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More Background on Jeff Gannon

by TChris

Here's more on the demise of JeffGannon.com (reported here by TalkLeft).

Jeff Gannon, the reporter whose GOP connections, lack of conventional journalistic credentials, and softball questioning of President Bush raised questions about the White House's decision to grant him access to news conferences, abruptly quit yesterday after bloggers connected him to websites apparently devoted to gay sex.

Gannon wrote for TalonNews.com, "a website operated by a Texas Republican Party operative that has run articles skeptical of what it calls 'the homosexual agenda.'" Many of Gannon's reports "have been criticized for consisting largely of passages from official press releases reprinted verbatim."

Gannon came under scrutiny after Bush called on him during a rare and nationally televised news conference two weeks ago. Gannon's question attacked Democrats as having "divorced themselves from reality" and repeated an allegation against Senate minority leader Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, that turned out to be a joke by conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.

Regardless of the ethics underlying the "outing" of Gannon's alleged non-political writings, it's worth asking how Gannon, whose real name is James Dale Guckert, became such a favored reporter at the White House.

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    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 01:46:27 PM EST
    Attack him for being a patsy for Bush, that in and of itself is enough to ruin his reputation His choice of websites is irrelevant, and no one's business. If you wouldn't appreciate someone publishing your web history, you must denounce it.

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#2)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 02:19:14 PM EST
    His reports "have been criticized for consisting largely of passages from official press releases reprinted verbatim" - otherwise known in some circles as "Fair and Balanced".

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#3)
    by Quaker in a Basement on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 03:23:46 PM EST
    His choice of websites is irrelevant, and no one's business. This isn't what he was viewing, kdog. He owned several domains with names that suggested gay pornography or prostitution. However, the discovery of that information was incidental to bloggers trying to find out the man's true identity. He used an alias in his reporting, had no journalistic background, and was affiliated with a party-run advocacy organization. What's he doing as a member of the WH press corps? Who vouched for him to get him cleared under an alias? And why is the WH so nonchalant the whole business?

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 03:39:11 PM EST
    I hate to keep harping on this, but how did he gain entrance to the White House under a pseudonym? This guy obviously had people in high places pulling strings. It is also quite possible that this episode could be construed as a major breech of White House security. With all this talk about homeland security and national ID cards, I find it deeply troubling that the FBI cleared this man under an false name. Either FBI was incompetent or they were in on the stunt.

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 03:58:17 PM EST
    In 1996 the state of Delaware assessed Guckert for $20,000 in unpaid back taxes-and he still hasn't paid. see billmon.org. Do you think that might be why he's concerned about too much publicity?

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 04:11:04 PM EST
    He registered domain names, big whoop. There's no evidence that any money changed hands and Mr Guckert has no criminal charges against him or pending. This will turn out to be a big nothing,as usual.

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 04:15:26 PM EST
    So he asked some funny questions and may be into Gay sex. Who Cares? BTW - does the gay sex thing mean the Dems like him now?

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 04:33:20 PM EST
    Only if he moves to Vermont and goes through a civil union ceremony.

