Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Gannon Quits After Blogger Inquiry

The Talon News correspondent at the center of a scandal over his White House press credentials quit Tuesday night amid a growing online investigation into his history, including allegations of involvement with several websites appearing to support gay pornography and promote male prostitution. Now he's biting back, calling those who dug up personal details about his past, haters of free speech. Did the blogger horde cross the line on this?

A Right Show of Gratitude
Jeff Gannon (a pseudonym) announced on Tuesday night via his personal website that he had found it "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."

It's this "private life" that may have precipitated Gannon's departure. In the last ten days, Investigative bloggers at World O'Crap, Daily Kos and Eschaton have dug up evidence that implicates Gannon as the owner of web domains hotmilitarystud.com, militaryescorts.com, and militaryescortsm4m.com, which are registered under the same owner as Gannon's home page www.jeffgannon.com. Two of the three web addresses are no longer active. The third, hotmilitarystud.com, requires registration before viewing the content. It now appears that the person registered as the individual owner of these domains, James Dale Guckert of Wilmington, DE, and Jeff Gannon are one in the same.

One hour prior to his resignation, MediaCitizen sent an interview request to the would be correspondent. As part of the request, I outlined a series of questions regarding Gannon's background in journalism, his relationship to members of the White House staff, to Talon News' parent company GOPUSA, as well as to the Wilmington company, Bedrock Corporation, which is the registered owner of the websites in question. Gannon resigned within an hour of receiving these questions. This was MediaCitizen's second request for an interview as a follow up to our earlier report.

Gannon's decision to leave Talon News may be related to the news site's frequent stance on issues pertaining to gay rights, marriage and adoption. A recently discovered photo, allegedly depicting the former correspondent, suggests a conflict between his lifestyle and the homophobic beliefs of many of his colleagues at the conservative news site. For their part, Talon News yanked Gannon's bio from their website nearly two weeks ago -- after many bloggers began to scrutinize the news service. (Here's the cached bio). While blog investigators at Daily Kos claim that the image in question depicts Gannon, this has yet to be confirmed.

We needn't take the issue of Gannon/Guckert's personal life any further. This is not a story about sexual orientation but about the viability of our Fourth Estate in the face of increasing efforts to disguise propaganda as straight news. By willfully serving as the White House shill -- lobbing softball questions to Press Secretary McClellan and President Bush and lifting, wholesale, sections of administration and GOP press releases to present them as "news" -- Gannon rightly came under harsh scrutiny.

His decision to leave Talon News was his own, but it was aided along by a well mobilized blogosphere, intent on shedding more light on this man's duplicitous role as a White House correspondent.

= = = = =
3:00pm Update: It's become clear that Gannon's real name is James D. Guckert, which raises another question: How does someone operating under a pseudonym gain such close access to the President of the United States? The Congressional Press Galleries, White House Press Office and, perhaps, the Secrete Service do background checks on all credentialed and "day pass" journalists. Somewhere along the line someone inside the White House knew Gannon wasn't Gannon, but they gave him a waiver anyway. Were special favors granted to Gannon that wouldn't have been granted to a real journalist? Congresswoman Louise Slaughter has written the President to learn more. Gannon's was denied credentials to cover Capitol Hill after the Standing Committee of Correspondents raised questions about Talon News' editorial independence. Questions Gannon/Guckert would not answer.

= = = = =
3:30pm Update: Once again, Talon News has "scrubbed" its site. Apparently, we were sending too many people to their homophobic reporting (stories linked to in the fifth paragraph above). They have removed the stories in question along with most other material describing their relationship with Gannon save a brief explanantion of his resignation. Thankfully, one of Mediacitizen's readers alerted me to the scrubbing and pointed me to an archive where they may now be read. I have re-inserted these new links above. Note: There's a job opening at Talon.

= = = = =
8:00pm Update: NPR's "All things Considered" has broadcast an interview with Gannon that also features some comments on the matter from me. They've posted the segment on their website. There, you also can listen to the complete, unedited interview with Gannon -- very strange -- or read the transcript here. More than anything, he comes across as someone way out of his depth. I also understand that the ever thorough Eric Boehlert of Salon.com is planning a story on this for tomorrow which looks into the White House process for credentials. Update: here it is.

= = = = =
6:00am, Feb 10 Update: Wilmington News Journal's Jennifer Brooks landed a post resignation interview with Jeff Gannon-cum-James Guckert, who complains that he's the victim of a witch hunt by free-speech haters like MediaCitizen. "I asked a question at a White House press briefing and this is what happened to me," Guckert told The News Journal. "If this is what happens to me, what reporter is safe?" I doubt any real reporters lost sleep last night thinking they could become the next Guckert. However, those, who hide their true identities and political agendas behind Washington press passes, have reason to worry. Ousting phony journalist has become the new bloodsport of the blogosphere.

= = = = =
6:45am, Feb 10 Update: Former aides to ex-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle were among those cheering Gannon/Guckert’s abrupt resignation, according to political watchers at The Raw Story. Gannon wrote extensive diatribes against the South Dakota Senate race. Former Daschle aides claim that the writer was essentially “carrying water” for Sen. John Thune’s successful campaign. “He and Thune’s campaign worked hand in hand,” said one former Daschle aide. “This guy became a dumping ground for opposition research.”

= = = = =
5:55pm, Feb 10 Update: A source close to the Standing Committee of Correspondents, the press body that oversees the distribution of credentials on Capitol Hill, sent me documents pertaining to Jeff Gannon's application and ultimate rejection in 2004. This sheds some light on the process and explains why Gannon/Guckert used "day passes" to report from the White House for two years.

= = = = =
6:28am, Feb 11 Update: The right-wing message machine has shifted into overdrive in its efforts to spin the Gannon/Guckert scandal as a story about the "liberal media" ganging up to stifle the free speech of someone who doesn't share their view. Witness the carefully chorographed back and forth among conservo-pundits on last night's "Special Report" with Brit Hume. The right's master narrative is in play here, as mouthed by Bill Sammon: "Jeff asked openly conservative-leaning questions. What it comes down to is this rankled the White House press corps because most of them are liberal and ask questions from a liberal perspective." These pundits seem to think that repeating "liberal media" a million times over will somehow make it true.

= = = = =
5:40am, Feb 12 Update: The Wilmington News Journal this morning reveals that the man from Talon has waded even deeper into shark-infested waters: "James D. Guckert, who reported under the pseudonym Jeff Gannon, failed to pay Delaware more than $20,700 in personal state income tax from 1991 through 1994." According to documents filed in Superior Court in Wilmington, Guckert owes $9,484 in taxes; $7,697.69 in fines and $3,560.71 in interest. This goes to questions of credibility. Since the fiasco broke Gannon/Guckert has made several unsubstantiated claims to defend his honor. Rather than providing evidence to back them up, Gannon/Guckert has asked the American public to take him on his word. That's asking a lot.

= = = = =
9:00pm, Feb 14 Update: It gets a whole lot seedier . . . Frankly, I believe his whoring at the White House was a crime worse by many degrees.

99 comments:

airspaced said...

Interesting stuff. Thanks for the links to everything!

Anonymous said...

Great work in exposing this man, comrade!

Clearly, this man's writing and thought did not conform to the Party Line, and he was a degenerate pervert, anyways!

Thank God folks like you are out there to make sure the media speaks with one voice! A strong, singular voice that accurately and mercilessly repeats the Party Line!

(That'll make people trust it more...)

Anonymous said...

This "Jeff Gannon" is clearly an idiot. However, being gay is not a "lifestyle" -- you're either born gay or born straight. Why would anybody "chose" to be gay? So they can have religious fundamentalists call them evil??? I think not. Also, the correct term is "sexual orientation," not "sexual preference." For example, if you're straight, you are sexually attracted to women, not men -- i.e. you don't "prefer" to sleep with women (implying that you'd sleep with a man if a woman wasn't available), you are sexually "oriented" to sleep with women only. Understand?

