake memos from had a porn site, maybe we could have nailed him through Google.

"although Talon may not hav... (Below threshold)

"although Talon may not have legally existed as an entity, based on my experiences, that does not mean Talon wasn't functioning, in the planning stages, and that the people involved were not already more or less in place and operating at some level."

Talon was a created, madeup entity, a pretend media group for GOP USA, a political action group. Gannon was issued a day pass under that company. If you check my article above, you'll see that Gannon posted about a press conference he attended prior to April 2003. Click his moniker and you'll see that he's representing GOP USA.

Keep in mind that Gannon declared that he never went to a press conference before April 2003.

About his readership: according to Gannon, they had 700,000 readers. That seems overstated (and there's no reason to believe Gannon on anything), but in any event, Talon News articles show up all over the conservative side of the blogosphere. Powerline, Michelle Malkin, and Rathergate to name just a few.

Shouldn't you, oh, I dunno, actually read about it before you decide that the story is unfounded, unimportant, or irrelevant? Most of the posters here seem only to know what their favorite bloggers have said, and while that's fine and dandy, it doesn't suit you well for an argument on the facts.

Look, I want to be clear: While I'm not hooting and hollering at the victory, I'm not at all sorry that they did this investigation, and I think it's quite possible (but not certain) that it will get more coverage than Jordan. The facts on Gannon, Talon News, and GOPUSA can't be disputed: Gannon owned and managed the domains, Gannon plagiarized, Talon News is nothing more than a pretend media company for GOP USA to game the system, Talon/GOP USA purged their sites of any Gannon articles in an attempt to avoid scrutiny, Talon/GOP USA and Gannon altered their domain records in an attempt to foil same.

So they've already gone well beyond Gannon. If there's any mechanism in place to validate media outlets, Talon News is probably in trouble. GOP USA may be in trouble if there are any laws about setting up a pretense of a media company to bypass various FCC restrictions. The actual authorship of Gannon's articles may or may not lead to further embarrassing revelations, which could potentially lead further into the Republican party.

The investigation was entirely appropriate. That's what journalism is, after all--digging up facts that require explanation or reveal untruths.

But the reason I wrote about it, and am trying to get people to pay attention, is that the conservative bloggers tend to think of the Internet as a really cool form of talk radio, and they need to realize that model is only a small part of the story. The left generated this story out of nothing more than information records available online, and they generated solid data.

They will in all likelihood do it again. The right needs to catch up.

Clive??I've rea... (Below threshold)

Clive??

I've read the Raw Story very carefully, and have it bookmarked. I know for a fact that it does not pointedly, explicity or directly accuse McClellan of anything!

Guess you didn't bookmark this now did ya?

excerpts:

Some question whether Gannon may have leveraged a personal intimate relationship with someone at the White House to gain access to President Bush ...

Sources have intimated possible relationships with members of the White House staff. Guckert did not respond to requests for comment.

RAW STORY has been told that the White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan visited a gay bar in Austin, Texas, on March 19, 1995. The date was placed exactly as a local memorial service was held on the same day.

The source, who would only comment on condition of anonymity, reserved comment on whether McClellan was actually gay, but said he was frequently seen at gay clubs.

Hey man...just a nudge nudge wink wink thing!

I bet Fred Phelps is putting you all on speed dial now.


GannonWho--there's a conver... (Below threshold)

GannonWho--there's a conversation of that sort at every conservative blog I checked. Free Republic is replete with speculation. I don't see anything wrong with it; I'm just pointing out that Joe's celebration of the right's forbearance is overplayed.

As for it not getting the same play--well, duh. It's not nearly as fun as a gay anti-gay Republican. But the idea that people aren't aware of it and comment on it--including on cable news shows--is absurd.

Besides, as I keep pointing out, the left did not get into the investigation to out Gannon.

"Unlikely. Cal's a guy who is more impressed by Google searches than typographical analysis."

Not true (in more than one way). I'm very impressed with typographical analysis. But that wasn't the role played by the conservative blogosphere.

CalCatch up? ... (Below threshold)

Cal

Catch up?

I think you got it backwards. I think Gannon was the poor hapless mongrel dog ripped to shreds with shrieks of delight because the Left was smarting after Dan Rather and Eason Jordan (and remember, too, it was righty blogs that got the ball rolling on Trent Lott).

I think it's to the right of center blogs credit that after Jordan resigned they did not do the personal tar-n-feather him and his kids too like the Left is doing to Gannon.

I'm very impressed with ... (Below threshold)

I'm very impressed with typographical analysis. But that wasn't the role played by the conservative blogosphere.

