Gannongate update
March 1, 2005 10:16 PM   Subscribe

Two recent provocative articles about the the male-hooker-in-the-White-House-press-corps story: An analysis from Monday's Philly Inquirer asserts the flap is "far from over" and includes a cautionary quote: "The Bush people are challenging all the old assumptions about how to work the press. They are ambitious - visionary, if you will - in ways that Washington has yet to fathom." Meanwhile, this Feb 24 blog post from lefty David Corn calls Gannon's alleged anti-gay articles "pretty tame stuff" that didn't "automatically qualify him for outing," and cautions knee-jerking progressives that "there is nothing inherently wrong with allowing journalists with identifiable biases to pose questions to the White House press secretary and even the president." [last Gannon thread] [MeTa thread about appropriateness of another front-page Gannon post]
posted by mediareport (118 comments total)

 
Corn, suffering from beltway-itis, misses the boat a tad, methinks. The issue isn't so much the antics of one Jim Guckert, or whatever he wishes to call himself. It's the whole gestalt the Bush WH projects, as a bastion and "last hope" of every pickup-drivin', queer-hatin', big-gulp-slurpin' voter out there. With homosexual prostitutes on the payroll, can the Bush WH claim this depressingly broad slice of the heartland vote, however covertly (and not-so-covertly)?
posted by telstar at 11:19 PM on March 1, 2005


You can take the hooker out of the white house, but you can't take the....etc. etc. etc.

If there is "nothing inherently wrong with allowing journalists with identifiable biases to pose questions to the White House press secretary and even the president" -
- would it be wrong to, say, hire a journalist to pose questions?
If reporters are asking dumb questions, doesn't it make more sense to 'brief' reporters on questions they should ask so as to enable the American people to understand better?
Obviously preferential treatment is bad, but lets understand human nature here - we all want to talk to folks who agree with us so to avoid the possibility of being unfair why not simply employ a cadre of Homeland news officials to ask the government questions?
Wouldn't it ultimately though, save the taxpayers money to circumvent that process and simply monologue the White House's position on a government controlled station?

Clearly this goes to issues of trust, integrity, and outright fabrication and propagandizing of the truth and the right of the people to know what is being done with the authority extended to their representatives...

..But let's ignore all that and explore the minutiae involving petty and mundane details or better still lofty wide issue nebulae such as why the media hates all conservatives and ignore how this damages us.

Pitiful fools going over a cliff in a flaming cart arguing about who started the fire.
(That Billy Joel song comes to mind)

Saaaay, is Gannon old enough to have been on the grassy knoll?
posted by Smedleyman at 11:21 PM on March 1, 2005


"[T]here is nothing inherently wrong with allowing journalists with identifiable biases to pose questions to the White House press secretary and even the president."

This is a logical fallacy on Corn's part, and not the only one: Guckert is not a journalist, ipso facto Corn's point here has no relevance to this scandal.

But repeat it often enough and people will believe it, I guess.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:29 PM on March 1, 2005


I say only allow unbiased, non-partisan journalists to pose questions at press conferences. Of course that means we have to dismantle the entire university system and wait for these objective journalists to graduate. Oh, and also let them recover from the lobotomies.
posted by acetonic at 5:32 AM on March 2, 2005


Is there a difference between outing someone as gay and outing someone as a prostitute, given that prostitution is illegal (I don't believe Guckert was living in Nevada)?

I don't remember an outcry from media commentators about invasion of privacy when Clinton adviser Dick Morris was outed as having hired prostitutes, so why should talking about the fact that someone is advertising his own sexual services on the World Wide Web be a big deal?
posted by Axaxaxas Mlö at 6:17 AM on March 2, 2005


I say only allow unbiased, non-partisan journalists to pose questions at press conferences. Of course that means we have to dismantle the entire university system and wait for these objective journalists to graduate. Oh, and also let them recover from the lobotomies.

In the meantime, how about just allowing real journalists to pose questions? Or ones who don't use pseudonyms.
posted by AlexReynolds at 7:01 AM on March 2, 2005


Is there a difference between outing someone as gay and outing someone as a prostitute, given that prostitution is illegal...

Well, I don't consider it an "outing" since Gannon/Guckert knowingly posted naked photographs of himself online for the purpose of providing sexual services - even quoting hourly prices, terms-and-conditions and personal preferences (i.e. strictly a top) on the largest and most accessible bulletin board in the World. He wanted to expose himself (pun intended) in order to drum up business.
posted by ericb at 7:20 AM on March 2, 2005


He outed himself online. Anyone claiming his privacy was invaded by anyone other than Guckert himself is either full of shit or trying to change the subject--to get it away from the White House and who brought him in and set him up as a "journalist"
posted by amberglow at 7:29 AM on March 2, 2005


To me, these are the salient points:
1) Guckert was not a working journalist until AFTER he got his first White House press pass. He wrote no articles until Talon News went live. Talon News didn't go online until after he was in the press corps. Somebody in the administration wanted him conveniently positioned in the White House.

2) Guckert is (or was) a prostitute. He offered to exchange sex for money publicly on numerous occasions.

Therefore, the questions that should be asked are: "Who wanted a prostitute in the White House," and "Why?"
posted by Floydd at 7:57 AM on March 2, 2005


I'm just waiting for the White House to dismiss him as a third-rate turd-burglar.
posted by trondant at 8:30 AM on March 2, 2005


Clearly this goes to issues of trust, integrity, and outright fabrication and propagandizing of the truth and the right of the people to know what is being done with the authority extended to their representatives...

Bingo. And it seems no one in the press is willing to connect the dots between:
1: A "reporter" who's prior career experience may have been prostitution.
2: The appointment of Poindexter and Abrams to foreign policy positions in spite of prior convictions of perjury.
3: The stacking of scientific advisory boards to get the politically correct answer.
4: The purge of research from the Department of Education web pages.
5: The strong possibility that interpretations of foreign intellligence may have been pushed towards the desired conclusion.

The bigger story lurking just under the surface is an administration with serious problems with honesty, openness and debate.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:32 AM on March 2, 2005


Of course this story isn't over because there are so many unanswered questions about Gannon. Not questions about his sexuality or about his prostitution because those are only side issues, but serious questions about how he was allowed in to the press briefings at all.

He knew that he couldn't get permanent creds so he didn't go that route, but how in the world did he get a day pass day after day for two years??

