Monday, May 02, 2005

You Can't Make This Stuff Up ...

"Jeff Gannon's seamy past leaked out months before he asked President Bush a loaded question during a news conference.

As a correspondent for the now-defunct Web site Talon News, says the forthcoming issue of Vanity Fair, Gannon was hammering Tom Daschle during the South Dakotan's campaign to hold onto his Senate seat. Daschle aides traced an e-mail -- ostensibly from a constituent who wanted reaction to one of Gannon's stories -- to an Internet profile of Gannon, wearing only dog tags and boxer shorts. "The Daschle campaign spread the word, but no reporters bit," the magazine says.

Gannon doesn't deny advertising online as a $200-an-hour gay escort, but describes himself as the victim of "a full-scale jihad" by liberals. Vanity Fair says he falsely told friends he had been a Marine -- Gannon says he displayed military paraphernalia and "didn't disabuse anyone of that notion" -- and owes nearly $21,000 in back taxes. Gannon believes God bestowed a White House assignment on him so that he could atone for past transgressions, Vanity Fair says.

In defending his name change, the man born as James Guckert says Jeff Gannon has a "nice ring to it -- like Wolf Blitzer, which isn't his real name either." Actually, Mr. Guckert, it is his real name."

-- Washington Post "Media Notes," May 2, 2005

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that I sense a pattern in the Bush Administration?
Whether it is the media, or the administration itself, at the time the story of a given impropriety is hot the word is: "Hell, we did not know any of this was going on." Or, "Hell, we had no evidence any of this was going on."
Then by the time documented evidences or insiders come forward later demonstrating that the initial sources who claimed ignorance actually had ample knowledge at all times, the story has gone cold, or has has lost interest among the general public. Good tactic. Simply lie or plead ignorance long enough until the story blows over.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really would love an answer to this question. Please put aside all of your Chimpy McHitler inclinations, and explain this to me. What security risk did this asshole pose to anyone? Does advertising oneself as a gay escort disqualify you from being a part of the media? Would it be fair to assume that all journalists with access to the White House should have their personal sexual preferences investigated prior to their being allowed into the White House breifings? Why does the tolerance for homosexuality only extend to homosexuals that are liberals?

11:46 AM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

This has nothing to do with homosexuality, and you know it. You just want to use that as a way to diminish the real story.

The real problem with Jeff Gannon, explained at length on this site and elsewhere, is that he was a paid operative of the Texas GOP. He has no journlistic background. So why did he get preferential treatment from the White House communications team?

Furthermore, he admits to using a pseudonym. People using pseudonyms are supposed to be thoroughly vetted before they can receive access to the White House, and especially, access to President Bush.

Yet, Gannon (Guckert) was not vetted. Scott McLellan admitted as much in an article in the NY Times, saying that he didn't realize Guckert was using a pseudonym for nearly two years.

And given that the Gannon (Guckert) came in the midst of the Bush propaganda campaign -- payments to conservative pundits, an explosion of poorly identified video news releases, etc. -- this remains topical, especailly for the JABBS blog and ones like it.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is this not about his homosexuality? Is the question whether or not you consider him to be a journalist? If it was Atrios, I assume that would have been acceptable, since he is unrelentingly critical of the President? You cite McClellan's admitting that he did not know that was a pseudonym as proof that he was not vetted? Come on. Do you really believe that Scott holds the keys to the security process? Can only people with journalism degrees become journalists? Getting a daily pass is not the horribly difficult process that you make it out to be. Wait in line. Show your credentials. Go through the screening. Get in.

I get it ... only conservatives engage in propoganda. When liberals do this kind of stuff, propoganda, accusations of homosexuality, etc ... it is alright. I assume you had similar outrage when Clinton's administration produced the same type of promotional videos. I assume that you had the same moral outrage when Rep. Frank's roommate in DC was running an actual homosexual escort business out of the Congressman's DC home. By the way, not that I doubt it, but has anybody actually proven that he was in fact an escort? Have they produced a client? Or is this just some charge that is thrown, based on an old internet profile, and then used to discredit everything about him?

7:59 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

I cannot stress enough how the Gannon situation has nothing to do with his homosexuality. (And it's not a baseless accusation, as you imply.)

McLellan said he didn't know Gannon was using a pseudonym. There have been several stories about how Gannon was not properly vetted. You probably haven't read them.

Oh, and McLellan, when asked, could not recall another time when he had taken a single question, let alone multiple questions, from someone who was not a journalist.

And neither could anyone else.