That's an absurd statement, because its untrue. IIRC (I'd have to go back and look), it was Bill at INDC Journal that actually got some experts involved. Charles Johnson did initial work and promoted Newcomer's analysis.

ALL the anaylsis came through and was pushed BY non-left blogs. INCLUDING the debunking of the one "expert" CBS tried to peddle.

Hey Clive: Darleen wrote: <... (Below threshold)
Gannon Who?:

Hey Clive: Darleen wrote: Raw Story was the one accusing Scott McClellan of being a closet gay ... you know, the nudge nudge wink wink about Scott and Gannon... ooooOOoooOOO ..

And indeed it does do just that.

Such accusations are the product of hysterical and desperate apologists on the Right. Cite the passage, or shut up!

You have the nerve to demand that she prove what she didnt' say? You STFU! Talk about hysterical and desparate!

"Talon/GOP USA purged their... (Below threshold)
Joe:

"Talon/GOP USA purged their sites of any Gannon articles in an attempt to avoid scrutiny"

You're reaching. Maybe they simply erased it until the questions about plagiarism etc. can be cleared up. Is Jason Blair's articles still on the NYT web site? If it is, I'm sure it has a warning sticker on it.

"Talon/GOP USA and Gannon altered their domain records in an attempt to foil same."

You can't alter WHOIS history. Sorry.

"I'm very impressed with typographical analysis. But that wasn't the role played by the conservative blogosphere."

Nonsense. Bloggers were very active in doing typographical analysis. Experts were only called in to validate and give credence to what bloggers already knew by then.

Yup Darlene, The e... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

Yup Darlene,

The exact passage! Confirmed sightings of McClellan at gay bars in Austin!

Not accusations! 'Wink, wink, nudge, nudge', does not a Libel suit make. Got any quotes of Scott denying he visited those bars??

Remember, you're claiming Gannon cannot be called a prostitute with no criminal record, therefore you cannot claim a closeted accusation with just 'wink, wink...'

And indeed it does do ju... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

And indeed it does do just that.

So GW,

Where are the cries from the Right that McClellan has been libeled? Where is his quoted outrage at being libeled? Where are his quotes denying he's never visited a gay bar in Austin?

You're so adorable when you curse in intials...

Posted by west at Februa... (Below threshold)

Posted by west at February 18, 2005 09:05 PM :"They really are having a problem getting their message out. How's this:

"Being gay and being allowed too keep your sex life private is your right - unless you are conservative, in which case beiong GAY is BAD, and you deserve whgatever you get - especially if your dick is longer than mine." "

How about this from CNSnews:
"Homosexuality, at its core, is about narcissism and self-loathing."

Gannon Flap Shows Liberals in Denial
By David Thibault
CNSNews.com Managing Editor
February 17, 2005


Posted by: Joe at Februa... (Below threshold)

Posted by: Joe at February 18, 2005 10:32 PM: "I don't care what Gannon calls himself professionaly. He probably did it to hide his gay past. Can't blame him. "


Some of those sites were still up a few days ago.

Posted by: Papertiger at... (Below threshold)

Posted by: Papertiger at February 18, 2005 11:03 PM:
"I'm reading up on this Gannon story and it seems that he was the person with the scoop, that Mary Mapes was the contact point for the Fake Tang Memos.
Gannon got that scoop> none of the other press got that. "

So, how did this flunky get the scoop? Previously, all he had been known for was loaded questions and being a stenographer for the WH.

I don't think any of us on ... (Below threshold)

I don't think any of us on the left would have too much to say about "Gannon" if he had been representing the WSJ, or the New York Post, or FoxNews, or the Washington Times -- for none of us would be the least bit surprised to discover that someone working for one of those media outlets (and surely the Bushoisie doesn't have any problems with those particular branches of the MSM you so love to hate, eh?) would turn out to be an actual whore.

But for the Bush White House to give preferential treatment to an obscure partisan "journalist" from an equally obscure partisan "news organization," so as to make the briefing-room environment more friendly for the President, is a perversion of the very idea of a free and independent press, and is reminiscent of the way that Michael "Big Fat Porky Lard-Butt" (there, that's out of the way now) Moore sells his own version of the truth under the guise of "documentary" film-making.

WHY DON'T ONE OF YOU LEFT W... (Below threshold)
ROB:

WHY DON'T ONE OF YOU LEFT WING PUSSY'S TAKE YOUR MICH. TO JOHN THE LIAR KERRY , STICK IN HIS FACE OR ASS I REALLY DON'T CARE AND ASK HIM TO SIGN , NO DEMAND HIM TO SIGN FORM 180. DO SOMETHING JORNALISTIC AND NAIL THE COFIN ON THIS SOB. OR ARE U A BUNCH OF SPEUW FEEDERS.

