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 Post subject: Lawmaker presses White House on 'Jeff Gannon'
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 2:21 pm 
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WASHINGTON -- With the mystery of "Jeff Gannon" deepening, Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., yesterday renewed her call for the White House to explain its relationship with a conservative ex-reporter linked to an online gay escort service.

Slaughter said the relationship between the White House press office and "Gannon," whose real name is James Dale Guckert, was "anything but typical." The White House should "stop the stonewalling and come clean," she added, following up on her initial request a week ago.

Slaughter's comments came in response to evidence that the White House allowed Gannon into presidential news briefings weeks before his Internet-based news organization was registered and online.

Presidential press secretary Scott McClellan insisted last week that Gannon, in order to get daily passes to the White House news briefing, was treated "like anyone else" and "showed that he was representing a news organization that published regularly."

But yesterday, the online magazine Salon cited C-SPAN television clips showing Gannon attending White House news briefings as early as Feb. 28, 2003, a month before his Internet news site, Talon News, was registered and online.

And McClellan's predecessor, Ari Fleischer, told Editor & Publisher magazine that in early 2003, during his tenure as President Bush's spokesman, he became so concerned about Gannon's possible ties to the Republican Party that he would not call on him at news briefings.

Fleischer said he later determined, after meeting with Gannon and his employer, Texas Republican activist Bobby Eberle, that Gannon was working for "a conservative news organization" rather than the GOP.

They "assured me they were not part of the Republican Party," Fleischer told E&P magazine, which covers the newspaper industry.

Slaughter and other White House critics suggest, however, that the access given to Gannon to cover presidential news briefings is further evidence of the Bush administration's blurring the boundary between the news media and the government, akin to the payments the administration made to conservative columnists to promote Bush's policies and its production of video news releases that mimic the style of television news.

The White House has denied any special relationship with Gannon. But it has not provided an explanation of its policies on providing credentials to reporters, either the temporary "day" passes for reporters not normally assigned to the White House or the so-called permanent hard passes that White House beat reporters get.

Nor has it explained how Gannon received almost daily passes to the news briefings for about two years using a pseudonym and working for an organization that failed to meet the criteria for media credentials to cover Congress.

Gannon applied for congressional credentials in 2004, but the Standing Committee of Correspondents, made up of congressional beat reporters elected by their peers to rule on such applications, denied his request because Talon News did not meet the committee's criteria as a news organization.

In addition, he applied as "Jeff Gannon," rather than as James Dale Guckert. When the committee inquired about it, he explained that he used a pseudonym because it was easier to market.

White House "hard" passes are difficult to obtain and are typically granted to reporters whose news organizations have been recognized by the Standing Committee of Correspondents on Capitol Hill.

Before his resignation from Talon News last week, Gannon typically asked partisan-edged questions about presidential critics and friendly questions about Bush's policies during White House news briefings.

He also is one of the reporters questioned by special prosecutors about the leak of a secret CIA memo disclosing the identity of Bush war critic Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, a CIA operative.

However, it was a question Gannon posed to Bush himself at his first post-inauguration news conference that attracted the attention -- and the ire -- of media watchdog groups and liberal Internet bloggers: He asked how Bush could work with Democrats who are "divorced from reality."

The ensuing investigations by Gannon's critics cast doubts about his journalism credentials and linked him to Internet sites that featured nude photos of Gannon and advertised male escort services for $200 an hour.

AMERICAblog linked its readers to the photos and escort Web sites after Gannon denied to CNN that the sites were ever active. AMERICAblog also posted copies of invoices of payments to a California Web site designer to set up the Web sites.

The Web designer, Paul Leddy, told The Washington Post that it was Gannon who initially contacted him in 1999 to set up the sites and that Gannon's postings to the site were later moved to another site where they remained active until March 2003, the month Talon News began operating.

Since resigning his position with Talon News, Gannon has declined numerous requests for comment and has told E&P magazine that he will not speak with the media again.