The whole thing is just too weird for words.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:44 AM on March 2, 2005


NYU's PressThink: In the Press Room of the White House that is Post Press Before the certification of "Jeff Gannon" as a White House reporter who was good to go there was the Bush Administration's de-certification move against the Washington press, which it felt had to go. These two things are deeply related.

The idea that joins them was stated by Andrew Card, Bush’s chief of staff: "They don’t represent the public any more than other people do. In our democracy, the people who represent the public stood for election," said Card. "I don’t believe you have a check-and-balance function.”

See? No check and balance role. Not representative. That's post-press thinking, coming from the Chief of Staff. It is a political innovation for which Bush does not get enough credit.

And here is what it yields in the press room, an emptiness described by Dan Froomkin at Nieman Watchdog in December:
Even more of a charade these days are the daily briefings held by White House press secretary Scott McClellan, whose robotic adherence to repeating the predetermined messages of the day -- no matter what questions come his way -- has driven some correspondents to despair. Only narcissists and cranks could possibly feel they are getting much out of asking a question at a McClellan press briefing. Not coincidentally, the cranks are increasingly sitting at the front of the briefing room and getting called upon, in part because some big media organizations don't even bother to fill their assigned chairs anymore. What's the point?
...
"Jeff Gannon" (really James Dale Guckert) can be thought of as the replacement press, a fake journalist with a fake name working for a fake news organization, asking fake questions at a real press event. Until he asked one of President Bush that showed "unusually blatant sycophancy," as the New Yorker's Hendrick Hertzberg wrote. ...

posted by amberglow at 10:15 AM on March 2, 2005


Once "Jeff Gannon" simply answers these questions, as he's putatively agreed to, I think we can put the whole issue to rest.
posted by soyjoy at 10:21 AM on March 2, 2005


he won't, soyjoy. he's already starting to answer rightwing blog questions (i'm not sure answer is the right word tho) and doesn't reveal anything.

Gannon: Let's stick with Gannongate, it has a better sound.
posted by amberglow at 10:42 AM on March 2, 2005


BTW - after reading amberglow's post from DailyKos, I followed the link to Propagannon - a web community coordinating research and investigation of the Gannon/Guckert affair. You can sign-up for free access there - to provide tips, assist in research, etc.
posted by ericb at 12:19 PM on March 2, 2005


soyjoy - thanks for the link to the questions at DailyKos. Daily Kos has submitted the following letter to Gannon/Guckert (as well as to the media):

"Dear Mr. Guckert, I am writing to you on behalf of investigative members of DailyKos.com and ePluribusMedia. On March 1st, you wrote on your blog 'Bloggers are again doing what the Old Media will not, that is, giving me an opportunity to answer questions without editing, filtering or interpretation. Therefore, I am granting interviews to both conservative and liberal bloggers.' We are excited that you are willing to answer questions, as we have many regarding your experience in the White House. Below you will find a list of questions that was compiled by members of the DailyKos community. We will not edit the interview in any way, shape or form. We will post your answers exactly as you give them to us. This e-mail will also be posted. You should also know that we have supplied these questions to the media, so they are anticipating your responses as well. We would appreciate your prompt answer to all of the following questions..."

Check out the 100+ additional questions which DailyKos readers would like Gannon/Guckert to answer.
posted by ericb at 12:34 PM on March 2, 2005


The site "Fishbowl DC" has attempted to procure a White House "Day Pass" to cover a press briefing, given the low standards of inclusion Guckert's defenders (including those in the WH Press Corps) keep arguing for. Well, guess how that turned out.
posted by soyjoy at 1:53 PM on March 2, 2005


GannonGuckert, Helen Thomas ... discuss amongst yourselves.

"..the notion of comparing GannonGuckert's journalism experience to Helen Thomas' is simply bizarre. Gee, let's compare the two.

Helen Thomas [whom Ann Coulter described as the "old Arab" earlier this week]:
Served 57 years as a correspondent for UPI and as White House bureau chief.

James D. Guckert [aka James Gannon]:
Worked as a car repairman, as a $200/hour and $1,200/weekend high-priced whore, then attended a $50 two-day course in right-wing journalism and waltzed in to the White House, then claims he gets inside information on CIA scandals, the war, the Dan Rather scandal, and the Senate minority leader.

Is America a great country or what?" [AMERICAblog | March 02, 2005]
posted by ericb at 8:07 PM on March 2, 2005


Bill Maher, et al. discuss this story. (embedded video, site has NSFW ads)
posted by trondant at 9:04 PM on March 2, 2005


It appears that the link at ArabNews.com (to which I referred above) regarding Ann Coulter's statement about Helen Thomas no longer resolves to a webpage, but to a "The page cannot be displayed" message.

Instead, permit me to direct you here.
posted by ericb at 9:27 PM on March 2, 2005


The Advocate: Conservatives off the deep end ... The wildest disconnect between what they say and what they do is occurring with the “Jeff Gannon” scandal. In this case, a fake reporter who used an alias, on behalf of a fake news organization that was nothing but a Republican propaganda outlet, had a White House press clearance endowed by the Secret Service and used it to regularly ask the president softball questions. Big surprise, right? But here’s the real surprise: He was also a $200-an-hour (or $1,200-a-weekend) hustler, complete with X-rated Web photos revealing just how endowed he is. (I downloaded them all.) What do his fellow conservatives have to say? Nothing--as “Jeff” himself said in a CNN interview, “mistakes” in his past are “of a very personal and private nature.”
... I’m all for verbal tops, but not that verbal.
... Man, it’s not your personal life, it’s your professional life. You’re a hustler spread-eagle online with a woody for any kid to see after they watch SpongeBob. Have conservatives suddenly taken “don’t ask, don’t tell” to an absurd extreme? Are they strong on terrorists but soft on gay hookers? In that case, excuse me while I check the pullout section of my local gay mag for them to recruit. Though if the White House is condoning gay hookers, it’s a step in the right erection at least. ...

posted by amberglow at 9:28 PM on March 2, 2005


Okay ... Gannongate goes wider in Congress ...