"But for the Bush White Hou... (Below threshold)
Joe:

"But for the Bush White House to give preferential treatment to an obscure partisan "journalist" from an equally obscure partisan "news organization" ... is a perversion of the very idea of a free and independent press

Priceless. Now that Gannon's gone, it's back to just leftwing shills at press conferences. How "free and indpendant".

Anyway, fuck it. I now openly call for Gannon to be replaced with ANOTHER openly partisan rightwing shill as quickly as possible (and preferably NOT someone from a mainstream media outlet ) to balance out the army of leftwing shills in the press corp.

Hmmm.I think this ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

I think this entire attack on Gannon has nothing to do
with Gannon at all. It is a concerted attack on the
minimal requirements to enter the WH press room.
Currently the requirements for a daily pass are fairly
low. A hard pass, a permanent pass, requires
certification from a board of established professional
journalists. This same requirement applies if you want
to get certified for Congressional press rooms.

But the "hole" in the system is the daily pass. And
this "hole" is what the liberals want closed. Isn't it
interesting that the primary issue is Gannon's access?
Isn't it interesting that the entire focus of
professional journalists is in pressuring the WH to
increase the requirements for the daily pass by
assigning approval to the certification board?

Now tell me. How are **bloggers** going to get access
to the WH press room? By getting approval from
professional journalists? Yeah, right. Sure. Most
likely it would require applying for a daily pass,
like Gannon, but if this avenue is closed off, then
how?

Right now one of the most basic problems with blogging
is the lack of direct representation in press
briefings. Another problem is in direct research, but
that is being slowly addressed. The three pillars of
modern journalism are research, reporting and
interviewing. Blogs are becoming more versed in
research. Blogs are experienced in reporting. But
blogs aren't all that experienced in interviewing, an
example of which is the recent EasonGate nonsense
where so few blogs thought to interview the
participants at Davos. Interviewing is the Achilles
Heel of blogging because it's something that few
bloggers are experienced with. It's also a vulnerable
point because most people would talk to Newsweek or
the NYT, but who on earth would talk to someone
representing www.schmoe.com?

In order for that to happen, blogs need more widely
recognized legitimacy. But this can be killed right
off by denying blogs any access to the primary sources
of stories. As long as blogs must gain their research
through the filter of the MSM, blogs will always be
dependent upon the MSM. Instead of augmenting or
replacing the MSM, blogs will form a parastitical
relationship. And to the detriment of blogs and their
potential.

Gannon-"Gate" has nothing to do with Gannon/Guckert at
all. It has everything to do with laying down the
foundation for restricting access to blogs and
bloggers.

I'm all for giving bloggers... (Below threshold)

I'm all for giving bloggers access to White House press briefings. But "Gannon" wasn't just a blogger -- he was, in the words of Sean Hannity, "a terrific Washington bureau chief and White House correspondent for Talon News."

In other words, he was regarded, by at least some of the MSM, as a journalist.

Oh, wait... y'all hate Hannity now. Well, never mind.

"In other words, he was reg... (Below threshold)
Joe:

"In other words, he was regarded, by at least some of the MSM, as a journalist."

The handful of people who knew he existed probably thought he was a shill. He never pretended he wasn't.

It has everything to do ... (Below threshold)

It has everything to do with laying down the
foundation for restricting access to blogs and
bloggers.

I have never heard of bloggers demanding access to WH briefings. Once they do that, they are no longer bloggers per se, but are journalists. Journalists who blog, like Josh marshall and Billmon and Rebecca McKinnon. Most bloggers have FT jobs and don't have the luxury to hang out daily at the WH. And your point really doesn't make sense. Why would "the left" be so obsessed with keeping bloggers out of the WH? After all, the most-read blogger, Kos, is a leftie! Then there's Atrios and Bull Moose and so many others. I have bad news for you: wingnuts don't own the blogosphere.

So if he was a Republican s... (Below threshold)

So if he was a Republican shill, and everybody knew he was a Republican shill, what was the point in inviting him to press briefings if his sole purpose in being there was to regurgitate the official Party line? Unless, of course, you think that the role of the press (and by "free and independent" I mean "free and independent of government or Party control") is simply to glorify Our Leader.