Jennifer Ohman, in an e-mail sent yesterday on behalf of Eberle, said, "We are not commenting on Jeff Gannon and have not since the beginning of all this."

Texan Eberle, who was a delegate to the 2000 Republican convention, owns Talon News and GOPUSA.

TalonNews.com was registered with NetworkSolutions on March 29, 2003. Until Gannon began drawing attention, the earliest articles on the site were dated April 1, 2003.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/ ... non18.html

-Eva


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 4:07 am 
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This site, http://americablog.blogspot.com/2005/02 ... -jeff.html
comes with a warning about the photos, but is quite interesting as to Jeff Gannon's prior activities before becoming a pet of the prez.



Catherine

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 6:38 am 
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So glad to hear Louise Slaughter is on this. She is an excellent Representative. A long time ago her district covered this area but is now one of those convoluted districts that covers part of Rochester, part of Buffalo and a thin line along Lake Ontario connecting them. How I wish she were my Representative yet!

Knowing Louise, she will not let this go. She will stick with it until she finds answers--what a beautiful woman she is.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 7:10 am 
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Good to know that, dori.

This shouldn't be allowed to run off the teflon prez like everything else has.

:evil:

I wonder what John Kerry's reaction has been to this developing story.

Catherine

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 8:43 am 
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When you think Louise Slaughter, picture Helen Thomas.

She will get this job done!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 10:05 pm 
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Doug Griffin: 'No more whining, Jimmy-Jeff!'
Thursday, February 24 @ 10:03:55 EST
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By Doug Griffin

James D. Guckert/Jeff Gannon (again, hereafter referred to as Jimmy-Jeff), you have only yourself to blame. Same goes for Republicans crying foul at Jimmy-Jeff's "outing" by activist John Aravosis of Americablog.org and the Kossacks at DailyKos.com as well as others from Left, Blogsylvania. And now to add more gasoline to the flame (pun intended), Jimmy-Jeff is threatening litigation against said bloggers - for among other things, political assassination.

I'm shocked, Jimmy-Jeff, completely dumbfounded by your audacity. First of all, I wasn't aware that you were a politician - which is sort of a pre-requisite for someone to "politically assassinate" someone else. Remember, Jimmy-Jeff, you are/were a male prostitute - neither a politician nor a reporter/journalist, although nowadays it's tough to know the players without a program. You are/were the "top" that doesn't/didn't "leave marks, just impressions." Remember? Second of all, you're a Bush insider. Boy, if that phrase doesn't have a new meaning! You should be the last person to threaten a frivolous lawsuit - given the Administration's stand on tort reform, and all. But then again, this is the most hypocritical of administrations.



The real story behind all of this, of course, is those Left-wing bloggers picking on a gay man who has seen the Right-of-day, and simply wanted to pursue a dream of being a responsible journalist, only to be outed, by said bloggers, for his past transgressions. Past - as in the websites that advertised his non-journalistic services only became "history" a short while ago. Meaning it seems he was still peddling those non-journalistic services even while pursuing his journalistic aspirations. Kind of gives new meaning to the "hardest working man in journalism" phrase, huh?

The lapdogs in the White House Press Corp behave like my own dogs waiting for treat when it comes to the Bush Administration. They pant and wag their tails, gleefully awaiting a little morsel of Bush Administration BS. They are complicit even when Bush spits in their collective faces by planting Jimmy-Jeff amongst them and giving him exclusives they could only dream of getting.

We do owe the White House Press Corp and the mainstream media a bit of an apology, though. Jimmy-Jeff isn't the only whore in question, but he is getting all the attention. Sorry, Mainstream Media. In my opinion, most of them are whores who sold themselves and the American public out by their complicity and complacency towards the Bush Administration. Not asking the tough questions is just as reprehensible as Jimmy-Jeff's "softball" questions.

