:: Thursday, February 17, 2005 ::
Bush's Barberini Faun
Looks like members of the press are starting to get a bit irked that Man-Whore Guckert got so much access. Down complains:
I'm still mystified by this story. I was rejected for a White House press pass at the start of the Bush administration, but someone with an alias, a tax evasion problem and Internet pictures where he posed like the 'Barberini Faun' is credentialed to cover a White House that won a second term by mining homophobia and preaching family values? Frank Rich goes after him as well.
At first when I tried to complain about not getting my pass renewed, even though I'd been covering presidents and first ladies since 1986, no one called me back. Finally, when Mr. McClellan replaced Ari Fleischer, he said he'd renew the pass - after a new Secret Service background check that would last several months.
In an era when security concerns are paramount, what kind of Secret Service background check did James Guckert get so he could saunter into the West Wing every day under an assumed name while he was doing full-frontal advertising for stud services for $1,200 a weekend? He used a driver's license that said James Guckert to get into the White House, then, once inside, switched to his alter ego, asking questions as Jeff Gannon.
The media like nothing so much as themselves, and this cuts to the heart of their profession. I don't think they want to talk about this, but using an actual whore in press conferences and treating him just like a journalist....well, I think that hits too close to home to ignore forever. I think the longer this drags on, the more pissed the media is going to be.
And, sadly, I think if Gannon hadn't actually been a whore, they'd never have touched it. Not for the sex, but because that's simply too great an insult to bear. (Links via Daily Kos).
:: Morat 10:54 AM :: ::
"Jeff Gannon's" incredible access
Oops. Looks like everyone's favorite whore was shilling at press conference's well before Talon News (his self admitted 'first journalism job') went live:
:: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 ::
Thanks to the continued digging by online sleuths, there's now documented evidence that Guckert attended White House briefings as early as February 2003. Guckert, using his alias 'Jeff Gannon,' once boasted online about asking then-White House press secretary Ari Fleischer a question at the Feb. 28, 2003, briefing. The date is significant because in order to receive a White House press pass, Guckert would have needed to prove that he worked for a news organization that, in the words of White House press secretary Scott McClellan, 'published regularly,' in itself an extraordinarily low threshold. Critics have charged that while Talon News may publish regularly, it boasts a nearly all-volunteer news team which includes not a single person with actual journalism experience. (The team does, though, have quite a bit of experience working on Republican campaigns.) In other words, the outfit is not legitimate nor independent, two criteria often used in Washington, D.C., to receive press credentials. I can't help but wonder: Did he get access because he was a media whore or a real one? He's documented verbally fellating the Bush Administration, but given the Clinton Precedent, I would be remiss if I didn't ask if he was physically fellating someone.
You've got to be objective and apply standards equally, after all.
:: Morat 9:57 AM :: ::
Request to Edit Title of Talk On Gays, Suicide Stirs Ire
This sums up everything wrong with the Bush Administration in one conveinent place:
:: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 ::
At issue is a conference on suicide prevention to be held Feb. 28 in Portland, Ore., and organized by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center of Newton, Mass., a SAMHSA contractor. On the program is a talk that, until recently, was titled 'Suicide Prevention Among Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Individuals.' Is anyone surprised?
Everyone seems to agree the topic is important. Studies have found that the suicide risk among people in these groups is two to three times higher than the average risk.
So it came as a surprise to Ron Bloodworth -- a former coordinator of youth suicide prevention for Oregon and one of three specialists leading the session -- when word came down from SAMHSA project manager Brenda Bruun that they should omit the four words that described, precisely, what the session was about.
:: Morat 10:25 AM :: ::
The Fighting Moderates
Nice to see Krugman's on board:
The Republicans know the America they want, and they are not afraid to use any means to get there,' Howard Dean said in accepting the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. 'But there is something that this administration and the Republican Party are very afraid of. It is that we may actually begin fighting for what we believe.'