Of course, that goes both ways. No President is entitled to a press corps that consists entirely of hand-picked ass-kissers. If Kerry were President, I certainly wouldn't expect, or want, his press pool to consist entirely of Democratic Party operatives. Naturally, the right-wing élite continues to insist, in spite of all available evidence, that the press corps is 99.44% pure leftist. I guess that's why they left Clinton alone during his 8 years in the White House, and never ever asked him any embarrassing questions, and refused to report on any of those icky penis-related issues.

Call me a naive idealist, but I continue to believe in Finley Peter Dunne's maxim that the role of the press is "to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." Otherwise what's the point in having press briefings at all? Fax machines work just as well. And no fax machine has ever marketed itself online as a gay Marine prostitute.

Vaara, whoever you are, you... (Below threshold)

Vaara, whoever you are, you're a genius! Thanks for the best post in this fast-deteriorating thread.

:-)

Yes, I to am concerned that... (Below threshold)
Wilky:

Yes, I to am concerned that Gannon was allowed into the White House press. I mean he tootallly ruined the theme of the day. Don't you remember, he was the only one that did not ask Bush about an apology. I mean, they had such a good 'herd mentality' thing working for them and he had to go a screw it up. If if he wasn't going to work as a team to knock Bush down a peg or two, what good is he doing in there.

To be fair I think a Wash. Times reporter slipped another one in, but it got in the way of my sarcasm.

Don't you remember, he w... (Below threshold)

Don't you remember, he was the only one that did not ask Bush about an apology. I mean, they had such a good 'herd mentality' thing working for them and he had to go a screw it up. If if he wasn't going to work as a team to knock Bush down a peg or two, what good is he doing in there.

In case you hadn't heard, the role of a free press is to challenge and question the president, not to give him props and kiss his ass. The press corps was doing their job, and being far easier on Bush than they ever were on his predecessor.

I see a comment like yours and I realize this isn't about Gannon, but about the wingnuts' bizarre obsession with the so-called "MSM," a bogeyman that exists only in the minds of the likes of Roger Simon and Michelle Malkin. The real MSM consists of the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, CBS, Fox News and all types of mainstream conservative and liberal media. This falsehood you express that Gannon was the only reporter not to ask Bush to apologise -- it's symptomatic of an argument based on a lie, on an illusion. But without it, you're helpless, because the myth of the MSM is the only thing that allows you to ignore the failures of the Bush administration across the board, the never-ending string of lies we're fed by his minions, and the wretched state of our country since the day shrub took office. Blame it all on the MSM. It's easy. It's painless. And it allows to you to wallow in self-delusion. It's your privilege, but just be aware of the self-deceptive and dishonest game you're playing.

clive says Got any quote... (Below threshold)

clive says Got any quotes of Scott denying he visited those bars??

You pathetic pettifogger. Raw Story makes it clear, using the "anonymous" source dodge, they believe Gannon f**ked his way into a day pass and then they toss out McClellan and Mehlman's name. And McClellan doesn't deny going into a gay bar is proof?

Hey Clive, I just got a couple of emails from anonymous sources that you like to hang in teen chat rooms and are a well-known ephebophile.

feh.

You, like the rest of the Left cult are morally bankrupt, especially on this issue.

"I guess that's why they le... (Below threshold)
Joe:

"I guess that's why they left Clinton alone during his 8 years in the White House, and never ever asked him any embarrassing questions, and refused to report on any of those icky penis-related issues."

Idiotic. Clinton got a BJ, which is why he was asked about it. Then he lied under oath. Both these issues are direct results of Clinton's own actions. Who better to ask about Clinton's BJ and perjury, than Clinton? Anyway, here's some more of those "tough" questions Clinton was asked.

"The press corps was doing their job, and being far easier on Bush than they ever were on his predecessor."

Clearly, we live in two different worlds.

the role of the free pre... (Below threshold)

the role of the free press

but Richard, you've spent so much time here demanding that the press isn't free but has to conform to some kind of Richard's Rules of Journalistic Definition.

Hey vaaraExplain R... (Below threshold)

Hey vaara

Explain Russell Mukhiber and how he has, for years, gotten in on day passes.

more dissembling from the kool-aid crowd... unbelievable

Darleen, where did I ever s... (Below threshold)

Darleen, where did I ever say I don't believe in a free press? Quote, please.

Yes Joe, we live in different worlds. You said everyone who wants a press pass should have one. I say we need some rules -- not prohibitions or diminution of freedoms, but we can't have anarchy. You know, we have to stop at red lights, and we can't let everyone into every press briefing. Not everyone is a reporter simply because he or she says so. And yes, the media was way more hard on Clinton than on shrub. Again, if Gannon had been a Clinton shill, running a male prstitution service and being given very preferential treatment, all hell would have broken loose. And you know it. Gotta go. Keep'em coming.

