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Thread: ‘Liberal’ Media Silent About Guckert Saga

  1. #1
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    http://www.observer.com/pages/conason.asp

    Proof that "the liberal media" is but a figment of right-wing mythology has now arrived in the person of one James Guckert, formerly known as Jeff Gannon. Were the American media truly liberal—or merely unafraid to be called liberal—the saga of Mr. Guckert’s short, strange, quasi-journalistic career would be resounding across the airwaves.

    The intrinsic media interest of the Guckert/Gannon story should be obvious to anyone who has followed his tale, which touches on hot topics from the homosexual underground and the investigation into the outing of C.I.A. agent Valerie Plame to the political power of the Internet. But our supposedly liberal media becomes quite squeamish when reporting anything that might humiliate the Bush White House and the Republican Party.

    Until very recently, Mr. Guckert served as the White House correspondent for Talon News, a Web site owned and operated by a group of Texas Republican activists who also run a highly partisan site called GOPUSA.com. Mr. Guckert resigned from his Talon job after liberal bloggers exposed his ties to Web sites promoting homosexual prostitution. On Valentine’s Day, AmericaBlog.org posted new evidence indicating that Mr. Guckert not only constructed those gay-play-for-pay sites, but worked as a male escort himself—and continued to do so until he got his first White House press pass in 2003.

    Using his "Jeff Gannon" alias, Mr. Guckert soon became a familiar face in the briefing room, where White House press secretary Scott McClellan would call on him as "Jeff." No doubt Mr. McClellan welcomed his mushy-soft, Democrat-baiting questions.


    George W. Bush called on him during his most recent press conference—a signal honor for a reporter from an obscure Internet publication, and quite a surprise to the dozens of actual reporters bypassed by Mr. Bush on Jan. 26.
    Mr. Guckert’s archived writings suddenly disappeared from the Talon News Web site, but several of his greatest works have been preserved by the watchdogs at MediaMatters.org. They show that he had no journalistic purpose, let alone experience. His copy featured long passages lifted directly from White House press releases. Last year, during the Internet frenzy over Senator John Kerry’s "intern girlfriend," he falsely wrote that the young woman had "taped an interview with one of the major television networks at Christmas substantiating the alleged affair."

    He also made a curious cameo appearance in the Valerie Plame controversy. In late 2003, Mr. Guckert called former Ambassador Joseph Wilson. During that interview, the Talon correspondent mentioned a C.I.A. document that supposedly showed Ms. Plame had dispatched Mr. Wilson, her husband, on a government mission to Niger to investigate rumored Iraqi uranium purchases. That allegation was meant to discredit the former ambassador, who had exposed White House intelligence abuses. Administration leaks to the press about Ms. Plame’s C.I.A. work are currently under investigation by a special prosecutor.

    What Mr. Guckert seems to have been is not a journalist but a Republican dirty trickster. He was schooled at the Leadership Institute—an outfit run by veteran right-wing operative and Republican National Committee member Morton Blackwell. (It was Mr. Blackwell who distributed those cute "purple heart" Band-aids mocking Mr. Kerry’s war wounds at the Republican convention last summer.) His former employers at Talon News include leading Republican fund-raisers and former officials of the Texas Republican Party who have been active in partisan affairs for the past two decades.

    How did this character obtain a coveted place in the White House? What did the White House press staff know about him? How does his story fit within the larger scandal of payola punditry, with federal funds subsidizing Republican propagandists in the press corps? Did someone in the Bush administration give him a classified document?

    Such questions are evidently of little concern to our liberal media outlets, whose leading lights prefer to deliver prim lectures about the unwarranted invasion of Mr. Guckert’s private affairs and his victimization for his conservative views. In fact, everything known about him comes from material he posted on public Web sites, but that’s beside the point.

    Imagine the media explosion if a male escort had been discovered operating as a correspondent in the Clinton White House. Imagine that he was paid by an outfit owned by Arkansas Democrats and had been trained in journalism by James Carville. Imagine that this gentleman had been cultivated and called upon by Mike McCurry or Joe Lockhart—or by President Clinton himself. Imagine that this "journalist" had smeared a Republican Presidential candidate and had previously claimed access to classified documents in a national-security scandal.

    Then imagine the constant screaming on radio, on television, on Capitol Hill, in the Washington press corps—and listen to the placid mumbling of the "liberal" media now.

  2. #2
    Do you e-liberals realize that all you've accomplished is put Talon News on the map? No one ever heard of them until this guy popped up. Talon News wins, so will Guckert/Gannon in the long run.

