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February 17, 2005

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Comments

RedDan

Once the snark is sifted from the juicy bits, your ongoing series of posts on the Gannon/Guckert/WHPressCorps/Plame thingy is very useful.

I, for one (a regular Kossack, btw), find it quite useful to separate this thing into several basic strands:

1. Who the hell is this guy, and why was he granted daily access for more than (nearly? whatever) two full years, including back before there even was a Talon News service...how was he given access, by whom, and what's the vetting procedure? Oh, and I noted you (or someone you linked to) made references to Russell Mokhiber of CommonDreams...that is a bit of an error on your part - Mokhiber is actually working with CorporateCrimeFighter and CorporatePredators alongside Weissman, both of them DO in fact make their living as investigative journalists for subscription news publications that were in existence before their websites existed...

2. Was the daily access given via day passes or "hard passes" this question really hasn't been answered yet, although, as you point out, it's beginning to be.

3. Why can Gannon/Guckert, a tax cheat with clear links to criminal activity, get daily access to the White House, and I (a leftist Kossack), or other folks cannot? There is a bit of a stench around that, to be sure.

4. Finally the Plame business: As far as I can tell, the WSJ article and Gannon's interview with Wilson come to light at almost the same time. Gannon has claimed in several different places that he had access to the memo. Gannon was subpoenaed. It is, in fact, still a fair question to ask. You may certainly be correct - that this guy was and is a self-aggrandizing loon who made shit up...but then again, there are lots of weird-ass aspects to this story, and those questions bear answering.

As for the snark - well, whatever. When entire swaths of the US population who opposed the war in Iraq and oppose this president's agenda are dismissed by many commentators and bloggers on the Right because there happened to be a large rally co-organized by several groups, one of which included ANSWER, therefore all who protested are members of the international workers of the world communist stalinist conspiracy fifth column of traitors, or whatever...

Well, that's playing a rather extreme game of guilt by association with no backing evidence or rational/logical basis.

In the Gannon Affair, there is rather more, and rather closer connections between the players.

Could it all be coincidental?

Sure.

Is it fun and entertaining to check it out?

Sure.

Is it amusing watching Mike Krempasky spend literally hours reading and commenting on Daily Kos in defense of his little circle-jerk in the "Conservative Movement"

Priceless!

BurbankErnie

Hey RedDan, how about the "serious" discussions amongst the left that Gannon was banging everyone from Ari Fleischer to Mehlmen to Bush to...


Next thing you know you guys will be saying we stole the Election, or War for Oil, or my favorite, BushMcHitler.


Thank goodness we have TM to wade in the scum of extreme left blogs to report back here so thousands (Millions? Hundreds of Millions?) of his dedicated readers don't have to sully themselves. What is priceless RedDan is the Left's zeal over Gannon. Google was not the engine that exposed the porn sites, it was the web designer contacting americanblog and giving him invoices of work done for Gannon. He's gay and makes money at it, why that keeps him out of the WH is beyond me. I have seen many of the briefings on TV and see many empty seats, the dude got a day pass, and asked sympathetic questions. Yeah, that is damning. Throw out the Plame angle and you have.....
Dana Milbank, trying to spin it with innuendo so a Moonbat Senator will report it as "news" so Millbank can report it.... Uh oh, TM already said that and you have no story and I am tired of this crap.


RedDan

Ummm...Ernie?

Yeah, anyway, so anything that anyone posts on an open website's diary consititutes that sites "serious" discussion?

You seem to have "serious" trouble disttinguishing between hyperbole, ranting, venting, and hard core discussion of a pretty "interesting" issue.

And there is a difference.

What exposed the websites was not google, nor was it the developer. It was "whois" that led to the original find (Bedrock Inc, Gannon, M4M, and etc). Gannon then claimed that those sites never went public and were never active...he also claimed that he developed them for someone else. Through some digging, that was found to be false.