JoeOf course the "... (Below threshold)

Joe

Of course the "press" grilled Clinton. Ranked above their own "advocacy journalism" is anything for "the" story that'll get 'em ratings. Jordan turned CNN into Saddams pool boy for access (makes you wonder how many of those mass graves CNN was complicit in allowing). FoxNews is not exception to the "big" story siren call even dropping standards of common decency to pursue it. What was Gannon's crime? Lobbing a softball question which the Left cult in its BDS mode cannot let go by. Gannon's gone but the Left is not satisfied. They are dragging his body through the streets, and attempting to hang him naked from a bridge, doused with kerosene and aflame while dancing around and ulullating.

RichardYou have st... (Below threshold)

Richard

You have stated Gannon isn't a journalist and should not have had access to the day pass. As I've repeated .. and provided links for .. the day pass isn't about defining by some quasi-legal fiat who is or is not a journalist. Once you start down that road you are making a mockery of the First Amendment.

I realize Leftists are in full "protect our territory" mode ... they're slipping in the MSM and university game perserves they've so enjoyed near exclusive hunting rights. But a FREE press means that anyone has the opportunity to BE a part of it. Ed makes clear the irony of the calls to change the criteria for day passes.

YOU don't want a 'free' press, but a press that holds membership in a restricted club.

The Left has always had love affairs with totalitarian systems/ideologies -- Stalin, Castro, Mao, Khmer Rouge, jihadists -- so this call to restrict the free access to information shouldn't surprise me.

Hmmm."I have never... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

"I have never heard of bloggers demanding access to WH briefings. Once they do that, they are no longer bloggers per se, but are journalists."

Calling bloggers "journalists" doesn't necessarily make them so. Particularly to journalists who had to graduate from journalism school and work their way up the food chain. Sure I can really imagine these people opening up the doors to bloggers.

You might call bloggers "journalists" but I certainly don't expect established members of the MSM to do so. Otherwise provide actual proof that bloggers are being accepted by MSM journalists as "real" journalists.

"Journalists who blog, like Josh marshall and Billmon and Rebecca McKinnon. Most bloggers have FT jobs and don't have the luxury to hang out daily at the WH."

Because blogging isn't a lucrative business? Please explain Andrew Sullivan.

"And your point really doesn't make sense. Why would "the left" be so obsessed with keeping bloggers out of the WH? After all, the most-read blogger, Kos, is a leftie!"

Because the vast majority of WH press room journalists are liberals as well as being journalists. One of the defining characteristics of the MSM is access to primary newsmakers. Take away that exclusive access and they are just another voice. Additionally the inclusion of right-wing bloggers into various press rooms will challenge the existing order. There's only so much room in any briefing and only so many questions allowed, due to time constraints.

Add in bloggers and you've got more competitive pressure on those people who are already in.

"Then there's Atrios and Bull Moose and so many others. I have bad news for you: wingnuts don't own the blogosphere."

You're right. The Loony Liberal Left doesn't own the blogosphere. And that is what's driving this whole Gannon episode. The liberals don't need access to the various press rooms in Washington because they've got the MSM to act on their behalf. But the right-wing of the blogosphere definitely desires more participation.

The simple fact is that blogging is going to be more lucrative as time passes. Newspaper circulation is dropping very fast and the readership is now moving to the internet. Likewise with tv news. Twenty years ago you sat down and watched the 6 o'clock news because that's all you had. You had to wait for it. But now who bothers watching anymore? Why wait when you have immediate access through the internet.

Competition is everything and this nonsense over Gannon is nothing more than a ploy to restrict access to critical press rooms and accredation. Let's face a few facts here. Google is a multi-billion dollar company almost entirely on the basis of advertising. As more people turn to the internet for news and information, the economics of blogging will evolve. They are already evolving as blogging now leads to other sources of income through writing and tv appearances.

At some point in the very near future bloggers will become professional and will seek to extend their reach into the most jealously guarded areas of the press. The basis of the press are: reporting, research and interviewing. Blogs are already superior in many ways in reporting and in research. But interviewing is still at the learning stage.

This is the weak point and the entire thrust behind the Gannon nonsense.

Richard's Rules of Journ... (Below threshold)
julie:

Richard's Rules of Journalistic Definition.

Good one, Darleen!

What I'm inferring from man... (Below threshold)

What I'm inferring from many of the comments here is that there ought to be some sort of ideological litmus test for White House reporters.

Which, if ever implemented, would be the death of democracy. Simple as that.

