Monday, February 14, 2005

MY KIND OF SCANDAL. The outraged anti-Bushies can't understand why many liberal bloggers - including Media Log - are not going ballistic over the latest on Jeff Gannon. Well, let me try to explain: we like the idea of gay hookers attending White House press briefings, and think there should be more of them. (Gay hookers in the White House, that is, not press briefings.)

Two theories: a) there's nothing better than hypocrisy exposed, especially when it comes to the moral-values crowd; and b) there's no need for me to get all hot and bothered, because Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Cal Thomas, or whoever is going to erupt soon enough, at least after he's stopped looking at the pictures.

And by all means let's hear more about the Valerie Plame connection. Was the White House really whispering sweet nothings about this into Gannon's ear?

Sorry, I just can't get serious about this. So the only place I can think to send you is Wonkette. She's got the goods, the links, and - in this case - precisely the right attitude. Click here, here, and here.


AnthonyG said...

Dan, you don't need to go ballistic over the Guckert Scandal, you just need to cover it with as much bandwidth and seriousness as Eason Jordan, Katherine Abbott, etc.

It is, by any objective measure, a more serious breach of journalistic ethics and, possibly, national security.

Are you really going to wait for the Religious Right crowd to take the lead on this? Sure --like they did with Strom Thurmond, Cardinal Law, Mayor Giordano, Henry Hyde, Rudy Guiliani...

This is the difference between the political Right and Left in America: their respective competitive drive and will to win. Every Right-Wing journo and news outlet would be pursuing this story if it happened in a Democratic White House.

It should be a top story not only because of the seriousness allegations involved, but (for a media reporter like yourself) because it further exposes the depths to which the Bushies stoop to deceive, maniupulate and misinform the public.

And as for Wonkette, she's a follower, not a leader on this scandal. The goods worth reading can be found at Americablog, Raw Story and DailyKos.

Dem House Whip, Rep. Steny Hoyer, just released this letter on the Guckert Scandal.

~Anthony G.
Still a Media Log Fan

Anonymous said...

Dan, I'm with AnthonyG on this.

Even putting aside the more prurient gay prostitution/Republican hypocrisy angle of this story, I think it's a pretty big deal.

I saw this past Friday's Beat the Press edition of Greater Boston, and I found it frustrating right up until the end of the segment when Crossley just got in the point I was waiting for. It isn't that we object to a conservative voice in the White House press corps, it's that we object to a Republican activist being planted there for the purpose of providing Bush with relief from actual questioning.

I'm sensitive to the idea of not just playing tit-for-tat with the right wing's tactics, but AnthonyG is absolutely right - can you imagine the firestorm if the Clinton (or Gore, or Kerry) Administration had a "reporter" from a MoveOn offshoot asking questions like, "Mr. President, how can you work with these right-wing wackos that want to take away our social security?" Fox would have to spin off a new channel just to cover it.

The evidence of gay prostitution is just a hard to ignore add on to this already sordid tale.

It's true that most bloggers are not trained journalists, and I think we are in a strange spot in history where the medium is still finding its way. I try to read the blogs with this in mind. But this story would not have advanced to the point that it has without them.

Unfortunately, it appears that not even the alternative media is taking this story seriously, except for maybe Salon's Eric Boehlert, who is doing not much more than collecting the strands that Americablog and the Kos diarists are digging up. I can't for the life of me figure out why - this is no less media manipulation than the Armstrong Williams (&co.) payola scandal. It's just another layer of Bush propaganda.

Anonymous said...

Underscoring Mike:

Conservative opinion leaders ensure that the public is made to know & believe flagrant falsehoods that serve the Republican Right agenda (e.g., Iraqi's were among the 9/11 hijackers, Saddam was involved in 9/11, Clinton staffers trashed Air Force One, abstinence only education works, etc.).

Progressive & centrist opinion leaders are unable to ensure the public is made to know basic, accurate facts that serve the common good (e.g., Saddam had no ties to al Qaeda, only millionaires are subject to the Estate Tax, Al Gore never claimed he "invented the Internet," Bush's budget numbers don't add-up, etc.).