"House Democrats say they will force a vote in the House Judiciary Committee to put the Republican majority on the record with regards to investigating discredited White House correspondent Jeff Gannon who allegedly had access to confidential information, including a memorandum naming CIA operative Valerie Plame..." [Raw Story | March 03, 2005]
posted by ericb at 10:56 PM on March 2, 2005


i just saw that--good news, but they never even got a response to their inquiries before. Is Spector still the head?
posted by amberglow at 5:15 AM on March 3, 2005


“As a blogger, Mr. Gannon's new tactic is to encourage fellow right-wing bloggers to portray him as the victim of a homophobic left-wing witch hunt that destroyed his privacy. Given that it was Mr. Gannon himself who voluntarily exhibited his own private life by appearing on Web sites advertising his services as a $200-per-hour escort, that's a hard case to make. But it is a clever way to deflect attention from an actual sexual witch hunt conducted by his own fake news organization in early 2004. It was none other than Talon News that advanced the fictional story that a young woman ‘taped an interview with one of the major television networks’ substantiating a rumor on the Drudge Report that John F. Kerry had had an extramarital affair with an intern. (Mr. Kerry had to publicly deny the story just as his campaign came out of the gate.) This is the kind of dirty trick only G. Gordon Liddy could dream up. Or maybe did. Mr. Gannon's Texan boss, Bobby Eberle, posted effusive thanks (for ‘their assistance, guidance and friendship’) to both Mr. Liddy and Karl Rove on Talon News's sister site, GOPUSA, last Christmas.

Mr. Gannon, a self-promoting airhead, may well be a pawn of larger forces as the vainglorious Mr. Liddy once was. But to what end? That Kerry ‘intern’ wasn't the only ‘news’ Mr. Gannon helped stuff in the pipeline during an election year. A close reading of the transcripts of televised White House press conferences reveals that at uncannily crucial moments he was called on by the White House press secretary, Scott McClellan, to stanch tough questioning on such topics as Abu Ghraib and Mr. Rove's possible involvement in the outing of the C.I.A. spy Valerie Plame. We still don't know how this Zelig, using a false name, was given a daily White House pass every day for two years. Last weekend, Jim Pinkerton, a former official in the Reagan and Bush I White Houses, said on ‘Fox News Watch,’ no less, that such a feat ‘takes an incredible amount of intervention from somebody high up in the White House,’ that it had to be ‘conscious’ and that ‘some investigation should proceed and they should find that out.’

Given an all-Republican government, the only investigation possible will have to come from the press.” [New York Times | March 03, 2005]
posted by ericb at 9:00 AM on March 3, 2005


Gannongate, Part 6: Republicans - Closing the Gannongate After the Horse Has Left” [The Bloogeyman | March 03, 2005]
posted by ericb at 9:01 AM on March 3, 2005


Given an all-Republican government, the only investigation possible will have to come from the press.

So, why hasn't it moved past Rich and Dowd into the actual news sections of the NYT? (only one little story was run as actual news)
posted by amberglow at 10:19 AM on March 3, 2005


Meanwhile, Gannon is trying to do an end-run around people who mock him by parodying himself in daily briefing questions.

I swear this guy is the Paris Hilton of so-called journalism.
posted by soyjoy at 10:38 AM on March 3, 2005


WH Gaggle Watch: Day Two
"Day two, strike two. If you're joining this story in progress, a brief update: Last week we came up with the idea of reporting on the White House's morning gaggle where Jim 'Jeff Gannon' Guckert suddenly got so famous a month ago. We've been trying since Monday to get one of the 'easy and available' day passes that allowed Gannon access for two years. No such luck." [Fishbowl DC | March 03, 2005]
posted by ericb at 2:28 PM on March 3, 2005


Jeffgannon.com - latest:
3:50pm

Tom Bevan has an great piece at Real Clear Politics, PLAYING HARDBALL WITH MAUREEN DOWD, in which he makes some good points about this gal who probably needs a bit of the old Jeff Gannon to relieve some of that pent up whatever.


Sleazeball.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:07 PM on March 3, 2005


Well, I still maintain that we should be talking about Giglogate, but that's neither here nor there. I have no doubt that this story would naturally die out, if Gannon weren't such an idiot. The media and most of the Democratic party haven't exactly rallied, but Gannon's doing an excellent job keeping the scandal alive. He's not just a shill, he's a moron.

He has no intention of maintaining a low profile, or even, leaving the WH press corps.[editor and publisher]


NEW YORK While it's doubtful that former GOPUSA/Talon News reporter James Guckert, better known as Jeff Gannon, will be getting a day pass to attend White House briefings any time soon, he's doing the next best thing: attending them in spirit.

On his revived Web site, www.jeffgannon.com, he has introduced a new feature, called "Today's Briefing Question." From the first entries, it is apparent that he still has a major league rightfielder's arm and can throw a softball with the best of them.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 4:18 PM on March 3, 2005


26 House Dems Seek Action on Gannon with list of co-sponsors. That's way more than i thought would sign.
posted by amberglow at 4:46 PM on March 3, 2005


Oops, Soyjoy. I accidentally skipped over your link. My apologies for double linking.

BTW, John Stewart is revisiting the theme on tonight's Daily Show.

this gal ... probably needs a bit of the old Jeff Gannon to relieve some of that pent up whatever.

/shudders and thinks about making a joke about how this isn't Gannon's speciality, but reconsiders; the assumption is just too damn gross/
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 5:28 PM on March 3, 2005


The worst of the old names itself the voice of the new
"Bloggers exposed Gannon to be unqualified to work in the White House; now print and television pundits have to expose bloggers as unqualified to work in their underwear—or they might be next!

Last week, cable news programs were overpopulated with forgettable, self-important talking heads ranting about the lack of 'credentials' behind the Gannon discovery. Apparently, this implies that the facts and evidence offered by bloggers are somehow made false by the fact that their presenters never pleasured Scott McClellan for a press pass. Though certainly not for the White House, I’ve gone through the credential process as a representative of newspapers, and I’ve also chosen the internet as my preferred outlet. As someone who carries two with me at all times, let me just tell you that anybody who believes their press pass somehow makes their work more true is either a deranged egomaniac or completely incompetent. Of course, I mean that in the nicest way possible.

If the press were still expected to do their job, Jeff Gannon would never have made headlines in any sense. But they’re not. The New York Times buried a story that seemed to indicate Bush had indeed cheated in the debates. A major news outlet carried a story about an Aryan supremacist’s founding of a whites-only dating site, just days before quoting the same man as a Swift Boat Vet, never making the connection. A cable comedy show that doesn’t even gather firsthand information shames the news coverage of four twenty four-hour news channels. And the only sources of trustworthy news about international policy are BBC and PBS. Let’s all think about that for a moment.

