The Latest on the Gannon/Guckert Affair ... NY Times Weighs In

Frank Rich, the New York Times media critic who writes the lead piece in the Sunday Arts section has taken up the business of Gannon/Guckert and much of it rehashes what has already appeared in “Thin Line,” but his overall analysis makes it a good read, especially his dissecting of the White House pattern of directly, secretly funding propagandists in the mainstream media. The fact that “Jeff Gannon” has turned out to be a homophobic Republican homosexual practiced in the escort arts only naturally adds to the curious “cover” somebody high up in the White House gave to him. Here's the Rich piece: [link]

UPDATE: Eric Boehlert of Salon.com posts today's latest news on "Jeff Gannon's" secret life.

“Revelations that the bogus reporter worked as a gay escort are the latest twist in the affair that has the White House squirming—and Democrats demanding explanations.” [link]

In last week's "Thin Line" I mentioned Jeff Gannon's presumed reporting work at a Jan. 26 White House press conference where he borrowed a line from Rush Limbaugh and asked Dubya how he is going to deal with Democrats who divorce themselves from reality. It turns out Gannon is actually James "J.D." Guckert and he's such a freaking loser that he had to resign his job from Talon News—a GOP house organ pretending to be a real news agency—when the truth of his real identity was revealed. Guckert, while denying Gannon was a pseudonym, was barred from receiving a congressional press pass when he couldn't convince authorities he represented a real news agency, which should have barred him from attending White House press conferences as well. But the Bush administration gave him a front row seat anyway, and now it's alleged, according to the blog MediaCitizen, that other websites such as hotmilitarystud.com, militaryescorts.com, and militaryescortsm4m.com, were registered to the same owner as Gannon's home Web site, [link].

An article posted in Editor&Publisher has all the latest.

"Congresswoman Asks for Probe After 'Gannon' Quits WH Reporting Post"

By Joe Strupp

Published: February 09, 2005, (Updated, February 10)

[link]

UPDATE: From Salon: [link]

UPDATE: Here's another from today's DailyKos: [link]

UPDATE: And another detailed bit of reporting on Gannon-Guckert's background: [link]

Meanwhile here's an excerpt of a letter from Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) sent to the White House yesterday calling for an investigation into Gannon-Guckert's credentials.

Dear Mr. President:

In light of the mounting evidence that your Administration has, on several occasions, paid members of the media to advocate in favor of Administration policies, I feel compelled to ask you to address a matter brought to my attention by the Niagara Falls Reporter (article attached), a local newspaper in my district, regarding James "JD" Guckert (AKA Jeff Gannon) of Talon News.

According to several credible reports, "Mr. Gannon" has been repeatedly credentialed as a member of the White House press corps by your office and has been regularly called upon in White House press briefings by your Press Secretary Scott McClellan, despite the fact evidence shows that "Mr. Gannon" is a Republican political operative, uses a false name, has phony or questionable journalistic credentials, is known for plagiarizing much of the "news" he reports, and according to several web reports, may have ties to the promotion of the prostitution of military personnel [...]

And just this morning we have learned that "Mr. Gannon" has resigned his post at the, so called, Talon News amid growing concerns over his controversial background and falsified qualifications. In fact, it appears that "Mr. Gannon's" presence in the White House press corps was merely as a tool of propaganda for your Administration.