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Old February 23rd 05, 06:42 PM
Jim,
 
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Default ( OT ) Gannongate: It's worse than you think

Bush's press office gave Jim Guckert access, even knowing his only
credentials were from the blatantly partisan group GOPUSA.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Eric Boehlert



Feb. 23, 2005 | When the press first raised questions about why Jim
Guckert had been awarded access to the White House press room for two
years running while he worked for Talon News, critics charged that
Talon, with its amateurish standards and close working ties to
Republican activists, did not qualify as a legitimate news organization.
It turns out the truth is even stranger: Guckert was waved into the
White House while working for an even more blatantly partisan
organization, *GOPUSA*.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan originally told reporters
that Guckert was properly allowed into press briefings because he worked
for an outlet that "published regularly." But that's when the questions
were about Talon. More recently McClellan offered up a new rationale.
Asked by Editor and Publisher magazine how the decision was made to
allow a GOPUSA correspondent in, McClellan said, "The staff assistant
went to verify that the news organization existed." (Emphasis added.)

That, apparently, was the lone criterion the press office used when
Guckert (aka Jeff Gannon) approached it in February 2003 seeking a pass
for White House briefings. Not yet working for Republican-friendly Talon
News, which came into existence in April 2003, Guckert, using an alias
and with no journalism experience whatsoever, was writing on a voluntary
basis for a Web site dedicated to promoting Republican issues. To
determine whether Guckert would gain entrance to the press room,
normally reserved for professional journalists working for legitimate,
recognized and independent news organizations, the press office simply
logged on to the Internet and confirmed that *GOPUSA* "existed," and
then quickly approved Guckert's access. In a White House obsessed, at
least publicly, with security and where journalists cannot even move
between the White House and the nearby Old Executive Building without a
personal escort, Guckert's lenient treatment was likely unprecedented.

Yet, if there's one other person who did manage to receive the same type
of kid-glove treatment from the White House press office, it was
Guckert's boss at *GOPUSA* and later at Talon News, Bobby Eberle. A
Texas-based Republican activist and a delegate to the Republican
National Convention in 2000, Eberle founded Talon News after he became
concerned that the name GOPUSA might appear to have a "built-in bias."
With no journalism background, he too was able to secure a White House
press pass, in early 2003, on the strength of representing GOPUSA,
dedicated to "spreading the conservative message throughout America."

This is not how the White House press office has traditionally worked.
"When I was there we didn't let political operatives in. It was
completely contrary to what the press room should be used for," says Joe
Lockhart, who served as White House press secretary to President Clinton
during his second term. Asked what would have happened if a reporter
from a clearly partisan operation, say "Democrats Today," had requested
a White House press pass, Lockhart said that if the chief of the
Democratic National Committee were attending an event at the White
House, then perhaps the Democrats Today reporter might be allowed in for
that one day. "But to be admitted as a reporter and sit in a chair and
act like a reporter" for months on end the way Guckert did? "No," said
Lockhart, "that's not within the realm of what [is] proper."

Guckert and Eberle remain at the center of the scandal. When liberal
bloggers revealed that Guckert, who posed reliably friendly questions to
administration officials, had recently offered his services online as a
gay male escort, the questions for the White House only became more
uncomfortable.

Guckert first came to national attention when he asked President Bush a
question at his Jan. 26 press conference. Guckert's query, in which he
ridiculed Democratic leaders for having "divorced themselves from
reality," was what initially raised the ire of liberals. It was not how
an openly Republican partisan got inside the White House press room,
because partisans have been there for years. Lockhart recalls having
been confronted with a similar question of White House access regarding
veteran Baltimore, Md., radio host Lester Kinsolving, who for decades
has pitched eccentric, long-winded and usually conservative-leaning
questions inside the briefing room. (Kinsolving is currently
recuperating from triple-bypass surgery.) Lockhart thought it was
inequitable that Kinsolving was virtually the only local radio show host
with daily access. "The issue got kicked up to my level. I thought it
was fundamentally unfair, and it was clear that he was an annoyance to
everyone in the room. And frankly we should have shut him down. But I
knew if we kicked him out it would be a big story with the right-wing
press, and I didn't need that."

Unlike Guckert, though, Kinsolving has an authentic background in
journalism, having worked for the San Francisco Chronicle and the
Indianapolis Star. Talon's defenders suggest that it too is a legitimate
news outlet. But providing some insight into how it operates, Eberle
told the New York Times last week that he rarely monitored Guckert's
White House work. "Jeff did his thing. I did my thing," Eberle said. In
other words, it appears that Guckert, who often cut and pasted White
House press releases and posted them on Talon as "news," did not even
have an editor. As Media Matters for America noted, Talon "apparently
consists of little more than Eberle, Gannon, and a few volunteers."

