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February 23, 2005

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» We Have All The Advantages! Give Us Help! from Pandagon
Quick question for the good folks at JustOneMisrepresentation: does it occur to them after years of the media reporting on virtually any scandal the GOP trumps up, and years of the media ignoring almost any scandal the Democratic party pushes,... [Read More]

» http://vaconservative.com/archives/2005/02/24// from Commonwealth Conservative
From Tom Maguire: Hendrick Hertzberg of the New Yorker is typing with the auto-rebut feature enabled. Heh. Maguire is in fine form today. I haven't blogged much (okay, not at all) about this Jeff Gannon nonsense, but Maguire has been on top ... [Read More]

» GannonGate: The Final Solution from Villainous Company
Despite the efforts of various right-wing shills to portray the Scandal of the Century as "NothingGate", the half-vast editorial staff is leaving no stone unturned. We are determined to get to the bottom of this outrage. It must now be... [Read More]

Comments

BurbankErnie

Rumor has it (OK, I went on the DUmmy Site) that none other then Harry Reid is going to sign on to Durbin's letter for a full investigation into "GannonGate". An anonymous source from Reid's Office said he will sign on soon.
Heh.

Clay Ranck

I agree with your premise, but the Republicans did hold the majority in the Senate from 1994 to 2000, and have held the majority in the House continuously since 1994. So it wasn't really just Rush Limbaugh and congress critters in the minority. The Republicans did hold the majority in both houses of congress during most of the Clinton presidency.

Joe Mealyus

Speaking of "how soon they forget," Hertzberg makes a big deal of "the opposition party controll[ing] at least one house of Congress," but the old Special Prosecutor law, that's not even worth a mention. I guess the New Yorker's famous fact-checkers can't be expected to check for omitted facts.

Lesley

From E&P: Durbin declares in the letter. "How is it possible that a man using a fake name, with dubious journalism credentials, was able to clear the White House’s extensive security screening process and gain such close access to you and your staff for such an extended period of time? Have there been other, similar breaches of security and journalism standards? We appreciate your prompt attention to this important matter. We urge you to order a full inquiry so that the American people know the facts."

"Breaches of journalism standards"? And these Congressmen want a Special Prosecutor to investigate this? So, does there exist case law and/or Federal statutes and punishments for "breaching" these "journalism standards"?

TM

I agree with your premise, but the Republicans did hold the majority in the Senate from 1994 to 2000, and have held the majority in the House continuously since 1994.

I think we are all in agreement that TravelGate 1993 preceded Jan 1995, when the Reps took over. And I know Whitewater was bubbling in 1993, and that Vince Foster's death was the summer of '93.

Gerry

"I think we are all in agreement that TravelGate 1993 preceded Jan 1995, when the Reps took over."

I do know some folks who would argue with you over that. The time-space continuum means nothing to them.

Appalled Moderate

*sigh* I remember the good old days, when a scandal was a politician caught with a mistress, selling arms to our enemies to finance an guerilla war, politically motivated firings, the gathering of enemies lists, endorsing the racist presidential campaigns of the past

Now, it's just letting an ex-prostitute ask the President stupid questions.

How far we have fallen in our scandal mongering!

Myopist

"I do know some folks who would argue with you over that. The time-space continuum means nothing to them."

Please tell me that I may use this as a .sig file.

gm

"Breaches of journalism standards"? And....

Finding journalism standards, now there's an endeavor worth of a special prosecutor. How about looking for the Loch Ness Monster while you are at it?

BumperStickerist

At this point, the only thing worth doing is sitting back and waiting for the South Park episode.

Mike G

Right, can anyone find an actual, statutory crime here? The worst possible offense, it seems to me, is aggravated public relations fakery, which makes this roughly the criminal equivalent of Snapple launching a fake blog.

Larry Bernard

Oh jebus

look Democrats you want to get investigations to happen

Bill Frist ( who I am told is going to be running for president) needs to be able to show the gop voters he got the bush agenda through

how about you guys cut a deal?

Andy Freeman

> Now, it's just letting an ex-prostitute ask the President stupid questions.