And now we have Jeff Gannon, so shameless a mouthpiece for the right that his stupidity has thrust him into the limelight. Finally, a journalist so unqualified, he made news! Unfortunately, the response of print journalists has often been to crucify not Gannon, who was especially inept at doing their job without those 'credentials' that they’re so crazy about, but Americablog, which managed to outdo them without ever having to claim that they were only a pimp." [Raw Story | March 03, 2005]
posted by ericb at 7:31 PM on March 3, 2005


Who Will Be The White House's Next Fake Reporter?
5 Contestants. One Job. No Scruples.
(Hosted by Jeff Gannon and Armstrong Williams).
posted by ericb at 7:34 PM on March 3, 2005


Williams just got a radio show--someone should call and ask what he thinks of Guckert, being another gay Republican who took money from the White House.
posted by amberglow at 7:48 PM on March 3, 2005


and another conservative columnist retired suddenly too
posted by amberglow at 7:49 PM on March 3, 2005


... It may be people you've never heard of, not the safliars and novaks, but the Joseph Perkins of the world that are suspect. Not that I'm saying any of those people are getting payola, but until this is fully investigated the public has no way of knowing whether the stories they read are real or astroturf....
posted by amberglow at 7:54 PM on March 3, 2005


A Letter to the Editor (of the Salt Lake Tribune):

"I read The Salt Lake Tribune every day, and I have not seen one article on Jeff Gannon, aka James Dale Guckert, the Republican, George W. Bush advocate and member of the White House press corps. Why not? I really want to know how this man slipped past the FBI and CIA security clearances and was granted a White House press pass when he used a false identity?

The man apparently (according to The New York Times and Washington Post newspapers) is a darling of the political right wing? Why don't we get these stories from you - our newspaper? This man has been the chief news source in smearing elected members of the Democratic Party. Why haven't you told us about this?" - more
posted by ericb at 5:59 AM on March 4, 2005


A blogger interviews Jeff Gannon...

"You should know that there seemed to be a misunderstanding about what sort of interview this would be. Jeff thought it would be a mostly humorous intereview. But I didn't go that way, as I thought I was already doing the humor okay on my own, and didn't want to pass up the chance to get actual first-hand information from a person in the center of a story (well, a sorta ginned-up phony-baloney story, but a story nonetheless).

Also, many of my questions presupposed certain facts not in evidence, as the lawyers say, and Jeff objected to many of these. Had this been a phone interview, I would have quickly realized there were certain areas he just wasn't getting into and dropped the point to avoid the tedium. But, as this was all done by email, all at once, all those questions were already out there."

The interview is here.
posted by ericb at 6:02 AM on March 4, 2005


Ray Midge concludes with some, uhhh, important questions:
1. In your absence, will conservatism survive or will it simply evolve into something totally unrecognizable? Follow up: Will you be able to remain the conservative 'straw that stirs the drink' now that you have lost your day pass?
JG: I’m here, I’m conservative, get used to it!
2. Can my one's life have meaning in this new world Kos and Atrious have let loose on us. I mean, a meaning worth getting our of bed for in the morning?
JG: It’s a reason to get out of bed! There is much work to do.
3. Why does evil, exist? Are you not powerful enough to stop it or are bad things somehow part of your 'plan?'
JG: Evil exists so man will know what Good is. Men prove themselves to be Good in the struggle against Evil.


Hysterical! what an attention whore he is (besides being the regular kind too)
posted by amberglow at 6:09 AM on March 4, 2005


Even high school student papers are covering Gannongate (aka Gigologate).

From the Montgomery (Md.) Blair High School "Silver Chips Online" - Come clean about "Gannongate"
posted by ericb at 6:22 AM on March 4, 2005


"Gannon, who went silent for a while, is back and on the attack. He's emerged to battle the "well-funded liberal attack machine," he writes on his relaunched Web site www.jeffgannon.com. Gannon vows to fight the fine fight to keep the sexual lives of fellow journalists private. Yes, it may take 'many columns and a book deal' but, by golly the 'Old Media' will rue the day they picked a fight with Jeff Gannon!" [Sylvester Brown of the Post-Dispatch | March 03, 2005]
posted by ericb at 6:26 AM on March 4, 2005


It's Day 4 in the saga of Mediabistro/Fishbowl DC trying to get one those "oh-so-easy-to-obtain" day passes for the White House Press Room. No luck today.

However, their hopes are increasing, ever since they "got an email from Knight Ridder's Ron Hutcheson, president of the White House Correspondents Association, who said that, without prompting, he'd raised the issue with the White House Press Office."

As well with "USA Today's media reporter Mark Memmott...interested in writing a story about [the Fishbowl DC] saga", it is likely bringing attention to their request.

"So is this it? Come next week, will Fishbowl D.C. be the first blogger to attend a White House briefing? (Have other bloggers covered a briefing before?)" [Fishbowl DC | March 04, 2004]
posted by ericb at 9:46 AM on March 4, 2005


Is U.S. Ministry of Propaganda Next? [The Washington Dispatch | March 04, 2004]
posted by ericb at 1:52 PM on March 4, 2005


and it turns out that he's responsible for this smear/talking point outrage insertion too: Two years ago Mr. Gannon, born James Guckert, used his seat in the White House press room to put a national spotlight on Miss Kaptur when he asked former press secretary Ari Fleischer why the President had not commented on the "offensive remarks by Democratic Congressman Marcy Kaptur, who likened Osama Bin Laden to our founding fathers?"
posted by amberglow at 2:55 PM on March 4, 2005


Nice find, amberglow. This is my favorite: After all, Mr. Gannon, who allegedly has been linked to a gay escort service, said, "If you want a plant, wouldn't you pick a better one than me?"

Exactly what we've been wondering. Why the hell would anyone pick James Gannon for anything. Forgive us if we can't think of any reason other than extortion.

