Monday, February 16, 2009 By Leave a Comment
Former White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer Conveniently Forgets About George W. Bush’s Favorite Gay Escort : Jeff Gannon / James Dale Guckert
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 By Leave a Comment
THINK PROGRESS has this piece up today mentioning the elusive and shadowy figure- Jeff Gannon..
Here’s an excerpt:
If Bush was relying on Fleischer to screen the “dotcoms and oddballs,” he was poorly served. Take, for example, case of Jeff Gannon, the male escort-turned-White House correspondent for the right-wing news outlet Talon News. The White House press office granted Gannon access to the White House under an assumed name and with no background check. Once Gannon got in the door under Fleischer’s watch in 2003, he was called on by Bush at a press conference in January 2005. Gannon lobbed Bush a softball:
GANNON: Senate Democratic leaders have painted a very bleak picture of the U.S. economy. … Yet in the same breath they say that Social Security is rock solid and there’s no crisis there. … [H]ow are you going to work with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?
Here’s my piece from 2005:
He claims that he has seen a confidential, so-called C.I.A. document which reveals the name of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s wife and shows her recommending him for the trip to Niger to investigate yellowcake uranium sales to the Iraqis.
It turns out that Secret Service has been waving James Guckert by the guardhouse for two and a half years and once inside, he became Jeff Gannon. He wrote for a fake website, Talon News, run by Republican strategist Bobby Eberle and the organization GOPUSA.
To understand how something like this could Not be a story, that this could happen to begin with, is to understand how The District of Columbia really runs. However, one can only watch and wait as the laws of physics begin to rear their ugly head. Try as they might and for whatever reason, The Mainstream Media (as good of a description as any) just can’t keep this monster down.
Howard Kurtz, the longtime and wise sage media critic with The Washington Post, trusted by little old Quaker ladies in Cleveland Park D.C. and lobbyists alike, just could not figure out what the big fuss was all about and immediately chalked it up to over-eager WWW types and their preoccupation with the salacious part of the story.
The Great Diversion and the reason why non-political junkies in America are apparently not talking about this story is that this fella’ publicly advertised his services as a male prostitute on numerous sites on the Internet and registered and launched numerous gay male pornographic websites.
CNN’s Aaron Brown, so brilliant in his earlier years on the old ABC overnight news program, pooh-poohed the scandal as a bit of “so what”. On Wolf Blitzer’s “Hard News” program, Mr. Guckert/Gannon was treated almost softly, as if not to upset.
The New York Times finally ran the story, deep in the back pages on Friday, Feb 11th, more than a week after website journalists began to fully reveal this fake journalist’s deceptions.The shockjock mentality came out instantly in the groupthink mainstream media with a curious mix of apathy and frat-boy jokes.
There was no outrage to be outraged over. Meanwhile, writers on web sites like The Daily Kos, David Brock’s Media Matters and John Aravosis’s America Blog, among others, had been doing their own journalism and found out that Mr. Guckert was not who or what he appeared to be. They started their dig after witnessing a press briefing by the President back in late January. A strange reporter asked a clearly partisan question / pronouncement that, among other things, stated that the Democrats were “divorced from reality”.
They got dirt all right.
Columnists Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd finally had to write cute pieces about the mess nearing the end of last week. Katie, Matt, and The Today Show eventually did a quick three- minute story in the first hour last Wednesday. Radio man Don Imus couldn’t get anyone to bite and wondered aloud about the titillating aspect of the thing.
This was now more than ten days since the story had broken, or hadn’t broken. No one was even discussing, outside of the Web, the nasty business of the C.I.A. memo that Mr.Guckert had claimed to have seen or knew about right there on Mr. Blitzer’s show.
Links to web sites where Mr. Guckert solicited clients for sex were widely available at the very same time Mr. Blitzer was tripping all over himself to give Mr. Guckert an Easypass.
Ultimate Washington insider Mary Matalin, Vice President Cheney’s sometimes consultant, told Imus that she just wished Ms. Dowd would just come in from the cold and get with the program.
Why did President Bush and Scott McClellan, the President’s spokesman, call on Mr. Guckert/Gannon so often in those two and a half years and how could other reporters not write about Talon News and GOPUSA’s illegitimacy? Veterans of the White House beat sometimes don’t see a question for years. Was he a plant?
But just like the high school sophomores that they are, the Washington Press Corps have hemmed and hawed and giggled their way for weeks now through a real-live genuine scandal unfurling at the White House. Waving their collective finger, they dismissed the whole affair in full. It was simply The Bloggers and their liberal retribution for the Rather/CBS assassination and a lurid fascination with the X-rated angle thrown in for good measure.
Now the simply idiotic Bush-Tapes story, along with a long weekend and a brilliant fake-outrage campaign over a congressman’s comments about Karl Rove, is threatening to bury forever a story that the entire profession of journalism would like to pretend was never born to begin with.
Everyone seems to be looking around at each other and tsk-tsking the lack of outrage on each other’s part, as if to say “This is terrible -someone do some real reporting”.
“Someone did – as Mr. Bush would say, on the “Internets”.
“Howard Kurtz, the longtime and wise sage media critic for The Washington Post, trusted by little old Quaker ladies in Cleveland Park D.C. and lobbyists alike, just could not figure out what the big fuss was all about and immediately chalked it up to over-eager WWW types and their preoccupation with the salacious part of the story”
Monday, October 6, 2008 By Leave a Comment
Thursday, February 14, 2008 By 2 Comments
Hillary Clinton fought the Republican attack machine, and emerged stronger
By Joseph C. Wilson IV
February 12, 2008
With the emergence of Sen. John McCain as the presumptive Republican nominee, the choice for the Democrats in the 2008 presidential election now shifts to who is best positioned to beat him, in what promises to be a more hard-fought campaign – and perhaps a nastier one – than Democrats anticipated.
Sen. Barack Obama’s promise of transformation and an end of partisan politics has its seductive appeal. The Bush-Cheney era, after all, has been punctuated by smear campaigns, character assassinations and ideological fervor.
Nobody dislikes such poisonous partisanship, especially in foreign policy, more than I do. I am one of very few Foreign Service officers to have served as ambassador in the administrations of both George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, yet I have spent the past four years fighting a concerted character assassination campaign orchestrated by the George W. Bush White House.
Sen. Hillary Clinton is one of the few who fully understood the stakes in that battle. Time and again, she reached out to my wife – outed CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson – and me to remind us that as painful as the attacks were, we simply could not allow ourselves to be driven from the public square by bullying. Mrs. Clinton knew from experience, having spent the better part of the past 20 years fighting the Republican attack machine. She is a fighter.
But will Mr. Obama fight? His brief time on the national scene gives little comfort. Consider a February 2006 exchange of letters with Mr. McCain on the subject of ethics reform. The wrathful Mr. McCain accused Mr. Obama of being “disingenuous,” to which Mr. Obama meekly replied, “The fact that you have now questioned my sincerity and my desire to put aside politics for the public interest is regrettable but does not in any way diminish my deep respect for you.”
Mr. McCain was insultingly dismissive but successful in intimidating his inexperienced colleague. Thus, in his one known face-to-face encounter with Mr. McCain, Mr. Obama failed to stand his ground.
What gives us confidence that Mr. Obama will be stronger the next time he faces Mr. McCain, a seasoned political fighter with extensive national security credentials? Even more important, what special disadvantages does Mr. Obama carry into this contest on questions of national security?
How will Mr. Obama answer Mr. McCain about his careless remark about unilaterally bombing Pakistan – perhaps blowing up an already difficult relationship with a nuclear state threatened by Islamic extremists? How will Mr. Obama respond to charges made by the Kenyan government that his campaigning activities in Kenya in support of his distant cousin running for president there made him “a stooge” and constituted interference in the politics of an important and besieged ally in the war on terror?
How will he answer charges that his desire for unstructured personal summits without preconditions with a host of America’s adversaries, from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Kim Jong Il, would be little more than premature capitulation?
Contrary to the myth of the Obama campaign, 2008 is not the year for transcendental transformation. The task for the next administration will be to repair the damage done by eight years of radical rule. And the choice for Americans is clear: four more years of corrupt Republican rule, senseless wars, evisceration of the Constitution, emptying of the national treasury – or rebuilding our government and our national reputation, piece by piece.
In order to effect practical change against a determined adversary, we do not need a would-be philosopher-king but a seasoned gladiator who understands the fight Democrats will face in the fall campaign and in governing.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again … who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.”
If he were around today, Roosevelt might be speaking of the woman in the arena. Hillary Clinton has been in that arena for a generation. She is one of the few to have defeated the attack machine that is today’s Republican Party and to have emerged stronger. She is deeply knowledgeable about governing; she made herself into a power in the Senate; she is respected by our military; and she never flinches. She has never been intimidated, not by any Republican – not even John McCain.
Barack Obama claims to represent the future, but it should be increasingly evident that he is not the man for this moment, especially with Mr. McCain’s arrival. We’ve seen a preview of that contest already. It was a TKO.
Former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV was in the Foreign Service for 23 years, and served in Iraq in the years leading up to the Persian Gulf war. He is the author of “The Politics of Truth.” His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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