Just how blatantly the White House press office looked the other way in
regard to Guckert and his dubious status as a legitimate reporter comes
into stark relief when examining his attempt to secure a similar press
pass to cover Capitol Hill. Guckert submitted his application in
December 2003 to the Standing Committee of Correspondents, a press group
in charge of handing out credentials. In April 2004, the committee
denied Guckert's request. Writing to Guckert, committee chairman Jim
Drinkard outlined three clear deficiencies in Guckert's application:

1) "Committee guidelines require that on-line publications 'must charge
a market rate fee for subscription or access, or carry paid advertising
at current market rates.' You have not demonstrated to the committee's
satisfaction that Talon News has any paid subscribers, that paid client
newspapers publish Talon News stories, or that it is supported by
advertising."

2) "The application for accreditation to the press galleries states that
'members of the press shall not engage in lobbying or paid advertising,
publicity, promotion, work for any individual, political party,
corporation, organization, or agency of the Federal Government.' Talon
News has not demonstrated to the satisfaction of the committee that
there is a separation from GOPUSA."

3) "Gallery rules and the application state that the principal income of
correspondents must be obtained from news correspondence intended for
publication in newspapers or news services. The committee feels that
paying a single reporter a 'stipend' does not meet the intent of the rule."

The White House, in contrast, said that as long as Talon News or GOPUSA
"existed," Guckert was free to attend its press briefings. Yet, in the
past, a reporter seeking a permanent White House press pass has had to
first secure credentials to cover Capitol Hill. Without those, the White
House would not submit the application for a background check. But even
though Guckert failed to secure Capitol Hill credentials, the White
House waved him into press briefings for nearly two years using what's
called a day pass. Those passes are designed for temporary use by
out-of-town reporters who need access to the White House, not for
indefinite use by reporters who flunk the Capitol Hill test.

To obtain a day pass during the Clinton administration, a reporter "had
to make the case as to why that day was unique and why [he] had to cover
the White House from inside the gates instead of outside," Lockhart says.

So the mystery remains: How did Guckert, with absolutely no journalism
background and working for a phony news organization, manage to adopt
the day-pass system as his own while sidestepping a thorough background
check that might have detected his sordid past? That's the central
question the White House *refuses* to address. And like its initial
explanation that Guckert received his press pass the same way other
journalists do, the notion first put out by White House officials that
they knew little or nothing about GOPUSA/Talon News, its correspondent
Guckert or its founder Eberle has also melted away. Instead, we now
know, former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer personally spoke
with Eberle about GOPUSA, so concerned was Fleischer that it was not an
independent organization. (Eberle convinced Fleischer that it was.)
Additionally, Guckert attended the invitation-only White House press
Christmas parties in 2003 and 2004, and last holiday season, in a
personal posting on GOPUSA, Eberle thanked Karl Rove for his
"assistance, guidance, and friendship."

  #2   Report Post  
Old February 23rd 05, 06:45 PM
JimH
 
Posts: n/a
Default

If things are so terrible here why not find a place that suits your liberal
whining needs? That way you won't have a nervous breakdown waiting for the
sky to fall on you.




  #3   Report Post  
Old February 23rd 05, 09:22 PM
John H
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Wed, 23 Feb 2005 12:45:24 -0500, "JimH" wrote:

If things are so terrible here why not find a place that suits your liberal
whining needs? That way you won't have a nervous breakdown waiting for the
sky to fall on you.



I can't believe Jimcomma thinks anyone gives a rat's ass about it!

John H

On the 'PocoLoco' out of Deale, MD,
on the beautiful Chesapeake Bay!

"Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it."
Rene Descartes
  #4   Report Post  
Old February 23rd 05, 11:15 PM
Jim,
 
Posts: n/a
Default

John H wrote:
On Wed, 23 Feb 2005 12:45:24 -0500, "JimH" wrote:


If things are so terrible here why not find a place that suits your liberal
whining needs? That way you won't have a nervous breakdown waiting for the
sky to fall on you.




I can't believe Jimcomma thinks anyone gives a rat's ass about it!

John H

On the 'PocoLoco' out of Deale, MD,
on the beautiful Chesapeake Bay!

"Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it."
Rene Descartes

I'm posting this stuff as a public service. Stuff you'll never see on
faux news. It's an effort to make this group "fair and balanced" ;-)
  #5   Report Post  
Old February 24th 05, 12:43 AM
Short Wave Sportfishing
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Wed, 23 Feb 2005 22:15:37 GMT, "Jim," wrote:

John H wrote:
On Wed, 23 Feb 2005 12:45:24 -0500, "JimH" wrote:


If things are so terrible here why not find a place that suits your liberal
whining needs? That way you won't have a nervous breakdown waiting for the
sky to fall on you.




I can't believe Jimcomma thinks anyone gives a rat's ass about it!

John H

On the 'PocoLoco' out of Deale, MD,
on the beautiful Chesapeake Bay!

"Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it."
Rene Descartes

I'm posting this stuff as a public service. Stuff you'll never see on
faux news. It's an effort to make this group "fair and balanced" ;-)


Go out and read the blogosphere.

Pick a blog you like and put all this crap there.

Later,

Tom



  #6   Report Post  
Old February 24th 05, 01:16 PM
John H
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Wed, 23 Feb 2005 22:15:37 GMT, "Jim," wrote:

John H wrote:
On Wed, 23 Feb 2005 12:45:24 -0500, "JimH" wrote:


If things are so terrible here why not find a place that suits your liberal
whining needs? That way you won't have a nervous breakdown waiting for the
sky to fall on you.




I can't believe Jimcomma thinks anyone gives a rat's ass about it!

John H

On the 'PocoLoco' out of Deale, MD,
on the beautiful Chesapeake Bay!

"Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it."
Rene Descartes

I'm posting this stuff as a public service. Stuff you'll never see on
faux news. It's an effort to make this group "fair and balanced" ;-)


************************************************** **************************
From Fox:

White House Reporter Using Fake Name Quits

Friday, February 11, 2005

WASHINGTON — A conservative writer who attracted attention by asking President
Bush (search) a loaded question at a news conference last month has resigned
amid questions about his identity and background.

James D. Guckert (search), who wrote under the name Jeff Gannon (search), said
on his Web site that he was leaving "because of the attention being paid to me."
He had been Washington bureau chief for Talon News (search), a conservative
online news outlet associated with another Web site, GOPUSA.

Guckert frequently attended White House press briefings over the last two years
and asked pointedly conservative questions. Called on by Bush at a Jan. 26 news
conference, Guckert said Senate Democratic leaders were painting a bleak picture
of the economy and he asked Bush how the president would work "with people who
seem to have divorced themselves from reality."

The question prompted scrutiny, particularly from liberal bloggers. Guckert was
linked with online domain addresses suggestive of gay pornography. Guckert, a
former resident of Wilmington, Del., told The (Wilmington) News Journal
newspaper that he had registered the domain names for a client while he was
working to set up a Web-hosting business.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Guckert did not have a regular
White House press pass but was cleared on a day-by-day basis to attend briefings
and used his real name.

"He, like anyone else, showed that he was representing a news organization that
published regularly and so he was cleared two years ago to receive daily passes
just like many others are," McClellan said. "In this day and age, when you have
a changing media, it's not an easy issue to decide, to try to pick and choose
who is a journalist. It gets into the issue of advocacy journalism. Where do you
draw the line? There are a number of people who cross that line in the briefing
room."

He said he had been unaware of Guckert's affiliation with any sexually
suggestive domain addresses.

Also from Fox:





Feb. 10, 2005

MUST READS:

Harvard professor Niall Ferguson, writing for the Wall Street Journal, offers
this spectacular analysis of the situation in Iraq. His thesis: The United
States needs to stay the course. Don’t leave before democracy has taken root —
and absolutely ensure the country doesn’t go the way of neighboring Iran, which
has inspired the slogan, “one man, one vote, one time.” After the mullahs won an
election in the early ’80s, democracy vanished and theocracy took hold.

Peggy Noonan, also in the Wall Street Journal, touches on the hardy Christian
perennial: the redemptive powers of pain and suffering. There is a reason the
topic has remained a hot topic for millennia: It touches on some of the deepest
mysteries of life. Why do good people suffer so? And what does their suffering
prove? Peggy doesn’t dive into the details, but she does touch upon the issue,
and that alone constitutes a public service.