Those words tell us what the selection of Mr. Dean means. It doesn't represent a turn to the left: Mr. Dean is squarely in the center of his party on issues like health care and national defense. Instead, Mr. Dean's political rejuvenation reflects the new ascendancy within the party of fighting moderates, the Democrats who believe that they must defend their principles aggressively against the right-wing radicals who have taken over Congress and the White House.
:: Morat 10:34 AM :: ::
The Poor Man sees the Light
Nothing sums up the Gannon story better than The Poor Man:
Everyone is still missing the point of the story. The story is not, as nitwits like Howie Kurtz maintain, that people are being mean to someone just because he's conservative. The story is not that Gannon is a hypocrite for promoting an anti-gay agenda. The story is not even that the White House gave such access to a reporter for a dummy news service operating under an assumed name, and may have used him to expose Valerie Plame. This is not the story.
The story is that God exists.
Think about it: what are the chances that a media whore like Gannon would turn out to be an actual whore? It's impossible. It boggles the mind how infinitely unlikely this is. It's like if you found someone pirating CDs, and it turns out he actually had a peg leg and a parrot on his shoulder and sailed around the Caribbean saying 'arrrrrr!' and plundering booty. You wouldn't believe it. But there it is: impossible, but true. Impossible truths are miracles, and only God can work miracles. Ergo, God exists. Q.E.D.
The rest of the story is that God's metaphors are about as subtle as a David Byrne art concept or, equivalently, getting clocked on the head with a cinderblock. Yeah, 'whore'. It's a 'big suit', David. We get it already. I think brainless plankton on Neptune get the symbolism here. Jesus.
:: Morat 9:33 AM :: ::
You know, we spend so much time bitching about politicians who have pissed us off that we often forget to thank those who stood up for us. It's nice to see Barbara Boxer wasn't forgotten.
Thank you, Barbara, for standing up for me. We couldn't win on Rice or Gonzalez, but at least we can say we stood up for our principles.
:: Morat 8:56 AM :: ::
Holy Gay Hookers, Batman!
Wow. Jeff Gannon really IS a whore. And not just the journalistic kind. Look, I was pissed an obvious shill was taking up what limited time our President deigned to give us. I was pissed that, in this day an age, the media is so fucking servile that Gannon really had to make it obvious before anyone noticed.
I was pissed that the media didn't notice this guy right in the middle of them. I was pissed that, despite being handed classified documents, no one even bothered to check on his credentials -- or links to the White House. I'm pissed that it took the offhand -- and entirely a product of a search for his real name -- discovery of his escort websites to get the media to even pay attention to the man with the fake name.
I'm just amused that he's really a whore, and not just running a website for some. And spare me the privacy bullshit. No one went through his garbage, tapped his phone, or followed him around. He posted it on the damn internet. And -- unlike an embarrassing series of Usenet posts under MY name -- it wasn't some idiot high school friend playing a joke. The dude's a fucking hooker, or is playing one on the internet. While I don't care about his morals personally, I can't help but contrast his position in the White House with the White House's position on gays in general.... We covered up the Boobies of Justice, and then let the real whores into the White House. Way to go on that "Honor and Decency" stuff, Bush!
So to the entire Washington DC Press Corp: You sat next to an actual gay hooker, watching him lob softballs at the President. This guy made sure you didn't get to ask a question -- not that you would have had a good one, or Bush would have answered it -- and he didn't even have to use his real name. He got access to classified documents, he got access to the President -- all within a few days of starting his career.
You worked out ass off for years. He, well....he's on record as verbally fellating the White House. You can't help but wonder: How did he get access so fast? It's not like the White House really needed paid shills so badly they'd have to turn to a hooker.
Update: For the record, the problem isn't that he's a gay hooker. It's being a hooker in the first place. The implications of that are staggering. I'm all for legalized prostitution, but as it stands now -- we're talking a gay hooker in a White House where the "dead girl or live boy" standard applies about tenfold. The blackmail potential is staggering -- even if Jeff Gannon had left his past behind, it'd be a black eye for the White House. If he hadn't....well, I'm sure they'd give a lot to shut him up.
:: Morat 8:40 AM :: ::