As for "stole the election" - if you were paying attention, you would have seen that that discussion caused a lot of serious fights, with the proponents of "stole the election" getting a pretty serious smackdown by a large number of posters, by the proprietor, and by a contingent of the longest-running, most prolific, and most rigorous posters on the site.

And, as for scum, well, whatever. I have been polite, and would prefer not to be called scum because I have different opinions on politics and on this story than you do.

And if you think Kos is "far left" then you have a lot of learning to do.

dsquared

know, hard passes for the hard cases

Because it is Friday and I am in generous mood, I make this free offer; change that to "hard passes for the hard asses", delete this comment and everyone will think you made the joke first time round.

TM

everyone will think you made the joke first time round.

I steal material, liberaly, we might say, and if I stole that, I certainly apologize. I'll bet that if I go back through an old comments thread, I'll see that you used it, and later I took it. And actually, your version rhymes - OK, I wish I had stolen it better.

But at the moment, I am pleading unconscious influence, or whatever it is musicians argue when they get hit with this.

Once the snark is sifted from the juicy bits... the fun is gone.

Red Dan, the snark is there to make sure the Kos spies don't get too close to my Top Secrets. Or at least, to assure they leave with a headache.

I noted you (or someone you linked to) made references to Russell Mokhiber of CommonDreams...

I think I saw that too, by someone else in an earlier comment thread; the WaPo (Froomkin) also ran a story on colorful characters in the press room.

Could it all be coincidental?

Sure.

Is it fun and entertaining to check it out?

Sure.

I don't think it all "coincidental". I think that an underdeveloped alternative hypothesis is that (a) Fox News makes money; (b) Rush Limbaugh makes money, so (c) some Texas enterpeneur (Eberle) figured a righty "news service" could make money. Ad supported, web based - was that a crazy business idea? And if he is from Texas, of course he will encourage folks to think he is tight with Bush - access is power.

And the WH plays along, figuring, so what. (Apparently, Ari Flesicher froze Gannon out for a week, worrying that he really was a party hack, until Eberle perusaded him otherwise. Or anyway, someone persuaded Ari otherwise.)

My basic problem - if the WH really wanted to plant a friendly reporter, there are much more credible ways to do it. Call Fox, or the Journal, and tell them to keep some damn stringer in the room.

Or, as Froomkin notes, there are any number of colorful characters that can be relied upon to break the flow of a press conference and turn it into a circus, if that is McClellan's objective. So what was the real value added to the WH of Gannon? Not much.

Well, that is my theory. Bash On!

Cecil Turner

"Finally the Plame business: As far as I can tell, the WSJ article and Gannon's interview with Wilson come to light at almost the same time. Gannon has claimed in several different places that he had access to the memo. Gannon was subpoenaed. It is, in fact, still a fair question to ask."

When he talked about it to Wilson, he quoted the WSJ practically verbatim. He later called it a "confidential CIA memo," when it's fairly obvious we're talking about the INR memo referenced in the WaPo article. Both of those suggest he never saw the INR memo, and didn't even know enough about it to describe it properly.

Ranger

"1. Who the hell is this guy, and why was he granted daily access for more than (nearly? whatever) two full years, including back before there even was a Talon News service...how was he given access, by whom, and what's the vetting procedure?...

3. Why can Gannon/Guckert, a tax cheat with clear links to criminal activity, get daily access to the White House, and I (a leftist Kossack), or other folks cannot? There is a bit of a stench around that, to be sure."

RedDan

Well, that's really two questions asking the same thing. I don't know the anwers to your questions, but I can see all of it happening it a relativly inoccuious way. I take it that:

1. You have tried to gain access to the WH press room as a freelance journalist and been denied because of you political leanings? If not, how do you know that you couldn't get in?

But to ensure that this kind of thing never happens again:

2. Based on your outrage you would clearly like to see full IRS audits of all people requesting to be admitted to any federal government institution as a member of the press.