On a serious note, these plants (and I can't see how he isn't one) need to be completely exposed. This guy has repeated lied to public, and he was probably paid to do so with public funds. I usually find some sympathy for anyone, but this guy is just a worm.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 3:30 PM on March 4, 2005


Amateur Hour: How secure can the homeland be when a simple use of the top-secret Google device would have revealed Gannon/Guckert spread-eagled and renting himself out as a "hot military stud"? Instead, he was allowed to roam the White House eating free samples and pushing buttons as though he were at Stew Leonard's. I expect more from my nation's covert dirty tricks; this was strictly amateur hour.
posted by amberglow at 9:21 AM on March 5, 2005


this is curious, and just how many GOP people fit this description? A flamboyant personality and bicoastal bachelor ...
posted by amberglow at 9:51 AM on March 5, 2005


...Certainly we can add a new definition of the term "house organ," and it's fun to imagine the hyperventilation of the commentariat had someone working as an alleged gay prostitute been so welcomed by the Clinton White House.

But Guckert's avocation is the least-creepy aspect of this story. Talon News has been shut down and Eberle exposed, er, shown to be a propagandist. Yet the Guckert saga is not an isolated series of events. Instead, it is the latest example of a media strategy built not just on spinning a message, but on co-opting the mechanisms of message delivery. ... (News-Record, NC )
posted by amberglow at 7:28 AM on March 6, 2005


"Sex, Lies and Spies: This Isn't News?" [Los Angeles Times | March 06, 2005]
posted by ericb at 8:58 AM on March 6, 2005


US media and trust
Political bias has cast doubt on American media's objectivity [BBC News | March 06, 2005]
posted by ericb at 3:32 PM on March 6, 2005


Senator Thune (R-SD) denies ties to Gannon/Guckert; Alleged link to writer stirs controversy. [Rapid City Journal | March 06, 2005]
posted by ericb at 3:36 PM on March 6, 2005


South Dakota Paper Probes Senator's Link to Jeff Gannon [Editor & Publisher | March 06, 2005]
posted by ericb at 3:47 PM on March 6, 2005


Memphis Flyer: A Queer Business-- Representative Jim Kolbe of Arizona, Representative David Dreier of California, Representative Ed Shrock of Virginia, Representative Bob Bauman of Maryland, Representative Jon Hinson of Mississippi. These names constitute an honor roll of sorts, the tip of what could be a considerable-sized iceberg, indeed. Who are they? Current or former Republican members of the House of Representatives. Not just that: They all have served as paragons of the everlasting struggle of American values against moral debauchery -- especially the kind designated by the term "gay rights," which each of these worthies has voted consistently to oppose. And not just that: Each of these past and present congressmen has been reliably identified as homosexual.

The tip of an iceberg, we say, because we are leaving out a veritable host of other nationally prominent Republican gays -- fund-raisers, spokespersons, ideologists, what-have-you -- because most of them have not been as directly involved in antihomosexual initiatives as the aforementioned congressmen, whose votes to restrict or deny gay rights are on the record. One unavoidable exception: We have to note that the bogus "newsman" James Guckert (aka Jeff Gannon), who has been serving as a paid shill for GOP and conservative causes at presidential press conferences for the last two years, was also fronting fully for explicit male-hustler Web sites. ...

posted by amberglow at 3:49 PM on March 6, 2005


Arab News (The Middle East's Leading English Language Daily): The Force of Freedom-- ... Well, Gannon, whose real name is James Guckert, has, to put it delicately, a past; and colorful one at that.

Guckert in addition to running a conservative Republican website also ran a number of pornographic websites catering to the homosexual elements in US society.

But wait! It gets even better.

Not only was Guckert a webmaster for homosexual websites, but he himself was a “male escort” which means a male prostitute.

...

posted by amberglow at 8:58 PM on March 6, 2005


Tangentially related: FishbowlDC finally gets a press pass: Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, said he had met with the White House Correspondents Association and they had decided to let Mr. Graff in. "It is the press corps' briefing room and if there are any new lines to be drawn, it should be done by their association," he said.
posted by veronica sawyer at 8:03 AM on March 7, 2005


I wonder about that, veronica--i think it serves Bush's purpose more in making the press irrelevant than it does any blogger or anyone interested in a real press.

DailyKos has a Gannon/Guckert joke thread:
Why is gardening Karl Roves favorite hobby?  Because he really enjoys screwing around with his plants.

Why won't the religious right condemn Karl Rove and the gay prostitute?  Because at least Rove devoutly serviced his God while he was on his knees.

posted by amberglow at 9:38 AM on March 7, 2005


and this is interesting, from the UK: “ I must confess that I haven’t had so much entertainment in all my career working for the Republicans, both in and out of the White House and for various papers. This “Gannon” story has one half of the staff, the senior members, in a state of gibbering terror lest they be “outed:,” and the rest in a state of growing outrage.

We have a lot of Nice Christian People here working in the offices and they previously have had a great devotion to Bush but now, with the revelations about “Gannon the Male Whore” growing, many of them are becoming very disillusioned. I know for a fact that wealthy contributors are calling here daily, screaming about “Gannon” and the Christian Right is knotting itself in agony over this. They, who loathe and despise all gays, are absolutely refusing to confront the obvious facts that a rampant and self-advertising gay whore and procurer was the poster boy of the Republican Right for at least three years.
...
Rove is feared but loathed by most of the people here because of his absolute viciousness but now because of his “close association” with “Gannon” of the fake “Talon” agency, his reputation is rapidly declining and those whom he has trashed are now sharpening their knives for him. Oh yes, there were a number of us who knew the truth but we kept it to ourselves.

By the way, if, as is strongly rumored, Guckert even thinks about selling certain very confidential tape recordings he made with rampant but secret gays both here and in top circles of the GOP to anyone, he will be a dead man before the sun goes down.

Still, this pathetic whore had delusions of grandeur while he was here. Veryclose to George Bush and Rove, he thought he owned this place and although my fifteen year old son can write a much better story, he thought he was a real power. “Gannon” was a tool, from the first to the last. He was known to be a practicing homosexual but was hired on and kept because of this and nothing else. “Gannon” was, in essence, a high-level pimp for all the Republican gays in Congress and the government. There is even a very strong rumor that he was involved with Tony Blair and other foreign visitors and was encouraged to tape these encounters so Rove could blackmail them.
...

posted by amberglow at 9:47 AM on March 7, 2005


Amberglow - It's interesting, true, but I don't know how authentic that last report is. It sounds like a lot of speculation, malice and wish-fulfilment to me. The fact that it contains non-ironic expressions of homophobia also devalues it as a reputable source (neither does the absence of any sort of attribution) for the anti-Gannonites.