As a progressive opinion leader, Dan, how do you account for this discrepency and what are you doing about it? How does ignoring the Guckert scandal help???

~Anthony G.
Media Log Fan

Dan Kennedy said...

I yield to no one in my exposure of Republican lies and hypocrisy. The fact that I'm not all that interested in the Guckert scandal has nothing to do with that. But hey, I'm certainly following it, and I'm particularly interested in the Plame connection.

Of course Wonkette is a follower on this. She's also got just the right perspective.

Anonymous said...

Dan -
You absolutely have done more than your part as far as exposing Republican lies and falsehoods - I certainly didn't mean to imply that you were asleep at the switch or anything. You have plenty to write about, and you nobody could possibly cover everything these people are up to.

I mean, I'll say I'm a bit surprised that you aren't more interested in this one, just because it seems part of the bigger Republican propaganda machine, etc, that you tend to cover... But that's fine - like I said, you have plenty to cover elsewhere.

I was also expressing general frustration that there isn't more general outrage about this stuff. But my theory is that the Bush WH is just convinced that if they overload everyone with scandal, the nation will just give up on being outraged and drift into resigned acceptance... seems to be working out that way. Thus the re-election, and the continuing-to-plummet poll numbers.

AnthonyG said...

Let me be the first to sing the praises of Dan's past heroics. But Dan's track-record isn't the issue here.

The Guckert Scandal is a propaganda scandal, not a sex scandal (yet).

It is the third major propaganda scandal in the past couple of months, after the payola incidents and the White House getting reprimanded for disguising policy ads as independent news.

Dude, you're a political/media critic, no? How is this not a major political/media issue worth reporting?

Wonkette has absolutely the wrong perspective on this as entertaining as her anal sex jokes are.

Progressive opinion leaders, as a group, have plainly failed to inform the public of how thoroughly they are being lied to by the Bushies, and to what elaborate lengths the Bushies go to misinform them daily about serious issues: to the point where they planted a gay prostitute in the White House press corps, posing as a journalist, to ensure McClellan and Bush have ready access to partisan, softball questions.

The folks with the right perspective on this are Media Matters, The Niagara Falls Reporter, Americablog, Raw Story and DailyKos (E&P is getting there). Why? Because they are not letting the Bushies get away with it.

They are doing what the Right does instinctively when a Democrat or progressive (or an Eason Jordan) makes a mistake or gets caught in a scandal.

It's time for progressives and centrists to practice the same level of intensity and tenacity as our competition.

~Anthony G.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, must disagree...I would like to see more white house briefings... Oh that other thing...

I just don't wanna believe Jeff G was into this... cheap way of making money... He's a patriotic member in good standing with the family values crowd...Did you see his sad sign off at

Breaks my heart to read it.

Next thing you know, some lefty blogger will be throwing dirt on Bush spokesman Scott McClellan too. Throw enough poop and some of it, sooner or later, will stick...

Unfair and underhanded.

Emough is enough.

As a westerm-style property rights libertarian, what one does on one's own time is one's own business....So lefties...lay off!


Emperor Norton.

Anonymous said...

The Gannon thing has turned from the question of why a softball tossing hustler got into the White House press corps with a fake handle,into questions on the personal life of McClellan.
Untill the Press Sec. stops treating Guckert as an irrelevant question,I hope he has to continue looking over his own shoulder. Not because I want to see him embarrassed. But he's just telling the questioners to go pound sand and all but the bloggers are doing that.

AnthonyG said...

What if Guckert was a Woman?If Guckert was a woman, everybody would be thinking that she'd slept with someone in the White House to get her press pass.

In fact, that would have been the first thing they thought.But since he's a man, nobody wants to believe that Guckert serviced his way into the Bush WH with sex.

The longer McClellan stonewalls, the more people will wonder...

Meantime, I have to wonder if Helen Thomas is really Heidi Fleiss.

~Anthony G.

Anonymous said...

Guckert/Gannon surely not unexpected from this WH; party. Reprobates run amok while GIs die and are maimed daily not in defense of the US. It's damned disgusting!