Timothy Karr said...

Thanks for your comment. I made the changes as suggested.

Anonymous said...

I thought the "lifestyle" choice in question was "faux-conservative".

Anybody filed a FOIA request about payments to these for-hire nutballs?

C

choff said...

Well done!

Anonymous said...

While the mainstream media's snoozin', you're rockin'.

Serge & Bacchus said...

Can anyone say CIA plant?

Fake news service; fake journalist; Plame memos.

The guy got exposed and now he's getting "erased".

Anonymous said...

It is a really interesting story and he'll likely try and appear like a martyr of a kind, or someone will make him out to be one, when all he is is an example of the sort of bizarre self-loathing that administers itself with such force from within the confines of that particular political movement. It has its own destruction written into it. I'm just glad our system is still healthy enough to expose things like this.
Alex@fictioneer
http://truenorth.typepad.com/fictioneer

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your work in exposing this guy. I first noticed "Gannon" last summer when, out of the blue, he asked the president a question about the need to "preserve marriage" in the middle of press conference dedicated mainly to Iraq and domestic ecomony issues. The question was just too pointedly opinionated to come from any of the regular White House press. I contacted the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force to ask whether they knew this guy was some sort of plant. No response. Mainstream media organizations (and gay and lesbian advocacy groups) have got to wake up and smell the fraud; this administration will use any means available to spread propaganda, and as long as they succeed, they damage the credibility of all media.

Anonymous said...

I did a little bit of extra digging and found some odd connections.

http://www.leadpencil.net/blog/archives/000234.html

The question now is, just who is this Houston-based Endeavor Media Group?

Anonymous said...

Credit for initially breaking the Jeff Gannon story goes to a blogger named Webdems and to Dan Froomkin at The Washington Post.

On February 18 of 2004, Webdems ranted about Gannon's peculiar background to be allowed entry to White House press briefings, and asked a number of questions.

WaPo's Dan Froomkin linked to Webdems the following day, and continued to thump Gannon occasionally.

Webdems argued that authority for credentialing reporters should be removed from the WH Press Office and returned to its original entity, the WH Correspondents Association. The reason? Because this WH has demonstrated that it will plant shills of disreputable background, it will use the authority to intimidate reporters through punishment, and it arguably will endanger national security by allowing a person to enter the WH under a false identity, posing as a journalist.

The blog is at http://webdems.blogspot.com

Charlie Quidnunc said...

I read part of your post in my Podcast today. I do a daily read of the most interesting topics in the blogs into an MP3 file and make it available for subscription using RSS. People can set it up to automatically download it to their MP3 player or iPod. Hence the name, Podcasting. I usually do a trackback, but I didn't see one for your blog. The script for the podcast is my weblog.

I think there is a certain amount of hypocracy on the left for outing Mr. Gannon, celebrating his resignation, and then saying that his sexual orientation is not the issue. Kos took him down on purpose because he was not a liberal like all the others in the press corps. He has a right to be a legal pornographer just like anyone else does, if his activity is legal. His employer has the right to fire him for it. Just because he asks softball questions is no reason to attack him.

The part that bugs me the most is the fact that no one on the left or right ever thought to ask for a press pass before. Why don't you ask the White House for one, and start reporting from there yourself. I applaud Mr. Gannon's courage and initiative to join the press corps, despite his lack of journalistic background. It is citizen journalism at its best.

Anonymous said...

This story is similar to one posted on tkidblog.blogspot.com which "outed" Kevin Craver, Rambo-style blogger.

Anonymous said...

I must disagree with the post about the left's hypocrisy and its applause of Mr. Gannon's "courage and initiative to join the press corps."

I ask you to consider these points-
1. Jeff Gannon is not his real name! What kind of "courage" is that?

2. While the facts have not all been laid out yet, it seems clear that Mr. "Gannon" has been deceiving his Talon News (an unabashedly conservative group) by appearing to support their agenda while, in fact, clearly not believing in it! (A note- I have no issues with his lifestyle- it's this deception I abhor.)

3. The real "hypocrisy," as far as I am concerned, is that Mr. "Gannon's" initiative was focused on making a buck and that he had no "consideration" for journalistic ethics or "the welfare of [his or anyone's] family." If he were, we would never be having this discussion.

Oh- the only reason I'm posting as anonymous is that I don't have time to keep up a blog right now. My name is Ann and I live in Baltimore, MD. I have an undergraduate degree in communications (so I know about journalistic ethics) and am working on my MBA (so I know about sound economic policy and business ethics). My e-mail is anncolemangirl@yahoo.com , but I must admit, really don't want to get into a war of words... I just didn't want to be the pot that called the kettle black..

Curtin said...

Charlie,
The problem is not that he's maybe gay, or a conservative. The problem is that this man used a pseudonym and got a White House Press pass, while married female reporters are refused a press pass in their maiden name, even if that's their professional name. Not only that, but this fake-named faux journalist was apparently given access to the confidential CIA document that led to Valerie Plame's outing. Who is this man who uses an assumed name, get's unprecedented access, and basically plagarizes White House and other GOP press releases and calls it news reporting? As with many things, if this man were a liberal working the same angle during the Clinton administration, there would have been Congressional hearings months ago and widespread calls for the President's impeachment for corruption. Why are you and so many others on the Right getting so indignant over this obvious fraud of a person? You're backing the wrong horse here.

Anonymous said...

What about the Valerie Plame connection?

Valerie Plame connection"White House-credentialed fake news reporter 'Jeff Gannon' from fake news agency 'Talon News' was cited by the Washington Post as having the only access to an internal CIA memo that named Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as a covert CIA agent. Gannon, in a question posed to Wilson in an October 2003 interview, referred to the memo (to which no other news outlet had access, according to the Post). Gannon subsequently has been subpoenaed by the federal grand jury looking into the Plame outing." [from Daily Kos]

Anonymous said...

Denand an investigation!! Contact your representative!!
CUT AND PASTE THIS!!!

Mr. XXXX:
Rep. Slaughter from the 28th District is demanding an explanation form the Bush administration regarding "reporter" Jeff Gannon's credentials and access to the White House. His real name is unknown, and he has been linked to various fake news organizations that promote the Republican agenda (in addition to several Web sites promoting gay prostitution--although his sexual orientation is of no concern to me). In light of recent revelations concerning the White House's payment to journalists for favorable coverage, I ask you to investigate this "reporter."
A free and honest press is the only way for a democracy to function. I ask you, my representative, to investigate this matter and demand the Bush admistration to be accountable.
Thank you,
XXXXX

Anonymous said...

I always cringe when I see the word "your" used as "you are."

Better take a look at the list of questions you send out and fix 'em if you want to be taken seriously.

Timothy Karr said...

Fixed it. Thanks. YOU'RE a saint

Charlie Quidnunc said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Politics is a dirty business. This scandal, however, is far more dirty than Flowers and Lewinsky.
Lewinsky wasn't a member of the press core ;)

Anonymous said...

For the great crime of being a reporter who asked a question not in synch with the liberal jackals in the White House press corps, Jeff Gannon has had his life ruined. If anyone had done real research into Gannon's reporting, they would have seen that he asked a good number of critical questions of White House spokesmen over his time there. Not that you care. What you care about is maintaining a liberal stranglehold on the media by whatever means are necessary. The brownshirt tactics used against Gannon for simply being a reporter--yes, a reporter--are reprehensible. Pray conservatives don't decide to fight fire with fire.

Anonymous said...

Charlie Quidnunc

Good discussion.

I fault the White House for not demanding his real name. But not Jeff Gannon. As someone who writes under a pseudonym, and reads many blogs written by pseudonymous authors (Atrios), I find nothing wrong with publishing under another name. I also find Gannon's web sites repulsive, but legally protected free speech. His employer had a right to fire him for this.