3. Based on your outrage I am sure that you would like to see anyone who has engaged in any illegal activity (even if never charged, let alone convicted) bared for life from federal government access as a reporter. I wonder how many in the WH press room ever used an illicit chemical in the past?

I have a feeling that if the administration started the kind of housecleaning you seem to be advocating in the press room to insure that only morally righteous corporately sponsored individuals were granted access there would be total outrage from the left.

BurbankErnie

Too funny. If RedDan is claiming that the Blogs mentioned (Kos, Atrios, et al.) are not serious discussions, then who the hell is seriously discussing the Gannon story? And yes RedDan, Kos is a moonbat site, and yes RedDan, the scum is layered there, and with this I agree, there is no discussion going on there, just "preaching to the choir". And RedDan, the sites Gannon lied about were found through a "whois", I was talking about the CONTENT of the sites, which were given to Americablog, not found on Google, but EXPOSED by a Company which DESIGNED the layout. If you read the articles there, it is explained that they were not "discovered" but handed to by the Owner of said Web Design Company.. RedDan please have FACTS when discussing here, you can "nuance" over at Kos' site.

Les Nessman

offtopic-
You mention Form 180. Didn't Kerry promise(yet AGAIN)to sign it and release his records a few weeks ago?
Has he?

ontopic-
Is this the best the Kossites/Lefties can do?

Pat Curley

Americablog has a new scoop today. Seems Gannon knew of the invasion of Iraq four hours before it happened! He found this out from a TV news producer (Mapes?).

Even Wonkette was unimpressed by this effort to keep flogging the story, noting that her mother also knew of the invasion of Iraq, like 18 months before it happened.

ed

Hmmmm.

I think I'm going to ask the White House what the requirements are. It would be a hoot if I could get in.

Hmmm.

Then again these lefty (b)floggers might set their sights on me. Then my terrible past as a $1000 a night male hooker, beautiful women only please for anyone so inclined, might come out. Pictures of my flinty hard abdominals would grace the NYT. And people would be comparing my handsome visage with Brad Pitt and wondering if we were one and the same.

....

Ok. It COULD happen! Right? Hey! Come back here! I'm not done yet!

lol.

Cecil Turner

Ed,

You start posting pictures of you in your underwear and I . . . am . . . ouutta here!

Ripclawe

"Americablog has a new scoop today. Seems Gannon knew of the invasion of Iraq four hours before it happened!"

The guy updated saying many people knew about it, so that big scoop fell apart quickly.

HH

Is Americablog going for a blog record for corrections per week?

benrand

I can't believe that a reporter of a huge news organ would go on a TV show and spread lies and innuendo, that is just so unlike someone like Danny Milbank or Howard Fineman or Ellis Henican or that wierd hag fromt he NYT or that guy who has the Reliable Sources show or that reporter fromt he NYT, any one of them who appears on CNN or that odd woman who goes on Brit Hume's show allt the time...none of them ever expresses the thought that "Bush Lied" or that Bush needs to answer for the lies about WMD...nope.

What we really should consider with Kerry's 180 180 is his admittance of assisting the Khmer Rouge with the CIA's help, that wasn't very nuanced of John to admit this on TIm Russert's show, a guy who never goes on the air spreading innuendo.

dudeguy

Can you imagine being known as "the longest-running, most prolific, and most rigorous posters" on Kos? LOLOLOLOL. Jeez Leweez. He should put that on his business card.

TM

I'm not sure how we got on the Kerry 180 question, but Mickey Kaus is now talking that up as the antidote to the Dem Kerry problem.

Timmy the Wonder  Dog

Is this the same RedDan, who use to have some heft to his comments?

Joe Mealyus

I hope that "found poetry" finding isn't considered a form of trolling, but this is a beaut:

Why can Gannon/Guckert,
a tax cheat with clear links to criminal activity,
get daily access
to the White House,
and I
(a leftist Kossack),
or other folks
cannot?

ed

Hmmm.

"You start posting pictures of you in your underwear and I . . . am . . . ouutta here!"

Underwear?

What's that?