To be fair, not all of the mainstream media (MSM) have ignored this story. Keith Olbermann of MSNBC's Countdown program seems to be the last remaining TV journalist seeking to report the truth. He was one of only a few mainstream voices reporting about the voter irregularities of our last election sham. He remains one of the only - if not the only - MSM journalists reporting the Jimmy-Jeff affair with any degree of objectivity. I remember back around the time when President Bush was selected for his first term, Olbermann was still doing sports and was posed the question: "Hey, Keith, will George W. Bush do for America what he did for the Texas Rangers?" to which Olbermann's response was: "What do you mean, sell it?"

How prophetic Mr. Olbermann's quip was, for that is exactly what George W. Bush is doing to America - selling it out. Selling out our democracy with questionable elections; selling out our economy by insisting on tax cuts for the wealthy while spending uncontrollably; selling out Medicare/Medicaid by trying to hide the real costs and real beneficiaries (pharmaceutical companies) of his plan; selling out Social Security by claiming it has problems that it truly does not; and so on; and so on.

But those are real issues and we have a sex scandal in the White House to distract us. The sex part isn't the real story but it is a significant part of it. One does not need to be a psychic or a rocket scientist to conclude that the only way for someone of Jimmy-Jeff's background to gain the access he had to the West Wing was via some sort of hanky-panky. The only other alternative is complete incompetence by the Secret Service. I'm gonna put my money on the former.

As for Jimmy-Jeff? Quit your belly-achin'! You're getting your 15 minutes of fame, which should do wonders for your day job... or is it a night job? Either way, you're getting a lot of free publicity, Jimmy-Jeff. Since your fake-journalism gig fell through, you've got your other profession to fall back on. I'm sure you've got some pretty high-falutin' references too! Be sure to include those on your resume', Jimmy-Jeff. Look how well it worked out for Monica Lewinsky

http://griffinedition.blogspot.com/

Catherine

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That's all there is to it."

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 4:39 am 
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Fallout from Gannongate: Talon News site closes to 're-evaluate operations'
Friday, February 25 @ 10:42:25 EST
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quote:
The negative online traffic and publicity made it difficult to work, publicist says

By Justin Gest, Houston Chronicle

WASHINGTON - The Texas-based online news site at the center of a White House media controversy has temporarily shut down because its founder "can only take so much of a beating" over the page's political slant, the site's publicist said Thursday.

It's the latest step that Talon News owner and Pearland resident Bobby Eberle has taken to distance himself from James Guckert, the former Talon News Washington correspondent accused of being used by the Bush administration to spread conservative propaganda.

Guckert, whose pen name was Jeff Gannon, has since left Talon News, and the Web site address now features a short message explaining that it is undergoing a redesign and will operate again soon.

"In order to better serve those readers across the country who enjoy Talon News content and look forward to receiving it each day, we feel compelled to re-evaluate operations in order to provide the highest quality, most professional product possible," it read.



Negative response

Eberle's phone has been disconnected, but his publicist, Jennifer Ohman, said that the large number of Web visitors attracted by the controversy "were not the kind of hits we were looking for. The attention by and large was negative. If anything, it seemed to fuel the fire."

Media Matters, a liberal watchdog group based in Washington, D.C, unmasked Guckert after he asked President Bush about working with Democrats who were "divorced from reality."

Since then, bloggers have linked Guckert to gay porn Web sites and prostitution.

Naked photos of Guckert have been widely circulated on the Web.

"They probably found it difficult to go on without Jeff Gannon who seemed to be the backbone of their editorial operation," said Media Matters' director David Brock. "To the extent that Talon News was a vehicle for a fair amount of misinformation, it's probably a good development."

Eberle has maintained that Talon News was a "straight news site," despite flashing advertisements for conservative causes and publications that reproduce its content.

It also featured prominent links to GOPUSA.com, a conservative site also run by Eberle.

"By having a separate news company, I take great pains to deliver the facts," Eberle said in a recent interview.

Quick controversy

Ohman said Eberle was unaware of Guckert's background, and did not plan to fire him when the controversy erupted.