But I still am upset at the witch hunt by Kos & company that was striving to dig up as much dirt as possible. If you disagree with someone, debate his ideas. If you just go for the dirt, you are no better than the creeps on the right who sought out Jenifer Flowers to hurt Clinton.

The fact that he had a pseudonym is no crime. His sexual orientation should be off limits, in my opinion.

Charlie

Anonymous said...

Rightwing wacko or not that pic jeffyboy had on his AOL profile (check it out americablog.org) is pretty darn hunky...

Oh Jeff.. if you ever feel the need to atone for your sins....

*Grin*

tgoff said...

Considering all of the recent revelations of pundits being paid to repeat the administration's talking points as their own opinions, it seems to be at least a decent possibility that this guy was similarly paid off. He may just be an amateur reporter who lucked out and got whitehouse credentials, but his habit of asking questions that change the subject and get away from the tough, more important questions, is troubling, and at the very least, detracts from the media's responsibility to ask tough questions and hold people accountable. the fact that he is connected with the Plame story is even more troubling. No matter how you cut it, something sounds fishy, and sounds like there is more going on than just a lazy, unethical reporter a la Jayson Blair.

While it may be underhanded to delve into his personal live and sexual orientation, which normally would be completly irrelevant, it seems vital to determining who this man was really wroking for, and what his motivations were. if he just happens to be a rogue reporter with bad journalistic ethics and a thing for naked military men, then to each his own, he should be critisized for his journalism alone. But if he were, for instance being paid off by the administration and involved in this gay prostitution stuff, that would say something about the administration's stated "family values" position, which did get them re-elected after all.

basically, we need to make sure that our media is objective and thorough, and that our administration is honest and accountable. bith of which demand gettign to the bottom of this.

Anonymous said...

Now that he's disappeared, the greatest fear is that the whole controversy over Gannon's connection with the Plame incident is going to fade away. That's doubtless what the White House hopes. How difficult is it going to be to get Gannon to talk now, and what steps need to be taken to get this to happen?

Timothy Karr said...

YOU WROTE: "For the great crime of being a reporter who asked a question not in synch with the liberal jackals in the White House press corps, Jeff Gannon has had his life ruined."

I REPLY: His crime had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with misrepresenting himself as a journalist in order to push an agenda friendly to the administration. Journalists, as the Fourth Estate, serve the public interest by challenging those in power with hard questions and thorough reporting, Gannon -- or whatever his name is -- did neither. He shilled for the president's programs and presented White House press releases, verbatum, as news without giving attribution. This is not journalism it's flacking for the party in power.

YOU WROTE: "If anyone had done real research into Gannon's reporting, they would have seen that he asked a good number of critical questions of White House spokesmen over his time there."

I REPLY: I have done this "real" research and nearly all of Gannon's questions would be characterized as critical of the White House.

YOU WROTE: "Not that you care."

I REPLY: Wrong, I do care about journalists pretending to be someone they're not. That's why I have reported on this issue. That's why I started this blog.

YOU WROTE: "What you care about is maintaining a liberal stranglehold on the media by whatever means are necessary."

I REPLY: Simply not true. This is not about left or right politics. It's about fixing a broken media system so that it serves the best interests of the public. We're all mediacitizens in this fight.

YOU WROTE: "The brownshirt tactics used against Gannon for simply being a reporter--yes, a reporter--are reprehensible. Pray conservatives don't decide to fight fire with fire."

I REPLY: Brownshirt? Nice try. Gannon a reporter? If he were really that, why wouldn't he want us to know his real name? Conservatives are pushing push back against every instance of perceived "liberal bias" in the media. Or haven't you been paying attention?

Anonymous said...

Was Gannon the guy who asked the question in Bush's last press conference about "what do you do with Democrats who are not in touch with reality?"
(not the exact wording).

Those press conference transcripts should include the identity of the questioner. It seems they never do.

Anonymous said...

Here's how you get reporter training so that you, too, can join the WH press corps. Here's Mr. Gannon's alma mater. For $50.00, it's priced just right. And that includes meals and course materials.

http://www.leadershipinstitute.org/02TRAINING/001BJS/001BJS.cfm

"An intense two-day seminar, the Broadcast Journalism School is designed to give aspiring journalists the skills necessary to bring balance to the media and succeed in this highly competitive field.

For $50, you'll receive two days of instruction, meals on Saturday and Sunday and all course materials. Limited free housing is available on a first-come, first-served basis."

Padraig said...

Well, anyone who thought the Right in this country had a shred of dignity or integrity can pretty much stop wondering. Check out the arguments by the Republicans on this sight! Someone getting a press pass under a false name (which is, you know, a massive breach of security, since, you know, he could have been planning on murdering the president) makes Gannon a 'citizen journalist'? We've 'ruined his life' by asking questions about how someone who works for GOPUSA got work posing as a journalist? Chuckleheads, listen up. The man is, by any reasonable definition, a plant. He's not a journalist, because journalists are public citizens, not pseudonomous stooges. Atrios, et al., are not journalists, and never claimed to be. Bloggers are not journalists. And anyone who wants a frickin' press pass had better damn well be a journalist, or they are betraying the public's confidence. Seriously, by your collective logic, Pravda was just misunderstood. You all (and I'm speaking to the conservatives here today) would have made great comrades in the USSR. You follow authority, you don;t ask questions, and you gang up on anyone who does. The Right might fight fire with fire? Who are you, and where do you live that you haven't seen the Right do this every day for the last 20 years? God, you're dumb.

greenman said...

Thanks for giving me the info on this, Wonkette tipped me off and I'm glad I found your site. Looking forward to more on this story.

Anonymous said...

i too started to question this guy's bona fides, when i went to the talon site and saw minimal creds on his bio. most pro's happily tout themselves and their credentials, seemed odd for him to be so modest. then, i tried going on the web, to see what i could see. again, not much. turns out, there's a good reason why, he isn't who he claimed to be.

his sexual orientation is not the issue per se, it only became an issue as it related to his job performance, which apparently was to parrot the gop line. this included the issues of same-sex marriage, discrimination, etc.

the bottom line is that this guy is a fraud, masquerading as a real reporter. it appears he was involved in some kind of bush administration disinformation campaign. it will be interesting to see if there is a money trail, linking talon to the white house and/or the rnc.

kudos to all who helped put the cleansing rays of sunshine on this.

cpinva

Anonymous said...

YOU WROTE: "For the great crime of being a reporter who asked a question not in synch with the liberal jackals in the White House press corps, Jeff Gannon has had his life ruined."

I REPLY: His crime had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with misrepresenting himself as a journalist in order to push an agenda friendly to the administration. Journalists, as the Fourth Estate, serve the public interest by challenging those in power with hard questions and thorough reporting, Gannon -- or whatever his name is -- did neither. He shilled for the president's programs and presented White House press releases, verbatum, as news without giving attribution. This is not journalism it's flacking for the party in power.

YOU WROTE: "If anyone had done real research into Gannon's reporting, they would have seen that he asked a good number of critical questions of White House spokesmen over his time there."

I REPLY: I have done this "real" research and nearly all of Gannon's questions would be characterized as critical of the White House.

YOU WROTE: "Not that you care."

I REPLY: Wrong, I do care about journalists pretending to be someone they're not. That's why I have reported on this issue. That's why I started this blog.

YOU WROTE: "What you care about is maintaining a liberal stranglehold on the media by whatever means are necessary."

I REPLY: Simply not true. This is not about left or right politics. It's about fixing a broken media system so that it serves the best interests of the public. We're all mediacitizens in this fight.

YOU WROTE: "The brownshirt tactics used against Gannon for simply being a reporter--yes, a reporter--are reprehensible. Pray conservatives don't decide to fight fire with fire."

I REPLY: Brownshirt? Nice try. Gannon a reporter? If he were really that, why wouldn't he want us to know his real name? Conservatives are pushing push back against every instance of perceived "liberal bias" in the media. Or haven't you been paying attention?