:)

HH

From tonight's interview:

COOPER: So there was an article in which you interviewed Ambassador Joe Wilson, and you implied that you had seen a CIA classified document in which Valerie Plame...

GANNON: I didn't do that at all. I didn't do that at all. If you read the question, and I provided -- my article was actually a transcript of my conversation with Ambassador Wilson -- I made reference to a memo. And this...

COOPER: How did you know about that memo?

GANNON: Well, this memo was referred to in a "Wall Street Journal" article a week earlier.

COOPER: So that wasn't based on any information that you had been given by the White House?

GANNON: I was given no special information by the White House or by anybody else, for that matter.

RedDan

Hi Timmy,

Yup. same guy.

Regarding heft - given the hefty nature of this discussion (or not), I think my comments are well within reasonable bounds. We're not talking geopolitics, science, or philosophy, we're talking about a fight between online political observers over whether or not a two-bit hack with a pretty shady profile should have been vetted, and if he wasn't why and if he wasn't why can't I get into the WH, and if he was, who was covering for him.

Not very hefty stuff.

All the incestuous interconnections within the VRWC are fun to chase down, though.

One poster asked about whether or not WH press corps participants should have their backgrounds checked...and I think, based on what I have read, that it is fairly common for people spending a lot of time at the WH, potentially in close proximity to the president, to have their backgrounds checked fairly rigorously, no?

BumperStickerist

RedDan -

That 'why did Guckert get a pass and I didn't' would resonate if there were

I'm guessing you didn't try to get a White House Daily Press pass, yet are luxuriating in the hypothetical unfairness of it all.

There's also the ex post facto sense of gravitas the Left is imputing to a White House Press briefing and conference.

Here's a link which characterizes the Press Briefings and their perceived worth to Big Media people that actually attend the function.
http://www.washingtonian.com/inwashington/buzz/briefings.html

I had hoped to get a sense of "But for the hacks and partisan reporters from small time outfits getting in our way, we Real Reporters could extract information from McClellan"

Sadly, there's no whiff of that in Compton's account.

But, please, knock of the petulant "why'd heeeeeeeee get a White House pass?" unless you can post some proof that you (or SusanG or John @ Americablog for that matter)were denied.

capt joe

So RedDan, then you don't really know what the checks are?

If there are the sort of checks that would look at someone's sexual history, use of chemicals, etc., would you be ok with that?

just asking.

I think it would be great if SusanG tried to get a pass and reported on the ease or difficulty thereof.

Or, Tom, why don't you try it? If you get one then that would make a great post.

Although it might be more difficult with the current situation.

Cecil Turner

RDan
"Regarding heft - given the hefty nature of this discussion (or not), I think my comments are well within reasonable bounds. "

I agree, especially as it's a dissenting viewpoint (something we could use more of). But I disagree with your assessment, particularly:

"We're not talking geopolitics, science, or philosophy, we're talking about a fight between online political observers over whether or not a two-bit hack with a pretty shady profile should have been vetted, and if he wasn't why and if he wasn't why can't I get into the WH, and if he was, who was covering for him."

The original allegation was about him being an Administration plant, based on shaky evidence. It progressed to a full-scale witch hunt, complete with digging through his sexual history. Now that the original rationale behind the character assassination has proved impossible to substantiate, we're left with the claims that the dug-up dirt made him unqualified to be around the President, and lots of sexual innuendo (e.g., "incestuous interconnections"). And, of course, the shambles of a man's career and reputation (whose cardinal sin was holding differing political beliefs).

The cyber-sleuths at DKos can claim a coup in correctly concluding that Gannon was a pseudonym (on the fairly sketchy evidence of his sudden appearance on the journo scene), though the explanation for the pen-name appears to've been a bit more more mundane than "Administration plant." I don't see anything else praiseworthy in the mess, and continuing harassment even less so. In fact, though it's difficult to see what good it would do, an apology might be appropriate.

Ed
"Underwear?

What's that?"