One more from the Journal, which is on a roll. Brett Stephens attended the
infamous World Economic Forum seminar in which CNN honcho Eason Jordan asserted
breezily that U.S. forces had targeted and killed a dozen journalists in Iraq.
Stephens provides the most balanced treatment I’ve seen to date, taking a
stiletto to talkers who have been pushing the issue (my first reaction was to
mewl, “Why didn’t he single out me??”). In talking to him off-air, he questioned
Jordan’s fitness to run a news division, citing other potential whoppers,
including a terror charge leveled against American troops and the claim that a
soldier oppressed a troublesome reporter by sending the scribe to the back of a
line. Now comes word that Sen. Christopher Dodd has asked organizers of the
forum to release the tapes of the session. In the name of fairness and balance,
it’s worth noting that the two most admirable players in this drama have been
Democrats — Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank, both of whom seem to have treated the
original allegations with considerable skepticism, and have been among the most
vocal in trying to get the truth before the public. They’re right: This
controversy will fester until the public hears the tapes, and the longer Jordan
holds out, the worse his fate will be.

An embarrassment on the Right: A freelance “journalist” who called himself Jeff
Gannon apparently was a fraud. “Gannon” ruffled the feathers of Has Been Media
heavies by asking administration-friendly questions at White House press
conferences and pushing administration-friendly stories for Talon News, an
operation affiliated with the GOPUSA website. Now comes the rub. The guy’s real
name is James Dale Guckert, and left-wing bloggers have outed him as a featured
item on several gay websites registered to his nom de plume. (I can’t vouch for
the characterization; the sites require registration, and I wasn’t interested in
registering.) The G-man told Jennifer Brooks of the Delaware News Journal, that
he registered the gay domain names for someone else, as part of an effort to
establish an Internet Web-hosting business. Dan Froomkin has a pretty brutal
summary of the matter.

Some conservatives are calling the G-man a victim of a left-wing witch-hunt.
Wrong: He got outed by some enterprising bloggers, who had their fun with the
married man’s hidden sideline, but who also raised an issue of considerable
consequence. Even setting aside the come-hither websites, the guy got into the
White House using an assumed name. This raises two possibilities: Gannon/Guckert
got a fake I.D. past the Secret Service, in which case the Secret Service (and
the president) ought to be furious, or the White House Press Office knew he was
working under an assumed name, in which case the press corps (and the president)
ought to be blowing a gasket. Here’s Howie Kurtz’s take on the tale. I’ll have
more on the story tomorrow…

BEHIND THE SCENES:

Ed Gillespie, the engaging former chairman of the Republican Party, phoned in
today. Ed, an old pal, is a happy man. He gets to coach his son’s basketball
team again, gets to show up at neighborhood barbecues, even gets to take his
boat out on the Potomac from time to time (great story: on his first trip in the
vessel, he forgot to check the gas — and ran out in the middle of the river in
the dead dark of night). He thinks Howard Dean will be a formidable Democratic
Chairman, neither as bad as Republicans fear nor good as Democrats hope, and
refuses to speculate about the possibility of war in Iran or North Korea. He
does think Condi Rice stands a good chance of becoming the next Republican
presidential nominee. He also dodged the question of what he will get his wife
for Valentine’s Day. It turns out her birthday is Feb. 11, which means he’ll
have three days to come up with something better than the customary, Forrest
Gump-like box of chocolates.

Also along today, Jordan Lorence of the Alliance Defense Fund. Jordan heads to
court next week to argue against a University of North Carolina directive that
would require religious organizations on campus to sign “non-discrimination”
agreements with regard to membership. No other campus outfits must submit to
such things because campus clubs are by their nature somewhat exclusive. The
hidden insinuation is that religious groups, especially Christian ones, are
guilty of intolerance and bigotry. Lorence points out that the opposite is true:
The intolerant bigots are the ones who are trying to push the religious clubs
back into the catacombs.

Brett Stephens, mentioned in the must-reading section, also called in, sharing
his recollections of Eason Jordan’s self-immolation in Davos.

Stay tuned for more!

*************************************************

Kinda shoots your thesis in the butt, no?

John H

On the 'PocoLoco' out of Deale, MD,
on the beautiful Chesapeake Bay!

"Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it."
Rene Descartes
  #7   Report Post  
Old February 24th 05, 03:08 PM
Jeff Rigby
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Jim," wrote in message
...
Bush's press office gave Jim Guckert access, even knowing his only
credentials were from the blatantly partisan group GOPUSA.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Eric Boehlert


Warning, Warning. Creating standards for the press may be used to eliminate
the opposition.
By the same logic that could exclude the pro GOP Journalist Jim
Guckert(Gannon), it could exclude many so called independant press
reporters. A thurough background check of them could reveil that they
support the Democrat party (political donations), vote Democratic and
promote the party line. In that case, using the same standards, they could
be excluded from the press pool.

Having lax standards is the only way to run the press pool. IF the pool
were packed with political hacks we would have a story here but ONE, gesh.




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