"It happened too fast," she said. "It seemed like the story was being perpetuated by the left-wing blogger types at first. We knew about the softball question, but I can't say it got to the point when Bobby wanted to (fire Gannon).

"How could you know? How much research did the New York Times do on their reporters when they ended up with Jason Blair?"

Until the Talon News site reopens, Ohman said she would direct devoted readers seeking dependable information to the Drudge Report.

justin.gest@chron.com

Reprinted from The Houston Chronicle:
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/nation/3056444


Catherine

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 5:38 pm 
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There is another comment on the scandal
Traude

[url=http://www.mediachannel.org/views/dissector/affalert327.shtml]Where Was the Press When This Was Going On?
[/url]
By Danny Schechter
MediaChannel.org

Sorry, it came up twice!

Traude

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Last edited by waihdag on Sat Mar 05, 2005 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 5:39 pm 
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There is another comment on the scandal
Traude

[url=http://www.mediachannel.org/views/dissector/affalert327.shtml]Where Was the Press When This Was Going On?
[/url]
By Danny Schechter
MediaChannel.org

NEW YORK, February 21, 2005 -- Perhaps now that "the Gates" have festooned themselves across New York's Central Park, we can bid adieu to the use of that term to connote political scandal. After Watergate begat Contragate, we have had a cloned procession of almost obligatorily named outrages.

There was Filegate, Monicagate and most recently, we watched Memogate morph into Rathergate.

And now there's Gannongate.

Its time to close the door on further uses of this metaphor because gates usually open and close but these have become a permanent feature of our political landscape, more revolving than alarming.

At the moment, everyone is smirking about the antics and improbability of a holier than thou White House conniving with a planted "reporter" who seems to have doubled as an on-line gay sex-for-hire panderer and practitioner, defiling images, no less, of our macho military warriors with websites like militaryescortsm4m.com.

Ooo wee. Yuk! The red white and blue horror of it all! Has the White House become an outhouse?

And yet, what's the question lost in all the focus on the sleazy antics of GOP propaganda plant Jeff Gannon/Jim Guckert by a gang bang of bloggers and comedians, including, most hysterically, The Daily Show's Jon Stewart. Where was the rest of the press corps(e) while all this was going on for TWO YEARS?

Why did it take outsiders to expose it? Is it because as Buzzflash argues: "The blogging world did what the lackey mainstream press will no longer do, expose a story that is at the epicenter of the deceit and propaganda media campaign central to how the Bush Cartel continues to control America."

Where were the other reporters and news rooms with a permanent presence at the White House Press Room when softball questions and partisan points were being offered up routinely in what were supposed to be press conferences aimed to eliciting truth?

Is this another case of the silence of what Greg Palast calls "the media lambs?"

Weren't any of our journo "pros" curious about this guy and his weird ways and phony news service operating as a front group for Republican hardliners? He was operating right in front of them but seems to have become transparently invisible.

Was the White House Correspondents Association so busy planning its next celebrity dinner to give the President a platform for banal one-liners that none objected to his presence or the favorable treatment this imposter was accorded?

While Helen Thomas and hard questions were frozen out, deference became the order of the day in a clubby and collegial atmosphere that so typifies the servility and complicity of mainstream media.

Yes, it's not all the fault of the press. This percerption-driven administration is managing the media and controlling the news as never before.

The Minneapolis Tribune quotes a former government official to the effect that this shill was there because the White House wanted him to be there. They report: "Bruce Bartlett, a conservative columnist who worked in the Reagan and first Bush administrations, says that 'if Gannon was using an alias, the White House staff had to be involved in maintaining his cover.' In other words, the White House wanted him at those briefings and wanted him to ask his softball questions, most likely to divert attention when legitimate reporters were getting too pushy."

Whoa, be honest. How many were "getting too pushy?" Very few as far as I could see!

Yes, This is, as the Tribune notes, "part of a pattern by Bush's minions to construct a phony reality in news coverage."