Normally I'd say any nasty mental image I might conjure up is entirely my own fault. But I think you bear some of the responsibility for this one, and . . . damn!.

shark

Hey Red dan- stop whining about "guilt by association"

If I knew a rally I at was run by and organized by Stalinists and other avowed enemies of America, I'd leave, regardless of my agreement with them on that particular issue.

You and "large swaths" of lefties choose to stay.

So you're damn well guilty.
Or you're useful idiots for our enemies.

I leave it to you to choose which you are.

mikem

Wasn't it a nice breathe of fresh air to post at an open comment board, RedDan?. Rather stuffy over there at the multilevel censored Kos Kollective, eh?

TM

C'mon, RedDan is doing fine. And I think there is some sincerely held paranoia on the left, so we ought to encourage those few souls brave enough to go out and face the wider world.

On this particular Guckert issue, I have high hopes that I will be able to dig up an old Dan Drezner post in which Dr. D chided Josh Marshall for recycling a DNC press release on outsourcing. (I am relying on my memory at the moment - trust but verify).

In which case, my point will be, Guckert is not the only self-styled journalist who recycles the party line and is an outlet for one side's attacks.

RedDan

Bumper Stickerist- "But for the hacks and partisan reporters from small time outfits getting in our way, we Real Reporters could extract information from McClellan"

Don't you agree with that? I do. If it were not for hacks like Hume, Rather, Koppel, and the host of smarmy bulshit artists supposedly on both sides of the aisle, but really all about continued access and maintenance of their connections to the seat of power...

Don't you think it would be refreshing to have some serious, hard-nosed questions asked of the jokers who supposedly run our government, regardless of their party affiliation? Don't you think it weird that Presidents and Campaigning Hopefuls for any office regularly vet and otherwise screen their audiences for opposing viewpoints to exclude?

I do.

Capt Joe - check it out. Augusta Free Press got one, and they said it was an onerous and exhaustive process...and Gannon was getting them daily for nearly 2 years? Hmmm.

Cecil, given that this administration has made a nasty habit of paying reporters to spout their line (granted, this administration is hardly unique, but such practices should be expunged from our Democracy, thanks.), given that Gannon was particularly egregious in doing just that, including wholesale smears of the entire Democratic Party at a press conference, wholesale "faxing" of Bush Administration talking points couched as "news" - I do not think that the suspicion of Gannon as a plant was unwarranted...not at all. And since the dirt was uncovered as a consequence of digging into his name and his news service, and since the Secret Service and the FBI apparently DO go through pretty rigorous checks for both Day and Hard passes, and since the MSM appears to be digging pretty hard on Gannon's connections as we speak...well...let's see where it goes before we write this all off and start demanding apologies and beating our breasts in shame.

Shark - and I would damned well be ashamed to support politicians and parties that knowingly supplied fundamentalist terrorists with advanced weaponry, billions of dollars, and training; not to mention people (Rumsfeld, Cheney, etc) who gave Saddam chem-bio weapons precursors, delivery systems, and crucial satellite intelligence during the war with Iran, including dealings that occurred about a couple of weeks after the Anfal gruesomeness, at which point Iraq was removed from the State Sponsor of Terror list by St. Ron. If you want to play that kind of moral equivalence in black and white, we can play all day long. Boooooring.

Mikem, Considering the fact that I have had massive, vocal, foul-tempered, foul-worded, knock-down-drag-outs with front pagers at kos, and have never been banned...while relatively mild-mannered disagreement with some acid-tongued rhetoric thrown in for spice got me banned from both RedState and Tacitus....no, I don't agree. Here is better than Tacitus or RedState, but about as easy and open as Kos, imo.

TM

Links worth saving:

Jeff Goldstein has a good post with lots of good links.

This story chats with several reporters, and is good.

