Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Not just politics, but juicy gossip!

Oh God, this is good stuff. There is a scandal rapidly developing around Jeff Gannon, a reporter who may be a White House plant, as CNN just suggested. Media Matters wrote about him a few weeks ago, pointing out that he is notorious in the press corp for asking softball questions of the President and his press secretary, and that many sections of his news reports are copied verbatim from White House press releases and RNC talking points. And it gets sooo much better.

  1. First, he appears to be part of a news organization that is a "news organization" in name only. Talon News appears to basically be an offshoot of something called GOPUSA, "dedicated to promoting conservative ideals." After this started getting some attention, and after the linked Media Matters story, staff bios disappeared off the Talon News website. Having a GOP activist as a member of the White House press corps sounds pretty scandalous to me.

  2. Atrios points out that Jeff Gannon is not his real name, even though it's what's on his White House credentials. His real name is J. D. Guckert. Not such a big deal, but married female reporters who write under their maiden names are not permitted the same. Why is he given special permission to use a pseudonym?

  3. Gannon had unique access to a CIA memo that identified Valerie Plame, and may have leaked her name in October.

  4. Rep. Louise Slaughter has written a letter to the President calling for a full investigation of the Gannon matter. CNN just 5 minutes ago reported that the White House claims that Gannon was not credentialed as a reporter, but just each day with a daily White House pass. I'm not sure what the difference means, but, I guess, that means just any yahoo off the street can get access to White House press briefings? Maybe I should go next time I'm in Washington.

  5. Here's where it gets really scandalous. Even after writing an article for Talon News titled, "Kerry could become first gay president," and other "family values" oriented articles, it turns out that Gannon may be gay himself. The Talon News site pulled all of Gannon's articles today. And wait, it gets even better.

    Now, this is a bit speculative, I'll admit. But it looks like "Jim Guckert" lives at the same address as "Bedrock Corp.", which owns "Jeff Gannon's" website, jeffgannon.com. But this Bedrock Corp also owns Hotmilitarystud.com, Militaryescorts.com, and Militaryescortsm4m.com. (Don't bother to try, none of the sites are live anymore, and I can't find them cached or on the wayback machine) Yeah, escorts. So the scandal has now morphed into whether or not this reporter is really a reporter and not a GOP plant, but whether this reporter is now a male prostitute. The CNN report a few minutes ago referenced his "private life" but not this issue.

You just can't make this stuff up.

If you want to read even more, AmericaBlog is running with this story today.

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