But isn't it also time for our media cognoscenti to acknowledge their own role in getting along by going along?

Even as the Administration plays dirty, has the media played clean? Has it done the job it is there to do?

Does the question even have to be raised?

It is no wonder public faith in mainstream media credibility is fading. Even now, it is easier to knock the Bush Administration -- especially when the details are so delicious. Every hour seems to be bring forth a juicy new all too incredible but sadly believable salacious anecdote -- and counter-rant of righteousness.

Talk about distraction and "diverting attention." 'Smirk Smirk, Wink Wink' is what modern media lives on and feeds off. The deeper problem is there for the press boys and girls to see -- if they are willing to look in the mirror.

To their credit, editors at the Minneapolis Trib do not neglect this largely underplayed aspect of the problem but they did bury the lead in the bottom of their angry editorial with an "unfortunately," writing:

"Unfortunately, too many of the real journalists have gone along meekly. As columnist Michael Kinsley observed, if this White House said two plus two equaled five, there would be no shortage "of media to report both sides of the question."

"Once it was fairly easy to distinguish real reporters from hacks and charlatans, objective news from partisan rant. That has become increasingly difficult, thanks in part to a Bush White House that finds the confusion useful, to its everlasting dishonor."

And, let it be said just as clearly, thanks, in "another part" to a corporate media system -- an institution, not just an individual -- that has made its pact with the devil and is squirming all the way to the bank.

-- News Dissector Danny Schechter is the "blogger in chief" at MediaChannel.org. The DVD for WMD (Weapons of Mass Deception), his film on the media coverage of the war, is available March 8. (www.wmdthefilm.com)

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 Post subject: Jeff Gannon or Jim Gueckert: A Poem
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 8:25 pm 
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FOX LIKE REPORTER OR FAUX LIKE REPORTER?
NEWS SERVICE OR NUDE TO SERVICE?
PRESS PASS OR PHALLIC PASS?
'GREAT SCOTT' OR GREAT WITH SCOTT?
UP-FRONT QUESTIONS OR FRONTAL QUESTIONS?
RATHER LIKE NEWSMAN OR LIKE TO LATHER NEWSMAN?
UP TO DATE OR AVAILABLE TO DATE?
NO FEAR OR REAR FEAR?
AMUSE YOUR DADDY OR WHO'S YOUR DADDY?
BALD HEAD OR BALLED HEAD?
AMERICAN EAGLE OR SPREAD EAGLE?
POLITICAL TRICKS OR TURNING TRICKS?
ON CNN OR ON END TO END?
BLOGOSPHERE OR FLOGGING HIS REAR?
VALERIE PLAME OR RAGEING FLAME?
ENRON OR A-ROD?
MAIL ORDER OF EVERLY BROTHERS OR MALE ORDER BY
EBERLE BROTHERS?
MESSAGE WITH FLASH PRECEDENCE OR FLASH THE PRESIDENT?
CRAWFORD RANCH OR NEVERLAND RANCH?
16OO PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE OR 6900 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE?
202 AREA CODE OR 2 ON 2 LIPS CODE?
AIR FORCE ONE OR HE IS ONE?
WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT OR WHITE HOUSE CORESPONDENT?
BUSH BUDDY OR BUNK BUDDY?
INDIFFERENCE OR NO DIFFERENCE?

Link: http://www.ilovepoetry.com/VIEWPOEM.ASP?ID=79174

Catherine

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 7:17 pm 
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Catherine:

OH MY! Those pics are too funny. Jeff has 7 1/2"? As a gay man, I find it quite interesting that the right-wing Repub conservative White House has bought and paid for all the straight media and so now they are utilizing the services of gay men. Didn't the Administration think this would get out? Oh, I forgot, in this Administration ANYBODY can be used to do their bidding and when scandal erupts, the Administration will find some way to "spin it".