Hindrocket has a dismal whine/content ratio. An excerpt:

3) He had something–God knows what–to do with the Valerie Plame story. Again, no one has ventured a coherent explanation of this theory, let alone bothered to hint at what the evidence for it might be. Given that Ms. Plame was last seen posing for Vanity Fair in a “spy” outfit, I don’t think we’re on the trail of an espionage breakthrough here. And wasn’t it supposed to be Karl Rove who tipped off Bob Novak?

THAT is a rebuttal or explanation?

Cecil Turner

RDan
"I do not think that the suspicion of Gannon as a plant was unwarranted...not at all."

Suspicion is fine. But how about digging up some actual evidence of that? And again, the initial logic train was extrapolating from "special access" about Plamegate, something that now appears to be completely groundless speculation.

"let's see where it goes before we write this all off and start demanding apologies and beating our breasts in shame."

I'm having a hard time seeing what you could find out that would make his personal sexual habits pertinent, or justify airing them in public. At the very least, it'd be nice to see the Deputy Dawgs admit that maybe they should have waited until they had some actual evidence of malfeasance before posting the juicy bits.

TM
"Hindrocket has a dismal whine/content ratio. . . .THAT is a rebuttal or explanation?"

Man, I can't remember agreeing with you less on an issue. Hindrocket correctly points out the Kossites have little to no evidence on the substantive issues, and used them as an excuse to air Guckert's dirty laundry. The burden of proof is clearly on those claiming Guckert was a plant, and just as clearly, they failed to meet it. (And now, apparently, claim it's okay, as long as the issue is still in doubt. Considering the impossibility of proving a negative, how does the victim's private life ever get off-limits again?) I notice the lawyers honed in on the point immediately (not surprising: one of the main reasons We have rules of evidence is to keep this sleazy tactic out of court). Guckert summed it up nicely:

“I’ve made mistakes in my past,” he said yesterday. “Does my past mean I can’t have a future?

BumperStickerist

RDan -

I think, like the press corps thinks, that the real reporting takes place outside the press briefing room.

Secondly, your impression of the August Free Press cite is entirely your own. I do not see, and they don't say, how 'onerous' it is to make a couple of phone calls over two weeks.

Also, they don't give any specifics about the calls, when the calls were made (you could check the date the Augusta Free Press launced, it's recent). I thought journalism had 'who, what, when, why, where, and (w)how" as their pillars. This one just has 'we' and a mild whining cast to it.

richard mcenroe

And in the end we are left with the one unanswered question —

Who NEEDS this guy for a plant?

Does anyone REALLY doubt, that in a roomful of "real" reporters ("real" being defined as "gets paid to do it" and "unemployable in any other trade"), every single one of them, man, woman and Helen Thomas, would gladly sell their daughters to a UN sex slave ring for the chance to ask that question, if they were promised a fifteen minute sit down with the President in exchange?

What PURPOSE was served by Guckert/Gannon?

Lesley

The Law of Unintended Consequences (or, things have an odd way of coming back and biting you in the ass -I think Tom presciently commented, months ago, on the "be careful what you wish for" aspects of this):

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS for the District of Columbia Circuit, argued December 8, 2004, decided February 15, 2005, No. 04-3138, In Re: Grand Jury Subpoena, Judith Miller.

and (perhaps a la Guckert/Gannon):

Extensive FBI background check (including mandatory colonoscopy) for anyone wanting any kind of White House Press Pass. The WH Press Corps can't be happy about the direction this story has taken.

and (after slogging through - I feel like I need to take a bath in Clorox - comments on Kos, Artrios & Americablog websites and watching dissenting individuals having their names, addresses and phone numbers revealed online by those who didn't like their point of view):

Courtesy of the Information Age: Right to Privacy? Ha. Hit a certain radar screen and you'll have your fifteen minutes of fame, guaranteed. The unwitting Left seems to have ushered in a new Victorian Age. Whoda thunk it?

TM

OK, good link to the Augusta Too Much Free Time Press. The onerous process for getting a day pass seemed to be this:

Several phone calls placed over the course of a two-week period were needed to get us inside.

And that was for a one-shot deal.