Did he get to ask Bush questions, or did he just get to ask questions of the press secretary and various flacks?

Patrick R. Sullivan

I can hardly wait to see if Barney Frank ever used Guckert's services.

But, as Ann Coulter points out this morning, Larry King, Geraldo Rivera, Air America's Randi Rhodes, and Michael Savage are all using made-up names. As did George Orwell, Mark Twain, and TRB.

Gary Hartpence and John Kohn (Kerry) ran for President under other than their given names. And, William Jefferson Blythe actually got elected.

Brennan Stout

Here is the full paragraph from Durbin's letter that calls for an investigation.

As you know, concerns that government officials may be trying to deceive the public by manipulating the media can be extremely corrosive to public trust. For that reason, we respectfully request that you order an immediate and thorough investigation into the Gannon/Guckert matter. How is it possible that a man using a fake name, with dubious journalism credentials, was able to clear the White House’s extensive security screening process and gain such close access to you and your staff for such an extended period of time? Have there been other, similar breaches of security and journalism standards?

Does Durbin imply that the DoJ investigate this incident? He doesn't mention the DoJ. He just says "investigate". It's really silly if he is calling for an investigation of "journalism standards".

McGehee

Did he get to ask Bush questions...?

It was, in fact, a question to Bush that got him on the radar screen in the first place.

If Bush had never called on him, Gannon would probably still be lining up every day for his pass, and nobody on the Left would give a @#$! about it.

McGehee

Gary Hartpence and John Kohn (Kerry) ran for President under other than their given names. And, William Jefferson Blythe actually got elected.

And let's not forget our 38th President, Leslie Lynch King, Jr.

Bob Hawkins

Edward R. Murrow's real name was Egbert Roscoe Murrow.

I think there's a big journalism award named after him. Well, not after him, after his fake name.

John Blake

If Senator Reid distracts himself from such pressing legislative issues as War, Peace, Prosperity, mayhap Farm Subsidies, is that not all to the good? Like the entire final week of his colleague's recent campaign, why not become obsessed with trivia as a sop to avoiding larger questions? By all means, pursue the unfortunate Gannon-- as much a journalist as Ward Churchill is an academic. 'Twill spare the rest of us from any pretense of engaging the good Senator, on this doofus-burger quest or any other. When the Dems get serious, they can access the American polity through Andromeda. Tell us, Harry: What address links to that far URL?

Hipocrite

Travelgate "happened" in 1993, but the investigation took place in 1995 and 1996, when, guess who, Republicans controlled the House.

Hope that helps in your efforts to educate dummies!

Dave Schuler

I wouldn't be surprised at the establishment of a “shadow government” conducting hearings, etc. Under the circumstances they'd probably get more media coverage than the actual government.

Mike G

Actually, to Patrick Sullivan's point, it's a little known fact that no less than three of the people to occupy the White House lately-- if you stretch that to include influential first ladies-- experienced a major name and identity change in adolescence. (Of course, all first ladies so far have changed their names, but we're not talking about that conventional fact, but the much more unusual and psychologically interesting fact of getting a new identity in adolescence.) William Blythe became Bill Clinton; Nancy Davis Reagan was something else (I forget what) until her mother married Dr. Loyal Davis; and Leslie Lynch King Jr. became Gerald R. Ford Jr. One has to wonder if the horizons of ambition are raised (or blown into nothingness) when you realize, in adolescence, that you can become a whole new person thanks to a change in your single parent's status. (Which makes the groomed-from-birth Al Gore Jr. odd man out.) Everyone successful invents themselves to some degree but it is striking how many presidents and politicians reinvented themselves quite so fully-- not least among them, the current president or the chameleon who just ran against him.

Beto Ochoa

When this is all boiled down the residual facts will show that Mr. Gannon/Guckert is guilty of having an opinion different from the other harpies that fill the press room. That conclusion will never get the press given to the witch hunt presently. I hope we all remember the ridiculous flap over the "Plastic Turkey" that ran for weeks in 2003 and how, even after it was absolutely proven to be a lie, was never retracted. This is the best they can come up with? What I am intensely curious about is when will the press actually get the scandal they are so desperately searching for instead of these red herrings that Karl Rove is tossing from the speeding car. Judging from their current level of integrity it will be, no doubt, an invention.