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 05:14:26 PM EST
    Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ, and all-around good guy) also would like to know how Gannon gained access to the White House. Here is the senator's letter to little Scottie, in its entirety: Dear Mr. McClellan, I am writing to request that you immediately release documents to my office relating to the White House press credentials of James D. Guckert, a.k.a. "Jeff Gannon." Specifically, I am seeking documentation related to the question of which name Mr. Guckert/Gannon used when applying for credentials, and which name was on the official White House press credentials he received. Additionally, I am seeking documents indicating whether Mr. Guckert/Gannon received a "hard pass" or daily passes from your office. Despite your assertions to the contrary, at least one White House reporter has revealed that Mr. Guckert/Gannon appeared to have "hard pass" credentials. As you may know, Mr. Guckert/Gannon was denied a Congressional press pass because he could not show that he wrote for a valid news organization. Given the fact that he was denied Congressional credentials, I seek your explanation of how Mr. Guckert/Gannon passed muster for White House press credentials. I have led the effort in the Senate to investigate a number of instances of troubling propaganda efforts by the Administration. The Government Accountability Office has agreed to my requests to investigate various attempts at media manipulation: fake television news stories touting both the new Medicare law and the "No Child Left Behind" education program; a study rating individual journalists on their "favorability" to Republican education policies; and the payment to journalist Armstrong Williams. Since the Armstrong Williams controversy became public, Administration payments to two other journalists, Maggie Gallagher and Michael McManus, have come to light. Given the backdrop of these scandals, coupled with Mr. Guckert/Gannon's role in recent White House press briefings and press conferences, it is understandable that the circumstances of Mr. Guckert/Gannon's credentialing have raised suspicion. Thank you for your cooperation. Sincerely, Frank R. Lautenberg Interestinger and interestinger.

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#10)
    by jimcee on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 06:48:23 PM EST
    He probably got his credentials in the same place that that crazy-old aunt in the attic, Helen Thomas got hers. Looking at the preduiduce against the Administration in the press corps who could blame them for bringing in a ringer. The real question is; since when did the Left care about somebody's sexuality? I guess if a Lefty is outed that's bad, if it's a Righty then nevermind. Hypocrites all.

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 07:23:27 PM EST
    Sigh. Here we go again. 1.) Helen Thomas is credentialed under her real name. 2.) The word is prejudice, as in "to pre-judge." 3.) Gannon's sexuality has nothing to do with potential pimping of military personnel, and the fact that those on the right keep harping on this reminds me of the line from Hamlet. To paraphrase: "I think the wing-nut doth protest too much." As to Gannon's "outing," I think you're mistaking his "outing" as a fraudulent member of the press, with his "outing" as a homosexual, something which hasn't been suggested and would be none of our business, if true. 4.) Lefties aren't "outed," at least not usually, as we aren't afraid of our sexuality, unlike others. Nice try Jimcee.

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 07:30:18 PM EST
    BTW - does the gay sex thing mean the Dems like him now? I found three articles at talonnews.com with gannon and "marriage amendment": this this this Obviously, a possible gay man and possible gay journalist writing news stories about the marriage amendment for a conservative news site is a very bad thing, and it's good that liberals have smacked him right down. Let this be a warning to other possible gay journalists who write news stories about these matters. It's too bad America doesn't have its own Siberia. Maybe Buffalo or the Aleutians.

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 07:33:22 PM EST
    Guckert's sexual proclivity is not the issue at all. Hell, even the fact that he was working for a "news" agency that was part of a Republican group and was receiving unfettered access to the White House press conferences under a fake name pales behind the real issue here: This man was subpoenaed in the investigation into the leaking of Valerie Plame's identity. Why is the MSM refusing to mention this? I think that the following story merits some attention: A reporter for a news agency that is part of a larger Republican group who consistently used a false name and received credentials to White House press conferences where he asked questions critical of critics of White House policy was apparently privy to secret CIA documents that may have led to the outing of CIA anti-terrorism agent Valerie Plame, whose husband was an outspoken critic of the White House." The real issue isn't "Did bloggers cross an ethical line outing Guckert", but "Where did Guckert get access to secret CIA documents"?

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 07:44:24 PM EST
    slidge - Maybe he didn't have access to secret CIA documents. I mean, the fact that he was subpoened means absolutely nothing. Lonewacko - "It's too bad America doesn't have its own Siberia. Maybe Buffalo or the Aleutians." Actually, I was thinking of Marin County, with no cable and no internet..

