White House-friendly reporter under scrutiny

White House-friendly reporter under scrutiny

The Bush administration has provided White House media credentials to a man who has virtually no journalistic background, asks softball questions to the president and his spokesman in the midst of contentious news conferences, and routinely reprints long passages verbatim from official press releases as original news articles on his website.

Well, this IS a surprise!

Isn’t it though? Wow, it’s not like the current administration at all to want to manipulate their public image through the press while railing against countries that practice propaganda and don’t embrace the freedoms Americans have.

Virtually no journalistic background? Asks people softball questions? Reprints long passages verbatim from official press releases as original news articles on website?

So gaming news websites are working in politics now?

Bwahahahahahaha. First sincere LOL of the day, thanks.

Seriously. So someone caught a blogger working for the White House.

Seriously. So someone caught a blogger working for the White House.[/quote]

It’s all part of their spin machine. It’s seems like they put more effort into making themselves look good through media manipulation that they do on foreign policy.

Oh, but this gets so much better.

Jeff Gannon aka Jim Guckert, and gay smut
by kos
Tue Feb 8th, 2005 at 14:47:46 PST

Oh man, reality is truly stranger than fiction.
“Jeff Gannon”, the White House press propagandist “correspondent” for the fake “Talon” news service, turns out to be using a nom de plume.

A group of dKos diarists have been peeling away the layers of Gannon’s fake persona, summarized by World O’Crap. In one of those diaries, this revelation is made by Radically Bitter: Among the domains owned by Gannon/Guckert are these:

jeffgannon.com
Hotmilitarystud.com
Militaryescorts.com
Militaryescortsm4m.com

In case this isn’t clear enough, those last three are gay sex-themed names. Suddenly, his picture looks appropriately in character. So why is this relevant, other than today seems to have become “Republicans and sex hypocrisy day”?

In reviewing White House press conferences from the past year, Media Matters for America has noted numerous instances in which Gannon’s lobs – leading questions that often include false assumptions favorable to the Bush administration – have allowed McClellan to move to friendlier turf, away from having to answer questions on such issues as the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment; […]

So in addition to the “hyprocrisy and sex” thing, we’ve got the “hypocrisy and gay” thing. And no, this wasn’t planned. It’s not my fault the other side unloaded so much hypocrisy in a single day.

(In a sign of how I’ve lost complete control over this site, I note, with great irony, that I found out about the domain thing from Atrios.)

Update: There is some concern that focus on the more salacious details of Gannon’s hypocrisy detracts from more substantive discussions and investigations currently going on by various diariests.

In a way, that may be true. Gannon is a propagandist, funded by god knows who, who essentially provide McClellan a lifeline whenever the White House press corps backs him into a corner.

I, along with most liberals, couldn’t care less if one of our colleagues or employees is gay. That’s a problem with right wingers, not our side.

So say Guckert’s outing costs him his gravy train at Talon “News”, and he is replaced by someone else, would that kill the issue?

I don’t think so, but I could be wrong. Personally, I think it would add fire to the crusade if they cut him loose. And it’s not as if the “propaganda” angle is tied to Guckert. That one belongs to Talon News, independent of which sycophant they have infesting the White House press room every day.

the funniest part is that image gannon kept on his aol homepage where he’s posing in his underwear.

If anything, reminding republicans that some of their members choose to follow an alternative lifestyle is a good thing.

Big tent and all that.

Yeah, they can pitch a big tent after looking at www.hotmale.com, they just shouldn’t share that info at the next Republican Convention. Family values and all that.

This is what makes the Democrat party so attractive to mainstream Americans…digging up salacious details when the basic story has no legs. It didn’t work for the Republicans when they tried to toast Clinton on it and it doesn’t work when Democrats try it either.

So lame.

Yeah, they can pitch a big tent after looking at www.hotmale.com, they just shouldn’t share that info at the next Republican Convention. Family values and all that.[/quote]

I don’t understand if you’re kidding or being serious.

At one point, the republican party was trying to be all inclusive and in favor of embracing tolerance. It wasn’t all that long ago. I don’t know if the party thinks they need to do that since what they are currently doing is working so well.

It would be great to see the republican party make a serious attempt a progress and not just sit on their laurels.

Here’s why this is a story:

  1. Gannon was given credentials while using an assumed name. (Note that the white house will not give credentials to married female reporters under anything but their spouse’s last name).

  2. Gannon may have had access to leaked CIA documents from the plame case.

  3. Gannon may be involved in prostitution of US military personnel.

Yeah, this one immediately jumped out at me when I was looking at that list of domains… doesn’t that seem like it might be worth looking into? Nobody seems to be too concerned about it.

If the italicized is true, this is insane. I tried googling for this, but all the mentions of this fact that I could find were made in reference to the Gannon story. Where was this reported previously?

[size=2]Edited to show I was only questioning the parenthetical remark[/size]

Yeah, this one immediately jumped out at me when I was looking at that list of domains… doesn’t that seem like it might be worth looking into? Nobody seems to be too concerned about it.[/quote]

shrug… likely better pay than killing for dollars.

So say Guckert’s outing costs him his gravy train at Talon “News”, and he is replaced by someone else, would that kill the issue?

I guess we’ll find out, since Gannon/Guckert “resigned” today.

I suspect the White House will wait a while for interest to die down before they credential another ringer–or, now that the election is over, they may decide to do without.

This is seriously the best scandal ever.

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/02/10/gannon_affair/index.html

When President Bush bypassed dozens of eager reporters from nationally and internationally recognized news outlets and selected Jeff Gannon to pose a question at his Jan. 26 news conference, Bush’s recognition bestowed instant credibility on the apparently novice reporter, as well as the little-known conservative organization he worked for at the time, called Talon News. That attention only intensified when Gannon used his nationally televised press conference time to ask Bush a loaded, partisan question – featuring a manufactured quote that mocked Democrats for being “divorced from reality.”

Gannon’s star turn quickly piqued the interest of many online commentators, who wondered how an obvious Republican operative had been granted access to daily White House press briefings normally reserved for accredited journalists. Two weeks later, a swarming investigation inside the blogosphere into Gannon and Talon News had produced all sorts of damning revelations about how Talon is connected at the hip to a right-wing activist organization called GOPUSA, how its “news” staff consists largely of volunteer Republican activists with no journalism experience, how Gannon often simply rewrote GOP press releases when filing his Talon dispatches. It also uncovered embarrassing information about Gannon’s past as well as his fake identity. When Gannon himself this week confirmed to the Washington Post that his name was a pseudonym, it only added to the sense of a bizarre hoax waiting to be exposed.

On Tuesday night, the reporter who apparently saw himself as a trailblazing conservative “embedded with the liberal Washington press corps” abruptly quit his post as Washington bureau chief and White House correspondent for Talon News, that after earlier taunting those digging into his past that he was “hiding in plain sight.” Contacted by e-mail for a comment, Gannon referred Salon to the message posted on his Web site: “Because of the attention being paid to me I find it is no longer possible to effectively be a reporter for Talon News. In consideration of the welfare of me and my family I have decided to return to private life. Thank you to all those who supported me.”

The Gannon revelations come on the heels of the discovery that Bush administration officials signed lucrative contracts for several conservative pundits who hyped White House initiatives and did not disclose the government’s payments. The Talon News fiasco raises serious questions about who the White House is allowing into its daily press briefings: How can a reporter using a fake name and working for a fake news organization get press credentials from the White House, let alone curry enough favor with the notoriously disciplined Bush administration to get picked by the president in order to ask fake questions? The White House did not return Salon’s calls seeking answers to those questions.

(Wait…Gordon? Gannon? Nah…)