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by sackdance@Feb 16 2005, 08:15 PM
    Do you e-liberals realize that all you've accomplished is put Talon News on the map? No one ever heard of them until this guy popped up. Talon News wins, so will Guckert/Gannon in the long run.
    So an organization that puts out a fake Journalist is somehow benefiting from this? Yeah, that is real good exposure!

  4. #4
    Originally posted by NYJet94+Feb 16 2005, 07:00 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (NYJet94 @ Feb 16 2005, 07:00 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-sackdance@Feb 16 2005, 08:15 PM
    Do you e-liberals realize that all you&#39;ve accomplished is put Talon News on the map? No one ever heard of them until this guy popped up. Talon News wins, so will Guckert/Gannon in the long run.
    So an organization that puts out a fake Journalist is somehow benefiting from this? Yeah, that is real good exposure&#33; [/b][/quote]
    Wonderful exposure. We are talking about them. I never heard of them before, I doubt you have. Not only that, but they fire Gluckgannon and - voila&#33; Talon thrives. Guaranteed their profile is 500-1000% greater because of the scandal.

    You seem unfamiliar with the old &#39;bad publicity is better than no publicity&#39; adage.

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    Funny...I don&#39;t remember any lib outrage when Sandi Berger was stuffing classified memo&#39;s down his pants...that story all of a sudden seemed to vanish in thin air.....

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    Originally posted by Come Back to NY@Feb 16 2005, 07:43 PM
    Funny...I don&#39;t remember any lib outrage when Sandi Berger was stuffing classified memo&#39;s down his pants...that story all of a sudden seemed to vanish in thin air.....
    Does the one excuse the other? Would you be more concerned with this issue had the media been more concerned with Sandy Berger?

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    Originally posted by Warfish+Feb 16 2005, 08:15 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Warfish @ Feb 16 2005, 08:15 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Come Back to NY@Feb 16 2005, 07:43 PM
    Funny...I don&#39;t remember any lib outrage when Sandi Berger was stuffing classified memo&#39;s down his pants...that story all of a sudden seemed to vanish in thin air.....
    Does the one excuse the other? Would you be more concerned with this issue had the media been more concerned with Sandy Berger? [/b][/quote]
    So let&#39;s get this "straight"...the guy was a male escort and became a journalist- a journalist friendly to the Bush administration or possibly planted by the Bush administration in WH press conferences....(are you naive to believe this has not gone on for ages?)

    He also made a curious cameo appearance in the Valerie Plame controversy. In late 2003, Mr. Guckert called former Ambassador Joseph Wilson. During that interview, the Talon correspondent mentioned a C.I.A. document that supposedly showed Ms. Plame had dispatched Mr. Wilson, her husband, on a government mission to Niger to investigate rumored Iraqi uranium purchases. That allegation was meant to discredit the former ambassador, who had exposed White House intelligence abuses. Administration leaks to the press about Ms. Plame’s C.I.A. work are currently under investigation by a special prosecutor.
    If you followed this story from start-to-finish you know Joe Wilson was a Bush-critic who lied from start-to-finish, as pointed out by the 9-11 commission.

    You have these full of s**t libs who want to get on this guy who, except using an alias, has broken no laws...

    At the same time one of their own is stuffing classified documents into his pants, a federal violation, and it&#39;s no big deal.

    Also, See BS goes full throttle with a story using fake documents (which they knew were fake as they discarded any/all opinions to the contrary) and use these fraudulent documents and fake story to try and discredit the President. This was all done with the knowledge of Joe Lockhardt- a prostitute in the kerri campaign...and you want to compare this to the Guckert story???

    The Guckert incident was just plain stupid- the Berger incident is a federal offense and in a court of law the See BS/Lockhardt story would be justifiable slander.

  8. #8
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    I see nothing much has changed here. So much for intelligent debate on this particular issue. Somehow, Sandy Berger is now relevant to this discussion.

    Joe Lockhart his a whore etc, etc.

    You guys have no idea how rediculous you come across to any non-idealogue.

    Joe Wilson didn&#39;t lie about anything and he served with distinction under Bush I. His only crime was not agreeing with the administration about the whole yellow cake - Niger connection. For that he has been smeared, rediculed and had his CIA agent wife "outed" (placing god knows how many other agents in danger around the world) and you have no problem with this any of this.

    Now we find out a "fake" journalist was allegedly given access to information pertaining to Valerie Plame. Again, all of you patriots have no problem with this.

    This is a man who should never have been allowed within 100 yards of the White House and yet he got more access to ask questions than Maureen Dowd, a real journalist who had been part of the W.H. press corp since the mid 80&#39;s.

    Even the most routine of screening processes would have revealed he was a phony. Either we are to believe that who handles that job is royally incompetent and should be fired immediately or someone vouched for and allowed him access.