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimcee on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 07:54:43 PM EST
    To the appropriately named Braincramp, My point is that as long as the journalists are anti-Bush then it is fine on the Left. If the journalist is on the right of your beliefs then it is a sham. Man are you as stupid as your last post appears? Or are you just blind to PREDJUDICE in all media, Left and Right. My point was that all media come from the persective of personal judgement FOX from the Right and ..well, the rest from the Left. Get over it, it is a fact of political life. Helen Thomas runs her own "News" service because she was let go by her former employer and it is only available on the internet and is not much different from Mr Gannon or whomever he is. That you would attack the media and not the message speaks to the softness of your own politics and less to news manipulation. If you think this is a scandal then you are naive and need to understand how politics have been played, and are still being played by the media thoughout the American experiment. I guess you are too young to have watched the parade of nonsense that has been the trademark of both political parties in the last thirty years and have no idea how the unlimited press controlled American opinion mostly to the Left. One word, Cronkite. If you think that Fox is the evil empire's voice than you are an idiot because there are other alternatives out there today. In the past they all were like you; narrow minded and reactionary. Not an honest view of the world, just a pitiful one. In other words, if you don't like the news your hearing, change your source. If you want to silence those you don't agree with be the fascist you seem to longingly embrace. Sheesh, is this the best you can do?

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#16)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 08:44:44 PM EST
    Helen Thomas left her former employer, UPI, because they were bought out by the the Reverend Sun Yung Moon. This is a matter of public record. She now works for a fly-by-night outfit called the Associated Press. It is okay for a media organization to be stridently political. This is not the beef. The problem is that the White House is and has been involved with spreading propaganda -- using tax-payer dollars, mind you -- and presenting said propaganda as actual news. Give me a break, Jimcee. If the Dems were doing this, you chuckleheads would be screaming bloody murder like a bunch of little school girls. Oh, and I never called you an idiot; I merely implied you were an idiot. I'm truly impressed by your ability to extrapolate.

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#17)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 09:23:25 PM EST
    Poker Jim, the fact that someone is supoened before a grand jury does mean something, namely that the investigators are curious about information that person may have that relates to the case being investigated. Jimcee, it appears that you are the narrow minded one. The TV news show that we see are unfortunately not informative, we are not told the whole story of a particular issue, and we don't get coverage of both sides of that issue. And it IS possibe to give us a comprehensive view of either side in a news story. THAT is what is pitiful, that we do not get an HONEST view of the world. In regard to the Jeff Gannon story, we have had a report of all the pertinent facts concerning this story(so far, anyway) and any fraudulence associated with it. The primary reporters in this case have reported the sexual facts, as it is a part of the whole story.

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#18)
    by cp on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 05:21:46 AM EST
    actually, i am old enough to have watched 30 years worth of changing morals & ethics in news gathering/reporting. "uncle" walter was beloved specifically because he reported the news. rarely, if ever, did he opine on it. people knew he would give them the unvarnished facts. this did change somewhat in jan. 1968, after the tet offensive. it was at that point that cronkite, having long been a supporter of america's prosecution of the war in vietnam, came to a disturbing conclusion, and chose to share that with his viewing audience: the war, as it was being fought, was unwinnable. of course, sect'y of defense macnamara had figured it out a couple of years before, but failed to share that info with the rest of the class. mr. gannon's or gluckert's or whatever his real name is, sexual orientation would not be an issue were it not for one thing: he has promoted the administration's stance on all things homosexual. this would include, but is not limited to, the same-sex marriage amendment. that makes his sexual orientation, which he has chosen to hide, along with his real name, a legitimate issue for discussion. he opened the door, he can't now claim to be a victim of lefty "outing".