3:59 PM

Spare me the sanctimonoius blather about the Fifth Column, I mean Fourth Estate. The White House press corps has been pimping the liberal agenda for decades.

Gannon came to your attention not because of who he is, but what he represents: a conservative point of view in the liberal-dominated media. You guys have tried to do this to anyone who doesn't march in goose step to the liberal agenda: Matt Drudge, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, The Washington Times, Fox News and on and on.

Oh and please make up your mind. On the one hand you accuse Gannon of being a shill, and on the other hand you acknowledge that his questions were regularly critical of the White House.

As for using real names, we're still waiting for the fabled 'Deep Throat' to be revealed. The Washington Post became a legend based on an anonymous source. Jeff Gannon was easily found for anyone who wanted to speak to him--most of the time in the White House briefing room.

More scandalous than anything flung at Gannon for SIMLPY ASKING A QUESTION, is what CBS News tried to do with the forged documents. Dan Rather still has his job, as does Andrew Heyward. John Roberts still has his hard pass for the White House. Get cracking on that son, that's where the real damage is being done.

Anonymous said...

The Republican/Right wing comments on this story are very telling-- they have absolutely no core values! No moral compass!

As a "values voter" (that is, I vote according to my moral values) I am horrified by the porn industry. Very often it is associated w/ organized crime, and sexual predition (if that is a word) and is detrimental to our society, which already touts regarding other humans as objects of all kinds of designs that serve debauched purposes.

Therefore, it somehow doesn't surprise me that the GOPUSA might in fact be a front for gay pornography, and that there is an undercurrent of odd sexuality behind their agenda. This just seems somehow a little tip of their ugly iceburg.

This Administration is a front of lies, with innumerable front organizations that purport to be something they are not, with designs on the American people that are completely compatible with gay porn or other cons or sleezy businesses.

Anonymous said...

Great work. Great coverage.

Just out of curiosity, I went to google and entered:

gannon "jimmy moore"

It came up with a Talon web page that says those stories are no longer available. Odd, since Gannon and "jimmy moore" were not clearly printed on that particular web page.

Cindy
West Palm Beach, Fla.

Anonymous said...

I am posting anonymously because I do not have a blog. However, I find this article about Jeff Gannon and Talon News to be extremely interesting as I am (was)a member of the GOPUSA.com forums.

I posted a message on the GOPUSA.com forum today with links to the Washington Post article, this blog and the leadpencil blog and asked for a response. Now - my access to that board has been removed and I am apparently persona non-grata (sp?)

This is not the first run-in I've had with the people on that board. Several years ago, I complained about the one-sided coverage by one of the state editors in a Republican primary election in which I was involved. I did receive a response from Bobby Eberle as I knew him in passing from his Young Republican days. However, nothing about the coverage changed and the state "news" editor remains in place.

Please stay on this story.

si valley guy said...

Presumably the Secret Service, Homeland Security and the DC police will want to find out how someone using false identity papers was allowed (a) on White House property and (b) into the White House press gallery without challenge. Heads must roll!

Anonymous said...

I applaud your efforts to expose "Jeff Gannon" of "Talon News" for the administration shill he was.

Someone suggsted you follow the money trail -- I think you will find a link.

For another suggestion, check into cartoonist Chuck Asay. During the campaign he hawked the party line to a "T" and scathingly attacked all Democratic Party issues and policies in a way that made the administration's positions and policies look the best. I could understand this if he wrote a couple of cartoons that went against the Republicans and/or Bush--I mean, even columnist Cal Thomas occasioanlly calls the administration to task on a few issues. Since the election, Asay's Dem-bashing has abated in its intensity, but is still there.

I didn't think of it until the Armstrong Williams revelations, but it would be interesting to see if the administration also paid editorial cartoonists to promote the party line.

DH

Anonymous said...

You have done a great investigative job. The Media Brothel run by Maison Blanch will continue to over-reach, and [dedication like yours ] must continue to be engaged to take each one down. One by One. There are more faux reporters on the GOP payroll, and wouldn't it be interesting to find out what Government [or otherwise Dept. paid to this shill.

Anonymous said...

Talon News is recruiting, from a note on the front page of their web site:

Statement concerning former Washington, DC correspondent Jeff Gannon

Talon News Washington, DC reporter and White House Correspondent Jeff Gannon submitted his resignation from our organization effective February 8, 2005.

I understand and support Jeff's decision, and have accepted the resignation.

We are currently evaluating candidates to fill this critical assignment, and anticipate minimal interruption of Talon's coverage of our nation's capitol and the White House in the meantime.

-- Robert R. Eberle, Ph.D.
Editor in Chief, Talon News

Picasso said...

This is an issue of integrity. Moments after declaring that "Our agenda ought to be able to stand on its own two feet", President Bush took a question from Gannon. In one breath the President condemns the payoff to Armstrong Williams and insists on an "independent" relationship between the White House and the press; in the next, Bush takes a question from a shill posing as a reporter.

Clearly, the White House does not believe their agenda can stand on its own.

Anonymous said...

Great Work! Keep it up. I just found your site and I'm bookmarking it for revisits. Following the thread it occurred to me that perhaps the GOP is really a front for organized crime. Or is that corporate crime?

Kate said...

Re this comment in an earlier post

"this man used a pseudonym and got a White House Press pass, while married female reporters are refused a press pass in their maiden name, even if that's their professional name."

Is this true? If so, can we get a little blog-attention on it? What's next, Andrea Mitchell's press pass denoting "Mrs. Alan Greenspan"?? This administration is surreal and everybody acts like it and we exist in the same world. Help?

Anonymous said...

Outstanding work. This is the kind of journalism that will move blogging out into the "real" mainstream. I believe you need look no further than the president's new Deputy Chief of Staff to find the link to Gannon's sudden appearance. I'm sure they both frequent the same haunts...much like J. Edgar used to.

RobNYC said...

You know you can't make this stuff up if you wanted to. That AOL picture though does look a lot like him and it's not far fetched to think that someone so anti-gay is really gay in real life.

H. said...

It's funny that there is actually someone here applauding Mr Gannon for being a creative citizen-journalist, while at the same time someone else is spanking an actual citizen-journalsit for actually doing some citizen-journalist work and getting to the bottom of the Gannon situation.

How ironic.

It's also interesting to me that someone is blaming the messenger for ruining Mr Gannon's life. No one has ruined Mr Gannon's life. Mr Gannon lied about being a reporter, he assumed a fake identity, typed up press releases as news, and he acted as a plant for the GOP in news conferences.

Those were choices, and now he is being asked to own up to them, and he finds it easier to run than stand and explain himself. There is no witch hunt, there is no cabal of liberal media-elitists on the prowl. It's simply people asking someone who supposedly spoke in their name for his credentials.

Anonymous said...

Okay... all this stuff about 'liberals attacking and *outing* him', very small part of the big picture but...

Let me put it this way. I'm gay. I'm also sick of being kicked around by this administrations "moral ethics" (sounds like 'military intelligence', an oxymoron). Knowing someone is gay and touts conservative rhetoric makes me see red. I'm fighting for my right to love/live free/ work without fear etc... and some closet queen is agreeing with Santorum?? I'm an American citizen, second class and heading down the totem pole thanks to our dictator's sponsors.

Liberal bias? Homosexual agenda? Who attacks whom?

problems with the outing of this piece of stooge trash? The only problem I have is that I don't want people to associate him with being gay.

sorry about the anonymous post, didn't have a logon... will sign by my name:

Jeff Fallert

Anonymous said...

It's on CNN right now. Kathleen Koch just did a report for Anderson Cooper's show; nothing about his involvement with other websites, just the political/journalistic side of it.

Tom said...

Tim, great follow up and research into this - I've seen so many bits and pieces everywhere, but just haven't had the time to put it all together, and this does a great job of doing so.