I know that you don't indulge in rampant homophobic attitudes. I don't think we need to sink to the level of the worst bigots to convince the general populace that having any sort of prostitute, shill and tool posing as a geniune reporter in the White House is a breach of judgement, graver than a blowjob or a fundraising phone call.
posted by dash_slot- at 10:36 AM on March 7, 2005


The Tony Blair bi/gay/swinger rumours have been around since the 90s, the last time "the truth" threatened to surface was when Peter Foster was selling his story
posted by fullerine at 11:15 AM on March 7, 2005


Tony Blair was 'intimate' with my girlfriend - ...Asked why anyone should believe the revelations of the slimming tea promoter who had been jailed in the UK, the US and Australia, Foster said: "I was there, I am an eyewitness to what happened and Tony Blair knows that I know the truth."

Oh, that Peter Foster! Gotcha...
posted by dash_slot- at 11:56 AM on March 7, 2005


Pot, Meet Kettle: Gannon Comments on First Blogger at WH Briefing [Editor & Publisher | March 07, 2006]
posted by ericb at 12:03 PM on March 7, 2005


Glenn Reynolds (InstaPundit) Soils Self, Conservative Bloggers Everywhere With Intentional Misrepresentation of Credentials of Blogger Garrett Graff [Nashua Advocate | March 07, 2005]
posted by ericb at 12:11 PM on March 7, 2005


Correction (for above) ... *[Editor & Publisher | March 07, 2005]*
posted by ericb at 12:12 PM on March 7, 2005


If GannonGuckert sues Media Matters, bloggers, etc., who should we force to testify and what should we ask them? [AMERICAblog, March 07, 2005]
posted by ericb at 12:15 PM on March 7, 2005


Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer and current White House press secretary Scott McClellan on Gannon/Guckert - "Communication or Manipulation?" [Boston Globe | March 07, 2005]
posted by ericb at 3:44 PM on March 7, 2005


White house cleared a new blogger.

this one worked for howard dean.... no sex scandal though...
posted by sourbrew at 5:04 PM on March 7, 2005


on review.... crap
posted by sourbrew at 5:16 PM on March 7, 2005


"Secret Service lies today about GannonGuckert White House access

The US Secret Service lied to members of Congress today in a letter responding to concerns about GannonGuckert's access to the White House.

In the letter, as reported by Raw Story, "there was no deviation from Secret Service standards and procedures" in order to give GannonGuckert access to the White House.

But this a flat out lie." [AMERICAblog | March 08, 2005]
posted by ericb at 11:23 AM on March 8, 2005


"Is GannonGuckert threatening to out Joe Biden as a customer?

....This from GannonGuckert's Web site:
4:17pm - I watched a clip of Sen. Joe Biden on Bill Maher's HBO crapfest. I wonder why he didn't mention meeting me some years ago. C'mon Joe, think...
Now, GannonGuckert is either lying or telling the truth. If he's lying, his already sinking credibility will sink even further. If he's telling the truth, however, then things get even more interesting with this story as 'some years ago' would be at least two years ago, and it's only two years that Gannon has been covering the White House. That would put GannonGuckert and Biden's 'meeting' smack dab in the middle of Gannon's known prostitution years." [AMERICAblog | March 08, 2005]
posted by ericb at 11:34 AM on March 8, 2005


"CONFIRMED: Jeff Gannon was an adult porn webmaster....Thanks to the excellent investigative work of blogslut, here , we now have definite confirmation that James Dale Guckert aka "Jeff Gannon" was an adult porn webmaster. " [DailyKOS | March 08, 2005]
posted by ericb at 2:09 PM on March 8, 2005


Blogged Down: Pseudo-journalistic Web sites are another way conservatives get around “the filter” of mainstream media. It’s a new medium, but, for the Republican Party, it’s an old story.--American Prospect
posted by amberglow at 10:04 AM on March 9, 2005


"Second longest-serving member of the House, Rep. John Conyers, says he fears for the American democracy, citing erosion of rights...White House ducking Gannon? 'That's putting it mildly'" [Raw Story | March 09, 2005]
posted by ericb at 3:19 PM on March 9, 2005


"While conservatives have created an online echo chamber in part to further their decades-long assault on the mainstream media, liberals have begun using the new medium to pursue and unravel these conservative connections. 'When you read in the mainstream press stories about the blogosphere, there are some things that come up over and over,' says Kevin Drum, who writes the Political Animal blog for the liberal Washington Monthly magazine. 'It’s about hounding someone out of their jobs.'

The Gannon scalping is different from the Jordan and Rather controversies in two very important ways. First, whereas the conservative bloggers were out to destroy journalists with distinguished careers who’d made serious missteps, the liberal bloggers on Gannon’s trail were seeking to expose an out-and-out fraud. Second, while some of the conservative bloggers going after Jordan and Rather were mistaken for regular citizens by the mainstream media, the liberal bloggers were very much out in the open." [The American Prospect | March 04, 2005]
posted by ericb at 3:10 PM on March 10, 2005


you copycat! ; >
posted by amberglow at 3:13 PM on March 10, 2005


Oops!
posted by ericb at 4:12 PM on March 10, 2005


And just two comments above! Geesh. Pouring another glass of wine!
posted by ericb at 4:13 PM on March 10, 2005


"New GOPUSA News Service, Cybercast News, Replaces Talon News; Now Embroiled in Scandal Over Flooding Google News With Identical Jeff Gannon Articles " [Nashua Advocate | March 11, 2005]
posted by ericb at 4:21 PM on March 11, 2005


"Journalism never was a sentimental profession. A good journalist, in whatever medium, must be sceptical, but never cynical. The current climate, created by technology and political manipulation, has become soaked in cynicism. When the government of a democratic nation fakes the news and discredits journalism as another form of PR, the public can only conclude that nobody is interested in the truth any more, or worse, that there is no such thing as truth, but only spin and opinion. This is the traditional view of tyrants, for whom all that counts is propaganda." [ The Financial Times | March 11, 2005]
posted by ericb at 4:23 PM on March 11, 2005