Hmmm.Let me extend... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Let me extend this a bit more:

Basic news per se has lost most of it's value. Those media organs that engage in delivering basic news are losing marketshare. This is because the number of sources for basic news has expanded. I.e. if a particular piece of news is worth $100, to advertisers for viewership, then this amount divided amongst 10 media sources would result in an average of $10 per source. Now add in the internet and blogs. This same $100 of news is now divided amongst 10,000+ sources so the resulting average is very very small. This is in part why news sources are losing viewship/readership and money.

So the value to be gained in not in basic news, but in analysis. A "value add" that can be branded. This explains FoxNews's success. FoxNews is less into delivering basic news, something that can be gained from other sources at little cost, but about adding value through analysis.

And there are very few things more effective at analysis, and thus adding value, than blogs.

I watch, occasionally, Fox News Watch. These are professional journalists who sit in a circle and debate some of the more interesting issues that happened during the past week. The amount of mis-information and outright ignorance is just amazing. I'd suggest that the average blog-reader has a better understanding, and a deeper understanding, than most of these professional journalists.

And that is entirely the point.

Hmmm."What I'm inf... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

"What I'm inferring from many of the comments here is that there ought to be some sort of ideological litmus test for White House reporters."

There already is one as evidenced by the excessive outrage at Gannon/Guckert.

"Which, if ever implemented, would be the death of democracy. Simple as that."

c.f. America: 1965 - 2004

Gosh, Ed, I must have misse... (Below threshold)

Gosh, Ed, I must have missed all those Executive Orders that laid down the rules for the White House press corps -- i.e. that it must contain x liberals and y conservatives at all times.

Your earlier comment -- which may have been tinged with sarcasm, though it's not easy to tell these days -- regarding the replacement of "Gannon" with a different Republican shill suggests that you think the White House should play a role in deciding who covers it.

So let's say your little plan comes to fruition, and that the White House beat, circa 2007, is covered strictly by representatives of the above-mentioned MSM entities (WSJ, NYP, FNN, WT), along with a carefully chosen claque of Party apparatchik bloggers (Reynolds, Johnson, someone or other from Powerline, etc.).

Do you think the American people would be better served by such an arrangement, i.e. one where the ONLY news emanating from the White House is precisely what the White House wants the people to hear?

As George Orwell's ghost would tell you, total control of information is the first step toward total control of the people. We're already under one-Party rule; what possible justification could there be for stifling anti-Party reporting, unless your aim is to consolidate Party control over everything and everybody?

I'm sure your answer will be one that sounded better in the original Russian, comrade.

Richard, maybe you didn't w... (Below threshold)
Wilky:

Richard, maybe you didn't watch that feeding frenzy. I had this displeasure of seing it, it was no illlusion. You see, we don't put a president in office to apologize, we put him there to lead. If we feel he needs to apologize for something, we vote him out. Yet the press felt that was the only question of the day, which it most certianly was not. Is it not the same press who told us every thing in Iraq was a quagmire, though reading the Iraqi blogs told us something different. Then much to our medias surprise, the Iraqis came out by the millions to vote, they wanted freedom, imagine that. I personally feel that this gannon situation does hurt my side, but in no way does it come close to Rather and his forged documents. Is this the " bogeyman that exists only in the minds of the likes of Roger Simon and Michelle Malkin" that you drone on about. Hey, if cBS can get in the WH press room, I don't have a problem with Talon news. Let me ask you a question. If Bush and Kerry were switched, and the Swift Boat boys accussed Bush of what they accused Kerry, would you deny that the press would use every asset available to bury Bush.

BTW, our founding fathers understood the 'herd mentality", hence the electorial college.

As George Orwell's ghost... (Below threshold)
Wilky:

As George Orwell's ghost would tell you, total control of information is the first step toward total control of the people. We're already under one-Party rule.

vaara, don't blogs disseminate the control of information. And if the Dems would quit self-destructing, everyone would be happy, a two party system.

"the Iraqis came out by ... (Below threshold)

"the Iraqis came out by the millions to vote, they wanted freedom, imagine that"

Yes, they did. And do you know who won that election?

Well, if you'd been relying entirely on LGF, you'd have no idea. Charles Johnson has scrupulously avoided mentioning the rather inconvenient fact that Islamist Shia parties won a majority of seats in Parliament. 51%, in fact, which as we all know, is a mandate.