What I'm most frustrated about is how the whole credentialing, fake name thing went about. It's tough enough for anyone to get a cred, let alone someone who is going to be biased and party line, all day long. I guess I really don't get the fake name thing, either - like, are we going to every find out WHY this man was posing as "Jeff Gannon?"

marxtone said...

I think that the gentleman's sexual identity is, indeed, an issue if the gentleman has written or regurgitated opinions against this very sexual identity.

Uad2dog said...

There is nothing new about hypocrisy on the part of closeted gay conservatives. This is an open letter I recently wrote to two vicious homophobes in the Virginia Hosue of Delegates who may or may not be among them:

R U 1 2 ? AN OPEN LETTER TO DELEGATES DICK BLACK AND BOB MARSHALL:

Dear Delegates Black and Marshall: January 29, 2005

It is truly one of the great ironies of modern American life that the raging national and Statewide debate about gay civil rights is probably led by homosexuals on both sides: open, proud, self-respecting gays and lesbians, with their friends and supporters, on the pro side, and closeted, self-denying, self-hating gays and lesbians, with their naively unsuspecting friends and allies, on the con side--no pun intended. Following so many other antigay actions and statements in your respective political and legislative careers, your co-patronage of HB 2921, a bill which you intended to bar gay men and lesbians from even being able to adopt children in Virginia, has reminded me of the case of former 2nd District GOP Congressman Ed Schrock, who abruptly abandoned his campaign for re-election last year after a gay blogger published on the Internet a purported recording of Schrock's racy telephone message to a gay dating service.

It has long been known in gay and lesbian circles, based on abundant anecdotal evidence, that many self-loathing and self-conscious closeted gay people try to drive out their own demons and, coincidentally if not primarily, throw others off their track by ranting and raving in the most strident voices possible against anyone and anything they suspect of condoning or approving homosexuality. That phenomenon, well known among clinical psychologists and other mental health therapists, has even been documented in research by psychologists at the University of Georgia who published their findings under the title "New Study Links Homophobia with Homosexual Arousal" in the Journal of the American Psychological Association in either 1995 or 1996, as I recall it.

Ed Schrock was not the first closeted conservative politician to use the tactic "the best defense is a good offense" to engage in conspicuous gay-bashing, and he surely won't be the last.

As special counsel to Red-stalking Senator Joe McCarthy, the late Roy Cohn, Esquire, relentlessly pursued "communists and queers" in the State Department and top U.S. Army command. John Terry Dolan, founder of the National Conservative Political Action Committee, took aim at employment rights for gays and lesbians, as well as their eligibility to adopt children, just as you do. But on his deathbed, Dolan allowed that he was one. Perhaps the most notorious example was a young Republican Congressman from Maryland's strongly conservative Eastern Shore, whom I happened to know very well when we were both active Young Republicans in the 1960s. A decade later, as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Bob Bauman forged a reputation as an anti-"gay rights" fireball. His "Bauman amendment" was offered to almost every domestic bill, aimed at denying to gays and lesbians legal privileges and benefits, such as publicly funded legal services. Had Bob not been caught seeking sexual favors from a 16-year-old "go-go boy" in a D.C. gay bar, he might still be pushing his homophobic views in Congress.

Look, frankly, I don't claim to know your true sexual orientation. But I do think I recognize a familiar pattern in your flamboyant behavior year in and year out, and I believe that a growing number of savvy political observers have begun to focus on the question of exactly what drives your seeming obsession with the subject of homosexuality. In casual conversation, it's usually put something like, "What in the hell is wrong with those guys? Do they need counseling, or what?" Normal, healthy heterosexuals who are happy and self-confident in their own sexuality, and thus have nothing to prove either to themselves or the rest of the world, simply aren't as obsessed with the private sex lives of other people who have done them no harm as you fellas appear to be. The University of Georgia research that I mentioned above suggests a plausible possible explanation, but it's only that--plausible, possible, but not necessarily true.

So, to clear the air for all concerned, I have a simple proposal to make: If I can get some public interest group like the Family Research Council or the Virginia Press Association or the Family Foundation of Virginia to agree to foot the bill, would y'all agree to submit to a drug-free penile erection test (plethysmograph) and lie detector test (polygraph) conducted by some neutral, experienced professionals, such as those at the Forensic Psychiatry Clinic at the University of Virginia or one of the regional sex offender programs licensed by the Virginia Department of Corrections, so that we'll all know, once and for all, what really turns you on? It would be extremely healthy for the expanding public debate in Virginia on so many gay-related issues if we could know whether you two are genuine heterosexuals, sincerely dedicated to protecting Western civilization as we have known it from the onslaught of militant homosexuals, or whether you are really just a couple of Roy Cohns, Bob Baumans, Terry Dolans, or Ed Schrocks.

And after you've taken your tests, I'd like to offer the same great deal to some of your political colleagues--and a few fundamentalist ministers, too. Since you would then be in a position to vouch personally for the accuracy and reliability of the plethysmograph and the polygraph, maybe you'd want to help me solicit their cooperation. You may call (540) 982-1776 or e-mail me (samgarrison1@aol.com) with your responses. I do look forward to hearing from you soon.

Cordially, Sam Garrison, 6th District Democratic Committee, Roanoke, Virginia

Greg said...

I wish you'd stop using the almost-certainly inaccurate "homophobic" to describe Talon News' reporting on gay issues and just say they oppose gay marriage, gay adoption or whatever. "Homophobic" is just an equally offensive slur against people who are not "afraid" of homosexuals, but may disagree with their lifestyle or policies designed to give it public acceptance. Disagree, but label your opponents accurately. You're not "conservaphobic," I assume - you just strongly disagree with them and hope their influence wanes.

Anonymous said...

Wow!!! Is this THE ONE folks? I don't mean to froth at the mouth but we are talking about saving the human race.

This cult of a few believes in the rapture folks. Combine that with the fact that North Korea has developed 5 possibly 6 nuclear warheads in the past 4 years. LET'S BRING THIS MOTHERFUCKER DOWN!!!!

Anonymous said...

Military Fetish? Access to CIA documents?

So whose to say that Gannon isn't actually a military/cia operative acting undercover for the bush administration as a "reporter", when actually fighting the bush civil war with propoganda as the weapon.

Steve J. said...

Anonynous wrote: "I posted a message on the GOPUSA.com forum today with links to the Washington Post article, this blog and the leadpencil blog and asked for a response. Now - my access to that board has been removed and I am apparently persona non-grata (sp?)"

This is a typical move of the Noise Machine. They whine about free speech then try to eliminate it. The same thing happens if you simply post facts to the FreeRepublic site.

Anonymous said...

if you go to the leadership institutes website in several places it talks about training for conservbatives. at the very bottom of the page it says theyre non partisan.

i think we need to look into not just jeff gannon, we need to organize and every single person needs one person to specialize in and we dig as much dirt on each person as we can, connect the dots, and expose them all at once. what about all the other reporters for talon news. just pick one and google them and see what you can find out about each one. why stop here. lets do this to every single conservative. youd better face it though, i can only say this as a true independent. for as much dirt as you dig on conservatives, its inevitable that theyll dig just as much on democrats. so youd better be prepared for that if thats what you want to start. im not completely convinced yet that this whole jeff gannon mess wasnt intentionally started by karl rove and any day now were gonna get new info thats going to make lefties look stupid. i dont think thats whats going on but how do you know anymore. really though, we need to start investigating every single conservative. the thing about him possibly being gay. the fact of him being gay, stay away. the fact that he might have connections to male prostitution, should be all over that. really though, i cant say it enough. theres a list of names of about 20-30 people affiliated as a reporter or whatever with talon, lets check em all out. i think its clear if we have to archive stuff ourselves so it doesnt dissappear then we should. if someone would like to start this lets talk. mogwaione@gmail.com

Steve J. said...

"Liberal Media" - what a joke. If the media were actually liberal, Bush would've been impeached by the House, convicted by the Senate and then tried in The Hague for war crimes.

Every fool who makes this claim forgets about the hounding of President Clinton, brought to you by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek and CNN.

Anonymous said...

This isn't about poor "Jeff Gannon" having his life ruined because he isn't a member of the "liberal media". This is about the PLANTING of a paid hack into the White House Press Corp. Gannon doesn't exist. He is fiction. He is not a blogger posting under an assumed name. Daily Kos didn't "out" him because he is into gay sex or whatever. He is inextricably linked to the exposure of Valerie Plame and we need more people in the press investigating this stuff rather than regurgitating what the BushCo feeds them. My hat is off to the Daily Kos.

Anonymous said...

thats funny if you go to leadership institute at the very top it says ," conservative training for tommorows leadership " but at the bottom it does say non partisan, thats funny, can't have it both ways.

Arachnae said...

Meanwhile, in Loudoun County VA (aka LoCo, with good reason), our elected representatives are calling an implied male-male kiss in a high schooler's play 'sexually explicit material' and 'homoerotic sex acts'. Brrrr. See The Prairie Angel for more.[/pimp]

Anonymous said...

To greg about "homophobe":

Is it OK to label someone as a "contemptible bigot hostile to homosexuals"? After all, I take it that the term "homophobe", as it is used in American political discourse, means exactly that. Or is it bad to express contempt for those who are contemptible?

I mean, when I call someone a "filthy liar", it's not a slur. It's a moral judgment. I'm attributing a particular vice to the guy, and condemning him for having it. Same thing goes for "fool", "zealot", and "racist". Do you think there's something wrong with making moral judgments? (If so, self-contradiction looms.)

Or are you making the merely pedantic point that you don't need a pathological fear of homosexuals in order to be an anti-homosexual bigot? If so, you should be a consistent pedant and insist that "homophobia" refer to the pathological fear of sameness.

Anonymous said...

This is a classic case of disinformation by Karl Rove. Mr. Gannon's connection to the Plame affair was problematic but has died down with other news taking its place. So, now he is "taken out" by supposedly liberal blog sites but with gay porn allegations. Folks, this does not harm the right at all, and it gets rid of one headache for them - the Plame affair. We've been played.

Mitchell said...

Charlie Quidnunc said...

"I think there is a certain amount of hypocrisy on the left for outing Mr. Gannon, celebrating his resignation, and then saying that his sexual orientation is not the issue."

His sexuality is only an "issue" in so far as the anti-gay shilling his employer does surrounding the issue, and the faux-"morality" of the "conservative" movement in the country. In other words, the issue of his sexuality is his hypocrisy on said issues, not his sexuality in and of itself.

Your rant about hypocrisy over on Kos about his sexuality is 100% bunk

Anonymous said...

"...More scandalous than anything flung at Gannon for SIMLPY ASKING A QUESTION, is what CBS News tried to do with the forged documents..."

Heh. MOST SCANDALOUS of all is that NOBODY wants to know who forged them. That the headline "CBS Forged Docs" stuck, and did it's job well, is enough.

You'd think felony election tampering would warrant [i]some[/i] investigative effort into the identities of Lucy Ramirez and the mysterious "Colonel."

Anonymous said...

Are those dog tags real or what?

So how about this, he's a plant from the bush team, former army/cia disinformation officer, they don't know he's gay when they plant him (or at least they don't know that he's actively promoting a gay lifestyle). Questions arise about Plame document. Conveniently, the gay story comes out, clouds the issue they dump him / hide him / erase him. He reports his "resignation".

Explains:
a) Access to Plame document.
b) Military interests as seen by Website urls and dog tags in picture.
c) Obvious right agenda in questions and reporting.
d) Works for a "media" company from the right when he's obviously got conflicting view points in personal life.
e) Fake name.

Somebody uncover this reporter scandal. Let me guess that a cool hundred million from the Bush budget that says something like "orphanage program" is slated for media disinformation program.

Mitchell said...

tgoff said...

ahhh.... the only "delving" into his sexual orientation was only so far as who was lited as contacts for his website(s) and came up because of trying to run down who he was and who was backing his access, etc.

In following that trail the website registrations turned up the male porn sites, which was not, nor is it now, the issue.

His sexuality is not the issue, never was the issue (aside from it being a tangential and minor underscore of the hypocrisy of the faux-morals crowd in the Fright-Wing™)

The issue is his being credentialed, his shilling as a Q&A lifeline for McClellan, his connection to not only the anti-Daschle dirty tricks, but more importantly his proximity and connections with the Plame outing.

Mitchell said...

Greg said...

"I wish you'd stop using the almost-certainly inaccurate "homophobic" to describe Talon News' reporting on gay issues and just say they oppose gay marriage, gay adoption or whatever. "Homophobic" is just an equally offensive slur against people who are not "afraid" of homosexuals, but may disagree with their lifestyle or policies designed to give it public acceptance."

Try a dictionary:

ho·mo·pho·bi·a
n.

1. Fear of or contempt for lesbians and gay men.

2. Behavior based on such a feeling.

Note the part after "fear of".. OR CONTEMPT FOR...

Codifying second class citizenry, railing against their "immorality" etc. is "contempt for" writ large. I am so sick of apologists for bigots trotting out this canard about the term homophobia.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that media citizen is jumping on the Gannon guy without realizing that it shows bias on the part of media citizen.

WHERE WAS THE OUTRAGE WHEN IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT
Zuniga of DailyKos and His partner had been on the payroll of the Howard Dean/Democrat party folks since about 2003. See below- Listing is from Armstrong Zuniga...the company that DailyKos' Zuniga is part of.

http://www.armstrongzuniga.com/
A Brief History
The political partnership of Armstrong Zúniga (AZ) was formed in January of 2003, by Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas Zúniga. From 2001 through 2002, Jerome’s popular weblog served as the original nexus for the decentralized netroots effort of Howard Dean’s presidential campaign. Markos began DailyKos.com during the summer of 2002 (now the most popular political weblog with over 3 million monthly visits).

In late 2002, AZ began talks with Joe Trippi about Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, which culminated in a strategic map that advocated meetups and blogs in creating an online campaign community, a fundraising base, and the means to nationalize the Dean for America grassroots campaign far in advance of the elections. In April of 2003, AZ founded the DraftClark.com effort. In May, AZ took on our first political clients, including Howard Dean. Our clients include federal candidates, issue advocacy groups, and non-partisan organizations.

Anonymous said...

Gotta worry about the clear message that folks like Keith Olberman and, even media citizen may be sending.

That being..."if you are not pro democrat...then you can't report on the President....if you are not of liberal bias...then we must run you off"

Think about it. Do ya ever wonder why conservatives blame the "Main stream media...blah blah blah" for being of liberal bias.

That post about how the dailykos folks are on Dean's payroll.....that is the first thing they are gonna go after...and this will all come back and bite us!

SOME HAVE GONE OFF THE DEEP END THINKING THIS WILL HURT BUSH.
Well, IT WON'T. Come back to reality. Bush and that idiot Scotty Mac. don't handle press credentials.

IT'S DONE BY THE CONGRESSIONAL PRESS GALLERIES.

dailykos knows that. we know that. AND SO DOES OLBERMAN AND MSNBC...since they have people in the press gallery.

Olberman and dailykos are gonna get nailed for selectively reporting this issue.

media citizen does not need to get caught up in that.

Mitchell said...

Anonymous up-thread said:

"WHERE WAS THE OUTRAGE WHEN IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT
Zuniga of DailyKos and His partner had been on the payroll of the Howard Dean/Democrat party folks since about 2003. See below- Listing is from Armstrong Zuniga...the company that DailyKos' Zuniga is part of."

No outrage because it was not anything comparable or substantive to be outraged over. Markos Alberto Moulitsas Zúniga (aka Kos) made a public disclaimer at the top of his blog while he was working as a consultant for the Dean campaign (on tech issues BTW, not as a flak for the campaign) and Jerome Armstrong shut his blog down while the Dean campaign was still going.