Get Your War On
posted by amberglow at 9:20 PM on March 11, 2005


A White House Press Conference ... Coming Soon
posted by ericb at 1:06 PM on March 12, 2005


is this related? ...Roger D. Blevins of Elsmere was accused of raiding Biden’s re-election fund to pay for dates with, and buy lavish presents for, performers on a gay pornographic Web site.
...

posted by amberglow at 4:20 PM on March 12, 2005


Gannon makes Doonesbury.
posted by ericb at 9:33 AM on March 14, 2005


that's going to be good, eric : >
posted by amberglow at 9:47 AM on March 14, 2005


Decided to google (news) Gannon for an update. I thought that this was kind of interesting, although you will note it goes straight into tin-foil hat territory. I was reluctant to post it, but then, I thought, if I sort through some of this stuff you won't have to. Conspiracy theorists are suggesting that James Gannon/Jeff Guckert is actually Johnny Gosch, a paperboy who was kidnapped in Iowa in the early 80s. Ted Gunderson, former FBI agent, says that Gosch's mother says Jeff Guckert is her son, that she can identify him by a scar. (I can almost imagine seeing that scar on both a photo of Gosch and Gannon).
http://www.conspiracyplanet.com/channel.cfm?channelid=2&contentid=1995
Okay, some perspective. On the one side, Gunderson is a nut. If he ever were to stumble on to a real story, it would be by accident. He is one of those there are 50,000 satanic murders in the US each year people. On the other side, the Johnny Gosch story has been around for awhile, not invented for the sole purpose of Jeff Gannon. Johnny's mother claims that he was kidnapped and forced to be part of an international high up the government pedophile ring. She claims he is no longer part of it and came to visit her in 1997. (And Gunderson has been on this case well before Jeff Gannon appeared.) Johnny Gosch would be 35 now. Jeff Gannon claims to be 47. However, it has been posted on the blogosphere that he was claiming to 31 on his escort website back in 2002.
http://agonist.org/story/2005/2/17/1093/26842
Believing one doesn't mean believing the whole thing. I think it's possible he is Johnny Gosch, was kidnapped, molested for a time and later reinvented himself -- without having to buy the entire international pedophile ring. Maybe someone who knows how to compare young versus older pictures can compare Johnny Gosch to a good photo of Jeff Gannon. Or else find a good set of photos to compare to look at that scar.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:55 AM on March 14, 2005


I've seen that stuff, dances, and it's incredibly creepy, but Gannon/Guckert's too old--i don't buy those age progression pics posted either--it's a big stretch. I'd love to see more proof tho--can someone ask him about his childhood--apparently he's answering questions from people--maybe it's worth an email?
posted by amberglow at 11:03 AM on March 14, 2005


One of the more believable explanations for the weird connections between Gosch and Gannon is that both individuals were involved in blackmail programs. US intelligence is known to use homosexual activity (coerced or not) for blackmail purposes, for instance in Abu Ghraib. It's not that far a stretch to imagine the same techniques being applied by politicians against their enemies.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:38 AM on March 14, 2005


that would explain Guckert's comments about Biden.
posted by amberglow at 1:33 PM on March 14, 2005


oh! funny! An Washington, D.C. writer who sparked recent controversy involving the White House and the journalists who cover it, once played for a local gay softball team. (Philly Gay News)
posted by amberglow at 9:15 PM on March 14, 2005


Thanks, amber. That would make him about 16 to 17 years old in Johnny Gosch terms. In other words, Gosch, I don't think so. (groaner)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:36 AM on March 15, 2005


Resolution on Gannon inquiry to be taken up on Wednesday, March 16, 2005

"A resolution put forth by House Democrats to force a vote on whether Congress will demand information relating to the credentialing of discredited White House correspondent Jeff Gannon will come to a vote Wednesday..." [Raw Story | March 15, 2005]
posted by ericb at 12:13 PM on March 15, 2005


So Who Is That Obsequious Reporter?
A fake mustache falls off a fake journalist—and another government secret is revealed. [Newsweek | March 15, 2005]
posted by ericb at 4:12 PM on March 15, 2005


Borowitz thinks he's funnier than he really is.
posted by amberglow at 4:35 PM on March 15, 2005


Guckert's "writing and reporting" again, and Americablog dissects:
The creepy part about all of this is that it's hard to believe GannonGuckert didn't know exactly what he was doing. It seems that he chose to severely bias his story to push the religious right view on gay civil rights - that is, that they don't and shouldn't exist. That kind of bias is disturbing from a straight person, but from a gay person it's seriously messed up.

I'm sure Jeff will be amused that we're writing about him again. Maybe some day when no one remembers his name anymore (like in two months) he'll sit back and look at his life and consider why in order to strike back at his supposed enemies he always feels the need to bash himself.

posted by amberglow at 6:21 PM on March 15, 2005


The President's Escort
A GOP operative—and male escort—got two years of access to the White House press room. Just who gets to ask Bush a question? [The Advocate | March 29, 2005]
posted by ericb at 7:31 PM on March 15, 2005


JUDICIARY COMMITTEE TO VOTE ON GANNON RESOLUTION ON WEDNESDAY AT 10 A.M.

BROADCAST LIVE ON THE INTERNET


http://judiciary.house.gov/

(and CNN just said Bush called a news conf for 10am too)
posted by amberglow at 5:22 AM on March 16, 2005


Jeff, here. It's not my real name ...
posted by ericb at 8:52 AM on March 16, 2005


House Judiciary committee votes down GannonGuckert inquiry
"I guess the House Republicans don't care how a male hooker got access to the White House for two years, including access to the president, and how he seemingly got around strict security protocols for White House correspondents.

Oh that's right. He's a Republican hooker. And House Republicans, if they love anything, it's a good whore." [AMERICAblog | March 16, 2005]
posted by ericb at 3:30 PM on March 16, 2005


and it was a party line vote too--assholes. They'll be crying when Social Security bites them in the ass in the midterms. That's what they get for protecting the president.
posted by amberglow at 4:02 PM on March 16, 2005


I just saw the news. How depressing!

The White House is investigating this? They don't want to hold competing investigations???

Lamest. Excuses. Ever.
posted by tizzie at 5:36 PM on March 16, 2005


I wonder how many of the GOP Reps "know" Gannon/Guckert. ; >

GOP=Gay Ol' Prostitutes.


and--time for a real sleazy whore to get in on a day pass--with cameras. And the question to ask: "How long has the president been having sex with Gannon the Cannon?"
posted by amberglow at 5:42 PM on March 16, 2005


[Rep.] Jackson Lee said Gannon had engaged in a possible “penetration of the White House.”