    This has nothing to do with Republicans and Democrats IMHO. I used to be a republican who actually voted for Ronald Reagan the first go round and later became an independent because I really couldn&#39;t stand either party.

    However, this administration has taken deception, media manipulation, intimidation
    and over all dirty tricks to a whole new level.

    "All if takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by NYJet94@Feb 17 2005, 12:25 PM
    I see nothing much has changed here. So much for intelligent debate on this particular issue. Somehow, Sandy Berger is now relevant to this discussion.

    Joe Lockhart his a whore etc, etc.

    You guys have no idea how rediculous you come across to any non-idealogue.

    Joe Wilson didn&#39;t lie about anything and he served with distinction under Bush I. His only crime was not agreeing with the administration about the whole yellow cake - Niger connection. For that he has been smeared, rediculed and had his CIA agent wife "outed" (placing god knows how many other agents in danger around the world) and you have no problem with this any of this.

    I see nothing has changed and liberals refuse to admit lies and/or mistakes from their side...you can in fact see how ridiculous you sound by watching the results of election after election.

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    Again, it truly seems to be impossible to stick with one issue. In case you forgot it dealt with the fact that the so-called liberal media refuses to report on the Guckert Saga making me wonder just how liberal it really is.

    As far as the election goes to paraphase that great Republican Abraham Lincoln, "You can fool most of the people...."

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by NYJet94@Feb 17 2005, 01:01 PM
    Again, it truly seems to be impossible to stick with one issue. In case you forgot it dealt with the fact that the so-called liberal media refuses to report on the Guckert Saga making me wonder just how liberal it really is.

    As far as the election goes to paraphase that great Republican Abraham Lincoln, "You can fool most of the people...."
    I am sticking with one issue- the total hypocrisy of liberals- and you help me prove it.

    Nevermind the fact your article start off with:

    Proof that "the liberal media" is but a figment of right-wing mythology has now arrived in the person of one James Guckert, formerly known as Jeff Gannon. Were the American media truly liberal—or merely unafraid to be called liberal—the saga of Mr. Guckert’s short, strange, quasi-journalistic career would be resounding across the airwaves.
    And I&#39;ve proven otherwise as far as the "liberal media" is concerned with facts rather mere speculation.

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by NYJet94+Feb 16 2005, 07:00 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (NYJet94 @ Feb 16 2005, 07:00 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-sackdance@Feb 16 2005, 08:15 PM
    Do you e-liberals realize that all you&#39;ve accomplished is put Talon News on the map? No one ever heard of them until this guy popped up. Talon News wins, so will Guckert/Gannon in the long run.
    So an organization that puts out a fake Journalist is somehow benefiting from this? Yeah, that is real good exposure&#33; [/b][/quote]
    What the hell is a "fake journalist?" Trust me, I&#39;ve worked directly with plenty of journalists, and for most of them, the next original thought they have will be their first. And for virtually every one of them, ethics and morals are worthy of nothing more than condescending snickers.

    If you write, and there&#39;s an outlet that will publish your work, you are a journalist.

  13. #13
    Originally posted by NYJet94@Feb 17 2005, 01:01 PM
    In case you forgot it dealt with the fact that the so-called liberal media refuses to report on the Guckert Saga making me wonder just how liberal it really is.
    It should be making you wonder just how important it really is.

    Just what is the story? Did Guckert, a representative of a rinky-dink organization almost none of us had ever heard of, violate journalistic integrity?

    I don&#39;t think Guckert himself is worthy of much coverage, which leads us to the White House. Do they have the right to let whomever they feel come into the press room to ask questions? You bet your pants they do. Did they know Talon would toss softballs? Almost definitely. Is this illegal? No. Is it a security matter, with the name change and all? Yes, for the Secret Service. They seemingly didn&#39;t see Guckert/Gannon as a threat.

    So he went in and asked the President a question.

    And you use this as ammo for... I don&#39;t know.

    What happened to the Iraq-is-a-quagmire routine?

  14. #14
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    the story is simple - the President can&#39;t handle a real press conference so his handlers hired a gay male escort to pretend he was a reporter, just so he can lob softball questions at the Prez.

    no it&#39;s not the biggest disgrace to date but it&#39;s not exactly something to write down in his memoirs

  15. #15
    Originally posted by bitonti@Feb 18 2005, 11:12 AM
    no it&#39;s not the biggest disgrace to date but it&#39;s not exactly something to write down in his memoirs
    Fair enough assessment. Personally, I think they allowed Talon in the room because they knew they&#39;d get the kind of questions they&#39;d want to hear. Not unethical and not something they&#39;d care to admit; yet one could argue this indicates a bias in mainstream media, because I don&#39;t think Clinton ever needed deep-end lefty reporters during his times of even more intense duress.

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