There is NOTHING to the sad pathetic attempt at distraction your post is.

But leave it to a mouth-breathing coward from the Fright-Wing™ to try to make a hyperbolic, fact-less attempt at equivalency and obfuscation from the real issue here by dredging up non-issues like Kos and Jerome Armstrong being 100% open and transparent about their affiliations with e Dean campaign at the time.

Nice try to try to divert attention, but the real issues are that the White House issued press credentials to a fake "news" reporter "Jeff Gannon" from fake news agency Talon News which is more a political organization than a news media outlet. He was cited by the Washington Post as possibly having access to an alleged internal CIA memo that named Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as a covert CIA agent. He is well-known for asking loaded pro-Republican questions at White House press briefings. And to have been a paid GOP blogger in a smear campaign against former Sen. Tom Daschle, were "Gannon" was the chief "news source" cited.

Mitchell said...

Anonymous said...

"Gotta worry about the clear message that folks like Keith Olberman and, even media citizen may be sending.

That being..."if you are not pro democrat...then you can't report on the President....if you are not of liberal bias...then we must run you off"

FICTION

That is not the issue at all and you know it. Nice attmept at trying to obfuscate by desperately trying to change the subject with attacks on those talking about this issue, and pushing the Fright-Wing™ default theme of "the liberal media bias" fiction.

What a bunch of BS.

"Gannon" (aka James Daniel Guckert) was a fake reporter who helped out an undercover CIA agent while getting White House press credentials with a fake name to lob softballs to Bush and McClellan, registered website names dealing with gay prostitution while writing stories advancing the Fright-Wing™ anti-gay agenda, and when he cowardly quit because the light suddenly was shown on him, purged all his stories from the sites in which they lived.

Joshua said...

"you're either born gay or born straight. Why would anybody "chose" to be gay? So they can have religious fundamentalists call them evil??? I think not."

Can I just say that I hate this "position" on gays? Let's set aside the excessive use of exclamation points and just focus on the fact that there is no consensus on how gay people become gay. If we can't even agree on when a fetus becomes a baby, then how can we agree on when a gay becomes a gay? Most likely there is a combination of factors that produce gay sexuality, including psychological, post-natal ones. Furthermore, since there is a gay culture is it possible to claim there isn't a gay lifestyle? And is orientation, which implies a fixed and dogmatic sexuality that almost no one actually has, any better than "preference." Indeed, we know that all-male organizations (the navy of old, prisons, the priesthood) have not only higher rates of homosexuals but also much higher rates of pragmatic homosexual sex between straight men. Clearly they'd prefer a woman, but ten months at sea is a long time. But, of course, it suits the (essentially conservative) gay rights movement to pretend that gays have a solid, unchangeable identity, fixed by cosmic chance or God's will, and that we want exactly the same things that straights do -- namely to get married and have babies and good careers. The fact that it's not true doesn't matter to the Queer Thought Police, who, like the Bush White House, manage to convince all kinds of people to spout their bullshit lines as if they were incontrovertible facts.

Bob said...

I don't see how you could get White House credentials under a pseudonym without it being commonly known. Even Mark Twain would have admit he was really Sam Clemens wearing an expensive white suit.

Anonymous said...

has the thought occurred to anyone that the "reason" this "jeff gannon" had so-called gay porno websites devoted to the "military" is to snare those in the military who are gay? would there be a purpose to this? blackmail? to garner information from within the ranks? just asking. since i've not seen the sites, should we assume that just because this republican shill/faux reporter uploads gay websites that he is indeed gay? or should we be thinking more along the lines of how he operates - and that is, clandestinely? if his "own" jeff gannon web site was a fake, what should we determine about the other websites? again, let's ask these questions instead of debating which came first, the gay chicken or the egg?

good work, all, nevertheless.

jukeboxgrad said...

"SOME HAVE GONE OFF THE DEEP END THINKING THIS WILL HURT BUSH. Well, IT WON'T. Come back to reality. Bush and that idiot Scotty Mac. don't handle press credentials. IT'S DONE BY THE CONGRESSIONAL PRESS GALLERIES."

Get your facts straight. Yes, regular White House press credentials are handled, as they should be, by an independent organization. But they turned Gannon down, quite rightly. But he was able to go around them by repeatedly getting daily passes direct from the White House. Nice work if you can get it.

Anonymous said...

Someone better check his pockets for FOX money because he,s a great candidate for the fox news and friends...........

Anonymous said...

Ahhh... a new "gate"?
Reportergate?

How about some questions?

Is anoyone at DOJ investigating this? If not, why?

If the reporter was using a false name, why didn't the Secret Service find out about it? Who should lose their job over this?

If Talon News or GOPUSA knew about the false name and used him anyway, isn't that conspiracy under the law?

Under that wonderful piece of crap legislation the Patriot Act, could this not be construed as terrorism? Inserting an unknown person with no valid credentials in the press room of the Whitehouse within 50 feet of the President. Sounds shakey to me.

If the Whitehouse knew about this shouldn't all those in the know lose their jobs?

What should this say about the credibility of the Whitehouse and the President?

Is knowingly deceiving the public not grounds for impeachment if the President knew?

Who checks credentials and passes on them?

Sounds like a lot of people should be both embarrassed, fired, and maybe in jail over this. Looks like this could be a field day for the Democrats if they choose to go there. I would.

gero said...

Just for the record, it's not exactly uncommon for actors, authors and journalists to adopt a pseudonym.

Let's not make a red herring out of this single issue.

jukebox_grad said...

"it's not exactly uncommon for actors, authors and journalists to adopt a pseudonym."

Actors, authors, yes. Journalists, no, as far as I know. If you know otherwise, please provide examples.

Also, it's a question of when the name was adopted and in what apparent context. In Gannon's case, a variety of factors seem to indicate that he was specifically motivated to obscure a prior career as a pornographer/prostitute in order to facilitate his new career as a White House shill. Not impressive.

In that perspective, this is far from a "red herring."

jukebox_grad said...

More on this.

Gannon was apparently able to repeatedly get a press pass using his pseudonym at the same time that married female reporters are refused a press pass in their maiden name, even if that's their professional name.

The White House needs to explain how this happened. They should also explain how in a post-9/11 security environment it is possible to walk around the White House wearing a pass with a phony name.

Note that Gannon claims that his press pass carried his real name. On the other hand, there are eyewitnesses who claim they saw "Jeff Gannon" on his press pass.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
has the thought occurred to anyone that the "reason" this "jeff gannon" had so-called gay porno websites devoted to the "military" is to snare those in the military who are gay? would there be a purpose to this? blackmail? to garner information from within the ranks? just asking. since i've not seen the sites, should we assume that just because this republican shill/faux reporter uploads gay websites that he is indeed gay? or should we be thinking more along the lines of how he operates - and that is, clandestinely? if his "own" jeff gannon web site was a fake, what should we determine about the other websites? again, let's ask these questions instead of debating which came first, the gay chicken or the egg?

good work, all, nevertheless.

4:11 AM"

-------------------------------------------------
or the "gay issue" is red herring to throw us off the Plame case.

Anonymous said...

sivalley guy said...
Presumably the Secret Service, Homeland Security and the DC police will want to find out how someone using false identity papers was allowed (a) on White House property and (b) into the White House press gallery without challenge. Heads must roll!

Do we know for a fact that his daily press pass at the White House was issued under the pseudonym and not his real name? When I first came to DC as a reporter, the organization I worked for was not credentialed. It took us several months to jump through the hoops and I used daily passes during that time on Capitol Hill. If you had tried to read my name on some of them, you would have thought that it was written by and M.D. on a prescription pad. Maybe he gave the Secret Service his "real" information but just used hi pseudonym when asking questions and in conversation.