Snort!
posted by dash_slot- at 5:55 PM on March 16, 2005


Voting in favor of the resolution were: (All Democrats) Rep. Conyers Rep. Berman Rep. Scott Rep. Watt Rep. Jackson-Lee Rep. Waters Rep. Meehan Rep. Schiff Rep. Sanchez Rep. Van Hollen
Voting Against: (All Republicans) Rep. Sensenbrenner Rep. Coble Rep. (Lamar) Smith Rep. Gallegly Rep. Goodlatte Rep. Chabot Rep. Lungren Rep. Jenkins Rep. Cannon Rep. Bachus Rep. Inglis Rep. Hostettler Rep. Green Rep. Keller Rep. Issa Rep. Flake Rep. Pence Rep. Forbes Rep. King Rep. Franks Rep. Gohmert
Not present: Democrats: Rep. Boucher Rep. Nadler Rep. Lofgren Rep. Delahunt Rep. Wexler Rep. Weiner Rep. (Adam) Smith Republicans: Rep. Hyde Rep. Feeney


Unbelievable. Why were so many Democrats "not present?"
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:04 AM on March 17, 2005


we still would have lost tho, even if every single dem came and voted.

I'm thinking they knew it wasn't in the news, so why bother? it's not their issue at all.
posted by amberglow at 10:14 AM on March 17, 2005


oh! funny! An Washington, D.C. writer who sparked recent controversy involving the White House and the journalists who cover it, once played for a local gay softball team. (Philly Gay News)

Word around Philly is that he would often skip first base for third.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:24 PM on March 17, 2005


GQ apparently has a big story about Gay Republicans
posted by amberglow at 5:55 AM on March 18, 2005


and is Condi being outed? A GAY political activist is getting ready to out a "high-profile" female Republican well known in Washington. (NYPost)
posted by amberglow at 10:06 PM on March 18, 2005


Tucker Carlson interviews Gannon/Guckert on PBS.

"But this interview just proves what so many knew all along. Gannon is a coward. He posted on his 'blog' (for which, pathetically, he is his own 'Washington Correspondent') that he would be accepting questions from both conservative AND liberal bloggers.

On March 2, members of DailyKos sent him a list of questions. Over two weeks have passed, and no response. Yet that hasn't stopped Gannon from prancing around the internets doing interviews for right-wing blogs...all of them of course framed in the 'St. Gannon The Victim' manner." [Propagannon | March 19, 2005]
posted by ericb at 12:40 PM on March 19, 2005


Gannon/Guckert Interviewed by 'NY Times' This Sunday [Editor & Publisher | March 18, 2005]

"...former White House correspondent/ escort Jeff Gannon (real name James Guckert) predicts, 'At some point in the future, everyone is going to have a picture on the Internet that they are unhappy about.'"
posted by ericb at 12:44 PM on March 19, 2005


Oh, this is so choice: "Asked about his views on gay marriage, given that he is a Republican, Gannon said that, speaking for himself, 'I actually like being alone. I have decided that is how I want to live. I have a dog named Winston. I am still the same to Winston, no matter what, and there is comfort in that. Winston doesn’t watch the news.'"
posted by ericb at 12:45 PM on March 19, 2005


Garry Trudeau to continue Jeff Gannon theme in "Doonesbury"

The strips so far:
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
posted by ericb at 12:52 PM on March 19, 2005


QUESTIONS FOR JEFF GANNON
The would-be reporter talks about the controversy over his White House press pass, his relationship with Scott McClellan and the revelations about his personal life. [New York Times | March 20, 2005]
posted by ericb at 6:38 AM on March 20, 2005


"But for those of us who do watch the news, are you interested in defending one's right to pose in the buff, as photographs on the Internet indicate you have done?

We do have tremendous freedoms in this country, and one of the drawbacks of that is that people are free to take images of me and manipulate them however they want."
Uh, what, Jeff/James? All of those photographs were taken by others who then did some creative Photoshopping? Huh?
posted by ericb at 6:42 AM on March 20, 2005


"[Jeff/James]...if you were concerned about the impact on your mother of all the publicity surrounding the growing scandal, then why, rather than dropping out of the public eye, did you immediately start granting more and more interviews to media outlets large and small, and even set up your own blog taunting your accusers? You are hardly trying to stay out of the public eye - in fact, you seem to be enjoying the publicity, and willingly provoking the very reaction from your critics that you claim you are trying to avoid in order to protect your family." [AMERCIAblog | March 20 ,2005]
posted by ericb at 6:50 AM on March 20, 2005


that NYT piece is garbage...he didn't just pose nude--he was a prostitute for years, and started military escort sites. there are still reviews of his whoring online.

and wtf is this: Yes. I received a kind of stipend.
What kind of reporter lets a answer like that go by without a followup? How did he live? Who paid the stipend? Who paid his rent in DC?
posted by amberglow at 7:43 AM on March 20, 2005


Who is this man? (NSFW)
posted by amberglow at 8:23 PM on March 23, 2005


another winner from rudepundit too: Karl Rove is a frustrated fat man; no matter how much he works, he can't train his male leather slave to take a fisting. Oh, he's tried, Lord, how he's tried to get that sphincter loose enough. He's used butt plugs, anal beads, ben-wah balls, strap-ons, dildos smoothed and cock-shaped, ketchup bottles, everything he can thing of, but for some reason, for some anatomical quirk, perhaps, Rove just can't manage to get his whole hamhock hand into his leather slave's anus.

Rove keeps his leather slave chained in the basement of the White House, right next to James Buchanan's hand-crank vibrator and Richard Nixon's Saigon whore blow-up doll (with real sucking action). Rove has been working on the fisting since the second inauguration -- it's the one thing his leather slave hasn't done, having gladly taken the tax cut golden showers, the Patriot Act scat treatment, not even yelling the safe word, "Impeach," when Rove branded him with the word "Iraq." But this, this one thing, a fisting, that would bring Master Rove so much pleasure, the leather slave has denied Rove. ...

posted by amberglow at 8:45 PM on March 23, 2005


« Older America's Christian Values Will Be Destroyed By A ...  |  A history of early New York ga... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments