WoC Makes News, Film at 11…

It’s not every blog that can get linked to by Kos, Wonkette, and the Conservative Political Action Committee all in one 24 hour period…

But it appears that Jeff “Gannon” made an appearance on these very pages – he’s the writer for a small news service linked to the GOP who somehow got a White House Press Pass. Amusingly, he appeared to have a day job that involved web design for – or something more – for a gay escort service, among other things.

The folks opposed to the GOP are working themselves up into a righteous lather because the GOP allowed this … this … seamy guy!! to come into the White House while having (the GOP in this case) worked themselves into a lather about Billy C playing hide-the-cigar with Monica.

I think that’s a dumb and losing proposition.

But there is a serious issue to pick up regarding how this guy got a press pass, and how it is that people who are essentially shills might have been able to participate in press conferences.

Of course, there are shills for the left and for the right. So as a thought experiment, can I suggest that some enterprising blogger with more time on his hands than I have file a FOIA request and ask who got white house press passes allowing them to come to press conferences and what their affiliation was for the date range from, say June of 04 to December of 04??

I’d love to see it…

10 thoughts on “WoC Makes News, Film at 11…”

  1. I had written to Joe about this, privately, but since you brought it up, I’ll comment on it here –
    as far as Winds of Changes are concerned, there’s a degree of separation.

    From the “Wolf Blitzer interview”:http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0502/10/wbr.01.html “Well, I made an attempt to do that originally when I was going to be covering Washington for Talon News. Our business — Talon News’ business model didn’t fit the criteria of the Senate Press Gallery. And while we’ve been trying to comply, I couldn’t stop doing the news. So I went on the basis of a daily pass. And that’s — it’s all under the procedures that the White House has established for that.”

    Also in Gannon’s interview with Editor and Publisher: “He [Gannon] would not discuss Talon News’s ties to Republican groups. “I write a news story, I post it, and anything having to do with GOPUSA, I don’t know about.”

    At “World of Crap”:http://blogs.salon.com/0002874/2005/02/17.html#a1497, they point out where this breaks down:

    “On March 5, 2003, on a thread at the conservative bulletin board Winds of Change concerning an alleged incident where a teacher in Maine “harassed” the children of servicemen by voicing antiwar views, one Jeff Gannon wrote: “This is a question I asked Ari Fleischer at a White House press briefing on Friday” He then posted this question from the WH press conference transcript:

    Q: There have been reports out of Maine that the children of deployed
    service personnel are being harassed as a result of their elementary school teacher’s expression of anti-war views in the classroom. Could you comment on that?”

    So Jeff Gannon’s Winds of Change comment, shows that Jeff Gannon was lying, both in interview with Blitzer, and his interview with Editor and Publisher!

    That’s crazy, isn’t it? A Winds of Change comment is corroborating evidence of Jeff Gannon’s duplicity?

    Truth really is stranger than fiction.

    NOTE: I’m actually not getting into what any of this “means” in this comment – it’s just a strange story – with a really strange “degrees of separation” angle from WOC, which Armed Liberal points out…

  2. The Republican party is going to lose in 2006 they have to much power and the are acting like big bullies The only thing they can do is to smear the other side no matter what is said
    what happened to the person that got into the white house the so called jounralist if that had been a Dem the gops would have kept it on the air and had so many investagitions and it would have cost the tax payers millions of dollars but is was a gop so it is ok and you call your self fair and balanced? I think not

  3. I caught Ron Hutcheson (of Knight Ridder & President of the White House Correspondents Association) tonight on Keith Olbermann’s show, and he said that they have had a number of what he called “coconuts” in the WH Press Room for thirty years now. He said you get questions from the left, right and outer space all the time in there, and that there were a dozen like Gannon right now.

    His argument was that it was easy to get access there and his group is pressing to keep it that way if not easier, due to freedom of the press and desiring access. He also pointed out that Gannon was there under Fleischer as well, and that it is true that McConnell was unlikely to have authorized Gannon because those decisions were made at a low level in McConnell’s office.

    The transcript won’t be available til tommorrow, in the meantime here is my write up at Olbywatch if you are interested:

    http://www.olbermannwatch.com/archives/002394.html#more

  4. He also pointed out that Gannon was there under Fleischer as well, and that it is true that McConnell was unlikely to have authorized Gannon because those decisions were made at a low level…

    Okay. Then, pray tell, who did authorize this guy? We have an Administration which has in at least six instances so far run propaganda operations (Armstrong Williams, “reporters” on No Child Left Behind, etc etc).

    And now comes “Gannon,” an entrepreneur who ran a gay male escort service on the side, who repeatedly asked Fleischer, McConnell, and the President himself softball questions cribbed from GOP talking points.

    As a conservative, I know what I would think if this had happened under Bill Clinton’s watch. I am just as nauseated now. Clearly, just as with Bernard Kerik, the vetting process in this White House is seriously screwed up. If a bunch of blowhard Internet jocks can dig up this “Gannon” guy’s dirty laundry by using Google, how is it remotely possible that the FBI or the White House couldn’t?

    And before people leap to the defense of either the incompetent White House here, or the literal whore “Gannon,” remember the real question, the same one which I raised back when Williams was outed as a propaganda shill. What new outrage is next? How deep does the rot go? Do you really think this iceberg stops with the gay male whore?

  5. How deep does the rot go? Do you really think this iceberg stops with the gay male whore?

    Raise your hands how many of you thought we would be talking about this in connection with the Bush White House back in November 2004 …

    Like JC, I’m not getting into the whole aspect of what this means, in large part because I haven’t had the time to look into this, but this just strikes me as being extremely bizarre in how it connects back to us here at WoC.

  6. How deep does the rot go? Do you really think this iceberg stops with the gay male whore?

    You mean there might be more than one gay male prostitute in Washington?

    This scandal fails to impress me at so many levels, it’s almost like a Kevin Costner film.

  7. I think The Poorman said it best:

    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.”

  8. Can someone enlighten me as to why background checks are required for those in the Whitehouse Press corps. I understand the requirement that over half of such a reporter’s income should be derived from actually reporting and assumably this fact would be verified in a background check, but why would ANYTHING else other than a criminal record be checked? Does Gannon even have a criminal record?

    In fact, why would a criminal record need be checked? There’s not going to be any classified information released at a press conference, so there’s no need for a security clearance. Certainly everyone entering the Whitehouse is screened for weapsons, so there’s no significant threat if a deranged person were to slip through. It would seem that the screening needn’t be much more than what a Whitehouse tourist would submit to.

    The point is, I reckon, how much of a background check is really needed for this? Me thinks, not much. Probably any reporter that can show employment with ANY media outlet could get a press pass.

    No scandal here. More along.

  9. If the White House reporter role was a disguise, is it at all possible that the escort services were too? That the likes of “hotmilitarystud.com” or “militaryescorts.com” (the websites, BTW, seem to be vacant as of today) were a means of entrapping service members under “don’t ask” investigations? Or part of some more generalized Washington-area sting?

    Yes, it is creepy, isn’t it.

    “He’s mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse’s health, a boy’s love, or a whore’s oath.” — King Lear

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