I'm not defending against the accusation that the White House may have planted someone to change topics when the questioning got heated. I'm just saying that lots of media people - especially in radio - do not use their real names because they are hard to pronounce, hard to spell, sound stupid (I once interviewed for a job with a G.M. named "Richard Head"... slap your mother!), etc. The other accusations of fraud make the pseudonym sound like part of a cover-up, but it's not like this guy was Karl Rove pretending to be a legitimate reporter. He appears to have been nobody - albiet nobody with a conservative bias - but still nobody pretending to be a legitimate reporter.

A DC politcal reporter posting anonymously because I like my job and my boss reads this blog, too! :-P

Father P said...

Thank God for critical review of media practices. Many citizens really want to know what's happening because we're probably justifiably scared that hidden motivations and methods run our current administration. Perhaps slightly terrified of possible consequences of unspoken agendas.

It's not that I disagree with the "Fright-Wing" folks (thanks mitchell), love inspired faithful that they are. They just don't make sense in a big picture context of American hyper-priviledge waning for good reason. A liberal bias works for the big picture that we all belong to: planetary balance.....then we start talking about consolidating the power to make it happen.

My question is how does the liberal web-based quasi-press build on the critical review initiative to expose the difference between little picture and big picture thinking? namaste

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if anyone has a comment on Howie Kurtz' "report" of this, how he framed it, and who he chose to quote re: this serious subject of journalistic integrity.

His earlier story implied that this guy had only gotten a press pass for one day and Kurtz' reporting of this has a rat-like odor.

Anonymous said...

FOLLOW THE MONEY. Is Gannon being paid by the White House? The White House used P.R.-media firms to funnel money to other "journalists"-- could Talon News be another one? If the Plume investigators subpoena Gannon's e-mail, what would they find?

Anonymous said...

Check out the Leadership Institute Broadcast School of Journalism, from which Gannon graduated, according to the cached bio at Talon News. Their website basically says they will train you to be a conservative political operative, and then help place you.

Anonymous said...

These conservative complainers about the press and the media don't understand that the press is supposed to challenge authority, ask tough questions, serve as reporters, not stenographers in the press pool.

The old adage I learned in J-school was that we were expected to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." These days, the press way too often comforts the comfortable and afflicts the afflicted, and the rightwingers aren't satisfied with even that lapdog role that the mainstream press has taken on.

This latest incident with this bogus reporter apparently in collusion with the White House is a milestone in the further co-option of the press.

If this Gannon wanted to be on the staff of the White House Press Secretary, he should have applied for that job, instead of sneaking around pretending to be a reporter. I heard his question at the press conference and wondered at the time who this guy was, but I didn't wonder too much. I have gotten used to the press asking softball questions. Gannon simply took it to another level.

Anonymous said...

NEW YORK TIMES

Democrats Want Investigation of Reporter Using Fake Name
By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE

Published: February 11, 2005


Two Democrats in Congress are pressing for investigations into how a Washington reporter who used a pseudonym managed to gain access to the White House and had access to classified documents that named Valerie Plame as a C.I.A. operative.

The Democrats, Representatives John Conyers Jr. of Michigan and Louise M. Slaughter from Rochester, wrote yesterday to Patrick Fitzgerald, the independent prosecutor appointed in the Plame case, seeking an investigation into how the reporter, James D. Guckert, who used the name Jeff Gannon, had access to classified documents that revealed the identity of Ms. Plame.

Until Wednesday when he resigned, Mr. Guckert worked for TalonNews.com, a Web site operated by Robert Eberle, a Texas Republican. Mr. Guckert said in a March 2004 interview with his own news service, in which he was referred to as Mr. Gannon, that the classified document had been "easily accessible." The two Democrats questioned how a person with "dubious qualifications" had access to such a document. The Democrats also wrote to the Secret Service seeking an explanation of how someone using a pseudonym was cleared to enter the White House daily press briefings as well as a presidential news conference last month. They said in their letter that allowing such a person in "appears to deviate significantly from heightened security measures you have employed recently."

Mr. Guckert resigned from Talon saying he had been harassed by liberals on the Internet. Bloggers grew suspicious of him after President Bush called on him at the news conference and the reporter suggested that Democrats had "divorced themselves from reality." Spearheaded by a Web site called Media Matters For America, the bloggers discredited him.

Mr. Guckert told CNN yesterday that he had been receiving threats and hate mail. He said he used the pseudonym Gannon because it was "easier to pronounce and remember."

Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, told reporters yesterday that Mr. Bush did not know who Mr. Guckert was. Mr. McClellan said that Mr. Guckert entered the White House under his real name and "like anyone else, showed that he was representing a news organization that published regularly, and so he was cleared two years ago to receive daily passes, just like many others are."

Mr. Guckert was denied credentials to cover Capitol Hill, where press gallery workers said that his application indicated Talon was not his main source of income and that they could not verify its legitimacy.

Karl Frisch, a spokesman for Ms. Slaughter, said: "This is a guy who could not get credentialed by the House or the Senate press galleries, and yet managed to get into the White House and question the president" and have access to a top-secret document.

He added: "To imply he has no connection to the White House is just not credible."

Anonymous said...

This Bush administration is hostile toward a free press ... even more so than Bush senior. The White House does not even attempt to hide this fact. Although only 20% of the American press is now cocidered "free" by most authorities, "W" has been taking every action he can to curb accurate information. It is well documented that, while governor of Texas, George's handlers discovered right away that they needed to put a muzzle on him. They controlled what he said, where he said it and to whom he was saying it to. After all, he was being groomed for the presidency. If he was left to his own wits the public would soon notice his ignorance, bigotry, dishonesty, corrupt business practices, chemical dependency, sexism and, perhaps worst of all, his plans to use the "religious right" in order to gain power and wealth.
As his chances for the presidency grew so did the need for control of the press. The White House staff does it's best to keep tight control on what gets out and unwanted "leaks" ... as witnessed in Iraq and Afghanistan with "imbedded" reporters. George likes a captive audience .... people who are INVITED. He does not make a habit of talking to the masses where he might be questioned about something his handlers don't want discussed. The White House hides behind the lame excuse of "security". A "free" society does not hide from openess and truth. Bush and friends are working overtime in order for the six major "news" conglomerates to devower the remaining 20% of our press that
is not afraid to tell the truth.
The Gannon story stinks like rotten fish. Knowing the extreme methods used by this administration to control who has access to what, it is moronic to think that they did not have a hand in planting this guy. That is not to say it wasn't an "oopsie". It seems that these folks are very skilled at "oopsies"! (After all, they have been caught paying writers to push their agenda .... secretly.)
Another interesting (if not amuzing) footnote to all this is that Bush Sr., it seems, will soon be revealed to be "Deep Throat", the White House "insider" who leaked information to the Washington Post which hurried the toppling of Richard M. Nixon in the early 1970s!

Thank You,
Richard

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Anonymous said...

Hi,

I was reading the posts about Talon and on some other blogs connecting it to Mark Montini and some others. I dated this guy named Jeff Barea who shared a hotel room years ago with Montini and lectured for Morton Blackwell of the RNC. He's into some building some national conservative student newspaper movement. Coult that all be connected somehow?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Criminal Background Check said...

Its not just whistle blowers / independant bloggers that are now scouring the internet for issues like this. Employers are now starting to scour perspective employees Social Networking sites such as Facebook, and MySpace to see what they are up to in their own time. Let alone their political views. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

I was posting comments that apparently did not fit in with the "community" sense on gopusa.com when suddenly, I couldn't post, couldn't even log on anymore as it wouldn't recognize my password. So I tried to get them to send the password and they no longer recognized my email address. Yes, free speech is not something the gopuse.com or GOP stands for now. Lincoln must be turning over in his grave!!!

My comments were regarding the environment and global warming. If you can get on the site, look for comments by evenhanded. They may scub them off. Whatever. No surprise.