That's what they seem to be good at. I still hope The Advocate does a story on this. This story SHOULD NOT be swept under the rug like the rest of the multi-million dollar media groups are doing.

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 Post subject: Secret Service Lies Today About Gannon-Guckert Access
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2005 10:33 am 
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Secret Service lies today about GannonGuckert White House access
by John in DC - 3/8/2005 01:53:00 PM

The US Secret Service lied to members of Congress today in a letter responding to concerns about GannonGuckert's access to the White House.

In the letter, as reported by Raw Story, "there was no deviation from Secret Service standards and procedures" in order to give GannonGuckert access to the White House.

But this a flat out lie.

1. GannonGuckert (GG) had a "day pass" to the White House, not a "hard pass." A day pass gives you one day access, a hard pass gives you repeated, unlimited, ongoing, and regular access to the White House.

2. But using a day pass, GannonGuckert in fact received repeated, unlimited, ongoing and regular access to the White House for over a two year period, even though he never was given a hard pass. I.e., GG was given a de facto hard pass without going through the proper rigorous background check required for such a pass.

3. Why does this matter? It matters because there must be some national security reason why hard pass reporters are required to get 3-month FBI background checks. Presumably the reason is that hard pass reporters, unlike day pass reporters who only go to the White House once (or at best, once in a very blue moon), will be spending a lot of regular time in the White House, mingling with senior officials as high as the president, over an extended and ongoing period. That gives hard pass reporters the kind of access that could make them a security risk if we didn't know for a fact that they're good people. That's why hard pass reporters are required to get the 3-month FBI background check. To make sure there's nothing in their background, or present, to suggest they could be, or have been, compromised, or in any other way pose a threat.

4. But GG got the same kind of ongoing, regular and intimate access to the White House as any hard pass reporter - and thus GG posed the same potential risk to national security as any hard pass reporter - yet GG was never forced to get a hard pass, and thus never required to get the hard pass 3-month FBI background check (during which the Secret Service would have found that GG was involved in an ongoing criminal enterprise (prostitution) and that he had a $20,000 default tax judgment against him from the state of Delaware (both things that could make him a security risk)).

5. So, in conclusion, GG got hard pass access to the White House simply using a day pass.

- Either there's a legitimate security reason why hard pass access requires a 3-month background check, and if so, the White House seriously breached security by giving GG hard pass access without requiring the extensive background check.

- Or, there is no legitimate reason why hard pass reporters are required to get the 3-month background check, since GG had the same ongoing, regular and intimate access to senior members of the White House as any hard pass reporter, yet the Secret Service now says such a 3-month FBI background check was not necessary in order for GG to have the access he did.

Then what kind of White House access would GG have to have in order to make him a security risk who would need the kind of background check that hard pass journalists are required to get? If the Secret Service says no such clearance was necessary for GG, then they need to explain how GG's ongoing, regular and seemingly unfettered access to the White House and senior officials as high as the president differed from the access any hard pass journalist has, a journalist who somehow poses a risk that GG does not.


The bottom line is that GG was given a de facto hard pass to the White House, even though he only applied for a day pass. And if the Secret Service is now going to tell us that this is following procedures, then Congress and the media should demand an immediately investigation of just what those procedures really are. Because GannonGuckert was permitted to metaphorically "walk around the metal detectors" of the White House, and someone should be asking why.

http://americablog.blogspot.com/2005/03 ... about.html


Catherine

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That's all there is to it."

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 3:09 am 
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I think I get it Catherine:

Jeff Gannon/Guckert aka the Male Escort/Report for TalonNews was issued a SOFTpass/daypass but was given access reserved for a HARDpass and he had this access FOR 2 YEARS and nobody within the walls of the White House seemed all that unnerved about it. See, I can figure that out; unfortunately, ABC/CBS/CNBC/CNN/FOX/MSNBC/NBC can't seem to or don't want to. They usually love "sex scandals" but for some strange reason a "Male Escort Journalist," given access to the White House of a "Republican Administration," and asking "Softball Questions" is not ringing any bells with the mainstream press, they don't want to touch this one but instead are just giving it "lipservice," so to speak. I wonder why?