To which one might wonder, how scalable is this? Would a second day pass also takes two weeks of phone calls, or does it get easier, if certain hurdles only need to be cleared once (or only periodically, if they check your employment status, for example)?

I'm scoring that as unconvincing.

TM

From Mr. Turner:

The burden of proof is clearly on those claiming Guckert was a plant, and just as clearly, they failed to meet it. (And now, apparently, claim it's okay, as long as the issue is still in doubt. Considering the impossibility of proving a negative, how does the victim's private life ever get off-limits again?)

Conceptually, I am in complete agreement - clearly, the left wants to play the "questions have been raised" game, and demand that Bush apologists bear the (virtually impossible) burden of proving that Gannon has no WH connection.

However, I don't think it is enough to simply object and insist that the burden of proof is on the left; to this knifefight, we can also bring Occam's Razor.

Since there is a simple, non-conspiratorial explanation for all the mian points, we ought to be making them.

SO, instead of making the factually-challenged statement that ...no one has ventured a coherent explanation of this theory [about a Valerie Plame connection], let alone bothered to hint at what the evidence for it might be., Hindrocket should present the alternative explanation - Gannon read it in the Journal.

As to "how did he clear security and get into a Presidential press conference", we have a good explanation for that, too.

Of course, we can't prove anything either (and should not have to), but in the court of public opinion, giving folks an explanation is helpful. Especially when we actually have one!

RedDan

TM - I agree up to a point.

"Gannon" did claim to have access at one point, he did use that material in interviews and in reportage, and he was subpoenaed...the question is was he self-promoting and lying about his access and did he read it in the WSJ, as you posit...or did he really have access to insider tips, memos and etc as he claimed at the time and as has been intimated by several sources (sources other than solely dKos or AmericaBlog, btw).

As for the Augusta Free Press article - good questions about scalability. I think it is probably safe to say that the process for getting a single day pass is fairly comprehensive, as they state, but they do not answer whether or not it is easier to get the subsequent passes (which you imply might be the case). I think we should ask Russ Mokhiber. Clearly it is much more difficult to get a hard pass...and I am still not sure which one "Gannon" had.

Cecil Turner

"Of course, we can't prove anything either (and should not have to), but in the court of public opinion, giving folks an explanation is helpful. Especially when we actually have one!"

You have an answer for one part of the allegation--the Plame INR memo--but the larger question of "access" is unprovable (at least from the negative side). And, of course, the Kossites are free to invent new hypothetical linkages. It's a losing game, which Hindrocket wisely chose not to play.

""Gannon" did claim to have access at one point, he did use that material in interviews and in reportage, and he was subpoenaed...the question is was he self-promoting and lying about his access and did he read it in the WSJ, as you posit...or did he really have access to insider tips, memos and etc . . ."

My point exactly. A perfect smackdown, complete with showing Guckert's quotes from the WSJ, and mischaracterizing the memo as "CIA" was insufficient to dispel the "access" fairy tale. So hey, you must be part of it . . . and perhaps I can find some photos of you streaking in college.

How about this one:
Isn't it suspicious that Gannon's "softball" questions annoyed the WH press pool, but Kos was the only guy to pick up on it? Did somebody tip him off, possibly using the investigative reporting assets of a major news operation to dig into personal backgrounds until they found some dirt? Is that legal? Did they coordinate through the DNC, possibly calling up that guy who had the web pictures? Maybe we ought to investigate . . . subpoena Milbank's phone records for a start. And if we can find some sleazy info or dirty pictures from any WH news reporter, Kos commenter, Reps Slaughter or Conyers, or any Democrat, we should post them . . . because of the hypocrisy. And keep the operation going until someone proves there's no linkage. (Heh, heh. McCarthy? Amateur!)

That little scenario makes at least as much sense as Karl Rove picking an ex-gay male escort as the logical choice for disseminating his party propaganda. (And if you'll excuse me, I feel the need for a long Clorox soak.)

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