Nor could anyone remember a time when, under the Clinton administration, a liberal political stooge was given such access to the White House. If you can name someone who is Gannon's equal on the left, name him. Otherwise, you're just making baseless accusations.

As for Clinton and video news releases, JABBS has written (look it up) about how the non-partisan GAO has written reports about how the Bush administration sent out video news releases that used fake reporters, and were not properly identified when sent to news stations. The GAO noted that Clinton administration also sent out video news releases, but there were no complaints about these being not properly identified as being anything other than government releases. During the Clinton administration, the GAO also mentioned, in passing, a couple of times that the Clinton administration used the releases, but again found nothing misleading about their use. Furthermore, no Republicans complained about misleading use by the Clinton administration.

I know that it's easier to just make baseless accusations, compare apples to oranges, misdirect people, etc. But if you actually look at these things closely enough, you have no choice but to be upset with the way the Bush administration has dealt with propaganda.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never implied that it is a baseless allegation, but you know that already. But, since you brought it up, what proof do you have that he actually acted as an escort?

Tell me this, does using a pseudonym disqualify oneself from being a journalist ? Who gets to define who is a journalist ? Just because you do not think he was a journalist, that does not make it so.

By the way, I made no accusations at all, much less baseless accusations.

I am shocked, shocked I tell you, to find out that a Presidential administration traffics in message distribution, just like I am shocked, shocked I tell you, to find out that there are politics in politics.

3:28 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

What proof is there that Gannon operated a gay escort service? It's been proven that Gannon owns the gay escort service websites. Various blogs have uncovered advertisements for the service have been uncovered on various gay porn sites. That seems like sufficient proof.

But again, you're focusing on his homosexuality. And that's not the issue here. You can keep bringing it up to cloud the issue, or to make liberals look like a bunch of hypocrites, or whatever other reason Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity have brought up. But it's not the issue.

The issue is that he was paid by the Texas GOP to pose as a journalist. The fact that he has no journalistic background is unfortunate, but not a reason to keep him out of White House press conferences. Indeed, most anyone can try to attend such a press conference. But don't you find it a little strange that Scott McLellan favored Gannon/Guckert, allowing him to ask multiple partisan questions at a time? And don't you find it a little coincidental -- and feel free to check the transcripts -- that Gannon's questions followed tough questions from the mainstream press -- as if McLellan were looking for a safe spot to turn the Q&A?

And yes, it does matter that Gannon wasn't vetted. But to cloud this issue with the racial profiling question is silly.

a) People who use pseudonyms need to be vetted -- (White House rules)

b) Vetting includes name, social security #, but not race -- (White House rules until 9/11).

In other words, the White House should have vetted Gannon/Guckert, but it's against the law to ask him his racial heritage. So, it's not at all hypocritical to question why the White House didn't vet Gannon/Guckert, and why the White House, in the course of vetting other journalists, asked for racial identification.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Assuming, arguendo, that Gannon/Gucket and the huge homosexual cock conspiracy of hypocrisy was not at all vetted, I would agree that the Secret Service dropped the ball. However, what exactly is there about him that would pose a threat to the leader of the free world?

I suspect that the disdain stemming from this pseudo story is the fact that he asked questions that were not as combative as the rest of the oh-so-conservative press, ones that would be properly categorized as softballs. Had he asked President Bush if he agreed with the Nazis, he would have been held up as a pinnacle of journalistic integrity.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous joe said...

Wrong.

It has nothing to do with Gannon's homosexuality, or his gay escort service. And it has nothing to do with the fact that Gannon asked partisan questions, while mainstream reporters ask non-partisan questions.

Starting from the top ...

The problem with Gannon/Guckert is:

-- He was paid by the Texas GOP to pose as a journalist (and as freedom-loving Americans, shouldn't we find fault with a Republican official being able to ask a Republican administration questions, posing as a journalist? We look down upon state-sponsored journalism elsewhere, but essentially, that's what Gannon/Guckert was doing).

-- He wasn't vetted by the administration for two years, in spite of breaking the White House rule regarding pseudonyms -- and why wasn't he vetted? How is it possible that the same administration that beginning last summer sought extensive background, including in some cases racial background, for journalists never knew that Guckert was using a pseudonym?

-- He was treated favorably by McLelland at multiple press conferences (even getting to ask Bush a question), when no other blogger -- left or right -- has ever been able to ask a question at a press conference.

-- He claimed -- he has since backtracked -- that he received classified information regarding the Valerie Plame outing, yet there's been no indication he was questioned by investigators as to how he received the info.

Now, if none of that sounds fishy to you, fine. But to me, the whole thing stinks.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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2:30 PM  

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