I was listening to "Fresh Air" on NPR this past week and Ari Fleischer has written a book (rear-end kiss book) which he was on to discuss. Host, Terri Gross, asked him about GannonGate and Ari danced around the question but then later said what you posted in the previous article that he had concerns that Jeff and TalonNews may be an arm of the GOP and not a converative news service. He also added that he became so concerned that even after assurances from TalonNews that they were not part of the GOP, he just didn't ask him anymore questions. How big of him. That's right Ari, don't request that the guys SOFTpass/daypass be revoked but just let him stay and not ask him any questions while George W and Scott McClellan (your replacement) do ask him questions.

Like I explained before Catherine, one day, one fine day, the wheels are gonna come flying off this charade and hopefully then the voting public will be really really really really mad and there will be shift in who is in power in Washington and some of those Red States.

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If We Don't Ask, We Can't Learn" & "If We Don't Learn, We Can't Grow"


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:09 am 
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Speaking of Louise Slaughter, I got this on the Louise Line.


Leading the Call for an Investigation of Discredited White House "Reporter" and Potential National Security Breech

In early February, Rep. Slaughter received an open letter from the Niagara
Falls Reporter informing her that a man by the name of Jeff Gannon had been
credentialed as a reporter by the White House and been granted a position within the White House press corps. During nearly two years of daily press briefings, Mr. Gannon had repeatedly asked questions suspiciously supportive of the Bush Administration, both to Press Secretary Scott McClellan and to the President himself. Further investigation revealed that Mr. Gannon, whose actual name was soon discovered to be James Guckert, was a reporter for a fictitious news organization knows as Talon News, and that despite his highly questionable status, he may have received access to classified memorandum that revealed the identity of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame, a criminal offense and an act detrimental to the national security of the United States.

Rep. Slaughter has been out in front of the Jeff Gannon/Valerie Plame issue from day
one. She first called on the President to explain Gannon's presence in the
White House briefing room, stating in a letter to Mr. Bush that she was asking him "to please explain to the Congress and to the American people how and why the individual known as "Mr. Gannon" was repeatedly cleared by your staff to join the legitimate White House press corps." Louise then joined with Rep. Conyers of the Judiciary Committee in asking the Special Prosecutor and Secret Service to investigate Gannon's access to classified documents. As she has said, "This is more than an issue of media manipulation by the White House... this is now an issue of national security." Rep. Slaughter will continue to lead the call for a meaningful investigation into the circumstances surrounding Jeff Gannon until the Administration and its agencies provides a clear justification for its actions.

Calling for an End to White House-Directed Media Manipulation

In March of 2004, the American people were shocked to learn that conservative radio and television host Armstrong Williams was paid $240,000 by the Bush Administration to speak favorably of the President's "No Child Left Behind" education plan during his widely syndicated programs. Louise is outraged that the Administration would abuse the nation's free press in the hope of selling a government policy to the country. As she has said, "The American people want accountability in the media and they want to be well informed on all sides of an issue so they can make the critical decisions that affect their lives and the future of this democracy with confidence." In February, Rep. Slaughter wrote to David D. Smith, Chief Executive of the Sinclair Broadcasting Group, and Jonathan Rodgers, Chief Executive of TV ONE, demanding the termination of broadcasts hosted by Mr. Williams. She emphasized her desire to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, which would prevent future dishonesty and government manipulation of the press by the Administration. And she has called for, "a full account of how...tax dollars were used by the White House to pay members of the press to advocate sympathetic positions on Administration proposals." Because of Louise's actions, the General Accounting Office is now investigating both the case of Mr. Williams and several other similar cases. Louise will stay on the offense until the truth regarding the recent and disturbing relationship between the White House and members of the American media is revealed in its entirety.


http://www.louise.house.gov


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