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 06:18:57 AM EST
    If the primary issue here has been about the government propagandizing the public, then those who have been peeing and moaning about this latest example haven't been paying attention. I refer the honestly curious to an article written by Dan Forbes who warned about this years ago: FIGHTING "CHEECH AND CHONG" MEDICINE Did The White House Drug Office Go Too Far in Trying To Stop the Spread of Medical Marijuana Initiatives? Never mind the title. Look at the meat of the article: Active use of taxpayer dollars (in blatant violation of the Hatch Act prohibiting exactly this kind of behavior) to propagandize the public, for political aims (the overturning of various State referenda regarding medical marijuana initiatives) with media collusion. This has continued to this day, and the grossest manifestations of it were the cheerleading done by the major news media prior to and during the Iraq War and since then. A disturbing pattern of government suborning of the media emerged from Forbesís investigation, and it becomes apparent that since nothing was done about it at the time, those who committed this kind of outrage were emboldened by it. This latest scandal is just another symptom of the major news media being infected with a dangerously advanced communicable disease: Presstitutius Ignominia.

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#20)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 07:04:53 AM EST
    Thanks for correcting me Quaker. I still think owning porn websites is irrelevant. What is relevant is this two-bit shill had a bogus journalism degree, got White House press corp access he had no business receiving, and was planted by the admin. to lob softball questions for the president when things got hot. When the gov't starts rigging the free press, we have major problems.

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 09:03:48 AM EST
    If it wern't so sad, it would be oh so funny. Here we have a would be pornographer(whether he has published on his sites, or not has not been revealed to me yet)living well in the lions den of anti-pornographers. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell may have to find another party to guide through this tangled web of legislated morality.

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#22)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 09:45:42 AM EST
    I seem to recall that Falwell once had a Catholic speechwriter who was a closet gay. Egg on the face is something he must be used to by now. NeoCons are so brazen, this latest public embarassment will only be shrugged off.

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#23)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 12:52:51 PM EST
    Man, these Bush supporters would excuse and brush off rape if Dubya raped some 5 year old. they'd be like "everyone rapes 5 year olds"... and the media hates five year olds.

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#24)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 01:02:04 PM EST
    LOL..I think you're right pacified.

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#25)
    by jondee on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 02:47:42 PM EST
    The fact that savants and anti-scholars like Jimcee and PPJ think 'not Fox' means "the Left", is itself a sad commentary on the quality of education in the U.S and how "our sponsors" have framed the debate for the less-than-intellectually-adventurous amongst us. Where else in the world would what these guys are calling "the left" be considered as such?

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#26)
    by David on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 05:43:19 PM EST
    FAKE REPORTER, FAKE NEWS ORGANIZATION - HOW ABOUT FAKE ARTICLES! The "Jeff Gannon" story is much worse than someone using a false name to get White House press clearance . Not only did the White House likely plant a fake reporter to ask biased softball questions, Gannon, aka JD Guckett, with no journalism experience, training, or skill, could not have possibly researched and written the polished yet vicious articles without substantial help (completely written?) by the White House and/or GOP. (Talonnews.com has deleted all 830+ Gannon articles, but they are cached through Google.) Press Secretary McCllelan already admitted he knew Gannon was using a false name, yet played along with his cover for nearly two years. McClellan always seemed prepared to run with Gannon's softball questions, suggesting the questions were scripted beforehand. So how much help did the White House give "Gannon" with his research and writing? Gannon first got press clearance on April 3, 2003, four days after his fake news website was created. In less than three weeks, (April 22, 2003) Gannon is supposedly writing from Crawford, Texas, detailing Bush's Easter Celebration! The next day, he's back at his desk in Washington writing on Syria. And would Aziz Al-Taee, President of the Iraqi American Council, really grant an interview to a reporter with two weeks experience (April 14, 2003)? Gannon was not even mentioned in today's press briefing. It is amazing and sad that the mainstream media is not following this. If the White House or conservative GOP members were behind the Gannon articles, which attack even moderate Republicans, the free press is really broken.

    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#27)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 12:58:04 PM EST
    Re: More Background on Jeff Gannon (none / 0) (#28)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Feb 20, 2005 at 07:52:47 AM EST
    This whole "journalist" thing is just a beard, a cover, a fig-leaf, to hide Gannon's real function - servicing Georgie, Karlie and Scottie the way he does best, as per his stud websites.