This places that recent Cox & Forkum cartoon (you know the one I mean) about brave bloggers who defend Truth and Objectivity against the eeeevul MSM in a rather different light.

vaarado you ever r... (Below threshold)

vaara

do you ever really think about what you write before you write it? A parlimentary governmental body does not operate like our Congress does, so 51% is not a mandate. And this is not the final body either but is the group that will work on creating a CONSTITUTION for their republic.

The Sunni's have already said they made a tactical error in boycotting the election and despite your mongering, many Shia leaders are signalling a willingness to reach out to the Sunnis.

And let's not forget the other big winner in the election, the Kurds. You remember them don't you? The ones that have built a rather successful society while Americans and Brits maintained a no-fly zone so Saddam couldn't repeat his predations on them?

Now, are you actually FOR a free press in which citizen journalists have a chance to access the WH or Congress? Or are you, like richard, asking for an exclusive club where only the hoi paloi of self-appointed Grand Masters get to do the thumbs up/down on who is allowed the title "journalist"? Remember, it was a litmus test of not being part of the Leftist cult that got Gannon gutted as an apostate.

Yes I did, in fact accordin... (Below threshold)
Wilky:

Yes I did, in fact according to Ali Fadil (an Iraqi) he says, this 51% includes Christian, Sunni and Yezidies. Thats not quite shia. In additionthis 51% include Coalition List which is not entirly religious. So spread your fear if you must, I have faith in human nature to yearn for freedom. You know human nature, don't you, the one think Marx, Lenin, the communist, the socialist, ect. forgot when they were putting their little theories together.

Darleen said:Yo... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

Darleen said:

You pathetic pettifogger. Raw Story makes it clear, using the "anonymous" source dodge, they believe Gannon f**ked his way into a day pass and then they toss out McClellan and Mehlman's name. And McClellan doesn't deny going into a gay bar is proof?

McClellan not denying it, is not proof and I never said it was. But, it would certainly help your argument right now!

It's easy to resist resorting to name-calling and taunts, especially when your opponent is demonstrating it out frustration!

Again, what you just wrote is your interpretation of the Raw Story article, not what it said implicitly. Therefore, you've failed to prove your point.

And last, if there was any grounds for Libel, we would not be having this debate.

Talon was a created, mad... (Below threshold)

Talon was a created, madeup entity, a pretend media group for GOP USA, a political action group

And did this pretend media group ever do anything as overtly political as to go on prime time with a bogus news story based on incompetent amateur forgeries in coordination with a Presidential campaign?

Darleen--Newcomer was the e... (Below threshold)
Cal:

Darleen--Newcomer was the expert. Getting his story out there falls into the broadcasting realm. And again, it's certainly not insignificant. It's just not investigation.

"You're reaching. Maybe they simply erased it until the questions about plagiarism etc. can be cleared up. Is Jason Blair's articles still on the NYT web site? If it is, I'm sure it has a warning sticker on it."

Wrong.

And no, that's not why they purged the articles. They did it without comment. They never published a correction. They purged the documents to thwart the left's investigation. Of course, they had no idea what they're doing, and didn't realize that any number of online copies were still available.

"You can't alter WHOIS history."

Duh. You can alter the owner, though. The history shows the prior owner and guess who it is?

"Nonsense. Bloggers were very active in doing typographical analysis. "

That's really overstating it. But if you like, go ahead and call it "analysis". As you yourself point out, it wasn't valid until the experts said so--and all anyone would have had to do is call in an expert to begin with. The problem was that the media wasn't calling in experts until the conservative bloggers demanded it and made such a noise that it couldn't be ignored--and that, again, is where the right's influence is most significant. I'm just saying they need to work on the other side of things.

For starters, people might want to try accepting one reality--like it or not, the Gannon story is escalating. Call it the liberal media bias, if you like. But something new comes out about the story every day. It may ultimately go nowhere, but anyone who thinks there aren't journalists actively trying to link this to the Republican party (my guess is the Senate race in South Dakota) are those who spend too much time in the echo chamber.

I'm off--how do you people talk in these damn comment fields? They're awful. If you're interested, come on over to The Perfect World. It's much easier to talk there.

"KERFLUFFLE*bzzt b... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

"KERFLUFFLE

*bzzt bzzt*

MORAL VALUES

*bzzt*

FLOGG-AAARGH

"Oh no! The BushBot has broken down!"

Prostitutes in the press room. Way to go, Values Voters."


Whew, thank God we have the left to show how to NOT demonize homosexuals.
-=Mike

Mike I'm a homosexual. No o... (Below threshold)

Mike I'm a homosexual. No one, absolutely no one is demonizing homosexuality. Criticizing a woman for running a prostitution ring isn't demonizing heterosexuals, is it? Who cares that Gannon was gay, it's irrelevant. But if he's running a prostitution business, hetero- or homosexual, whilst operating as a sleazeball reporter given access to the highest echelons of the US government under a fake name -- well, that's news. Damned big news.

In Guckert's CBC interview,... (Below threshold)
Boleslaw Schlabatinskyskya:

In Guckert's CBC interview, he was asked what he was up to before coming to Talon News. He said he was "pursuing entrepreneurial activities in the private sector."

http://www.male4malescorts.com/reviews/bulldogdc.html

This is not a "whore with a heart of gold". This is an evil man without a conscience, though he professes to be a good Christian. He embodies Evil, and just like W, is totally unaware that he is Evil, since his motives of supporting Right wing Republicans are so pure.

When he got paid, Gucky probably claimed he was a church. That's what a lot of trashy super right wing guys do. And this man is trash. Actually, this man's behavior really makes all of us appreciate the fine moral standards maintained by those who are brought up in trailer parks in the rural South and housing projects in the urban North.

When folks paid him, he wouldn't need to report those "charitable contributions" he collected. And the fellows who gave him contributions really didn't want to be bothered to track those receipts for "charity".

I'm sure Gucky's a burglar, too. I've never heard of a prostitute who won't commit burglary. Come on now, after he's done the deed with a John, don't you think he might decide to take along any loose knick-knacks lying around as a "souvenir"?. When he took a shower afterwards, in the John's home, do you think he kept his hands off the medicine cabinet? If he saw a prescription bottle of oxycontin worth $500, would he say to himself, "Oh, no, my client will complain to the police," or did he say, "Eureka. I'm getting paid double if I just pocket that prescription bottle"?

Considering the bad habits whores fall into of lifting stuff away when they've been visiting "customers" at home, I think there's a strong possibility that Gucky has also lifted some stuff from the White House. If the DC police were to search his apartment, they'd undoubtedly find an ashtray or sterling silver teaspoon or a fancy Presidential pen that he did not receive as a gift, but that he stole from the White House or from one of his johns.

In addition, Gucky has not been adverse to committing white-collar crimes. Bedrock corporation -- the last line of the Flintstones' theme song is "Bedrock, bedrock and we'll have a gay all time" -- that he set up to clear checks has acted as a factor, financer, and a collection agent. Asserting false claims against families of the recently deceased and offering to improve the credit of economically marginal people, for a fee, are some of the "work" Bedrock performs.

Though it's not as entertaining as gay sex, asserting false claims against bereaved widows evinces how Gucky and his supporters cross the line from sociopath to psychopath, from being an antisocial, non-violent criminal, to being criminal, even violently so, without conscience.

We are not just fighting hypocrisy here, but EVIL: evil that is inspired by the moral direction of George W. Bush and Karl Rove. The Right claims the moral high-ground while relying upon EVIL criminals to accomplish its objectives. It's not just a gay prostitute who was close to the president, but a grifter, part of a whole group of far-right grifters, stealing directly from the poor and destitute to enrich themselves.

Getting cash from a general because you gave him a good ride in bed is one thing, getting cash from a young soldier's family, after he has died young, by asserting totally false claims against his widow is another.

Guckert reassures himself that no matter how criminal or foul his behavior, he is a good Christian and God will love and forgive him, even as God has forgiven our president. Gucky undoubtedly sees as his role models for good Christian behavior George W. Bush and Karl Rove.

That means when he kicks at bums sleeping in the street, for the sheer pleasure of watching them wiggle in pain, he only kicks hard enough to cause permanent injuries, not death. In doing so, he imitates President Bush who supports the right of infants to be born, but not the right to stay alive: thousands of children are to go to bed hungry, without health care, because of reduced funding for food stamps and medicaid.

Waaaahhhhh, how dare the li... (Below threshold)
JH:

Waaaahhhhh, how dare the librul elitists attack one of our boys? Oh, what, just because we ran Rather through the wringer for a mistake someone on his staff made, they think they can challenge OUR credentials?

What, just because we bitch and moan 24/7 about "moral values" and the "homer-sexual agenda" that they can call us our for engaging in male prostitution?

What do they think this is? The Clinton Administration? Nope, sorry everyone. Facts and investigative journalism is soooooo 1990s ... these days, if you ain't get paid to preach the good word of Bush, you just ain't a journalist!

Can ya just feel the... (Below threshold)

Can ya just feel the love, tolerance and open mindedness from our loyal brothers and sisters on the left?

:::sigh:::

Well, one good thing about this -- yet another clear example how the Left is not a political movement but a religious cult.




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