Faith+1

Beto has hit the nail on the head. They are upset not because a fake reporter infilitrated close to the POTUS. They are upset that a conservative infiltrated their ranks. I mean, really, how in the world did they just [i]know[/i] he was a fake? Because he asked a right wing question. Everyone knows there isn't a right leaning reporter in the world therefore he [i]must[/i] be a fake, hence, like chickens with a crippled chick, they must peck the abomination to death.

balboa

So what you're saying is that it's OK for a "reporter" to get access to the president and the press room even though he's not a real reporter and he has ties to escort sites? So that's OK? So if it happened with a Democrat in the White House, all the Republicans would say "What's the fuss?"

Rrrrright...

dick mulliken

Forgive the fustian here, but it seems simple: the fellow had highly unusual access. There is at least the appearance of an attempt to manipulate the news.

richard

Forgive the fustian here, but it seems simple: the fellow had highly unusual access. There is at least the appearance of an attempt to manipulate the news.

So true. And the man given this unusual access also had an unusual night job -- a prostitute, strutting his stuff on Web advertisements for all to see. Oh, and he was using a fake name. But no, there's nothing to see here, nothing unusual.

The real scandal is the so-far successful effort of loudmouths like Maguire to whitewash the whole thing as a silly kerfuffle, as insignifcant and non-newsworthy as, say, a guy getting a blow job.

Joe Mealyus

Beto Ochoa: "When this is all boiled down the residual facts will show that Mr. Gannon/Guckert is guilty of having an opinion different from the other harpies that fill the press room."

But Hertzberg says:

"Softball is often the name of the game at White House press conferences, and it is not uncommon for a correspondent to serve up an intentional walk."

And so: "The unusually blatant sycophancy of the question naturally drew attention to the questioner...."

Guckert was just another grunt in the pro-Bush press army, but when he failed to properly hide his leanings, he had to go. It wasn't the sychophancy that was unusual, it was the blatantness of the sycophancy that was unusual.

Robert Crawford

Forgive the fustian here, but it seems simple: the fellow had highly unusual access.

"Highly unusual" in that the moonbat that runs the "Corporate Crime Report" gets exactly the same access. In other words, "not all that unusual at all".

Forbes

So Balboa's argument is: if the shoe were on the other foot, the republicans would be doing the same thing? Balboa, do you really want to stoop to the level of republicans? Say it ain't so! Democrats are so good at all that preening morality, you should at least fake it, even when it's absent.

C'mon, find a new argument, that was Clinton's defense-- you know, every one does it--and it wasn't very convincing back then, either.

And Mr. Mulliken says, "the fellow had highly unusual access." Well, the fellow was, perhaps, highly unusual, but then with standards as such set by the Helen Thomases of the world, well, let's just say, different strokes for different folks, and leave it at that.

And further, "There is at least the appearance of an attempt to manipulate the news." By the WH press corps? By a WH press corps that is by most measures 90% Democrat? That's not a bug, that's a feature! (All while Mr. Mealyus calls them a "pro-Bush press army." I guess there's no pleasing anyone, with this press corps.)

And Richard claims that Gannon "also had an unusual night job -- a prostitute, strutting his stuff on Web advertisements for all to see." Is that jealousy, or do you just need his phone number? (Because, well, in the facts department, your inventory is a little low. Said adverts apparently never appeared on the web as ads, they appeared as "evidence" of such peccadillos in a posting on the americablog web site--as provided by the designer of Gannon's "ads". One would have to go to a particular post on americablog, they weren't posted on the web for "all to see.")

And for all you lefties in full outrage mode, I say, get behind Senator Durbin and push hard...for an investigation into "breaches of security and journalistic standards" because that's the best idea the Democrats have offered up since convincing Jim Jeffords to become an "independent." (And that was good for a couple articles on page 1 of the Times.)

And you wonder why Democrats keep losing elections...

balboa

[quote]So Balboa's argument is: if the shoe were on the other foot, the republicans would be doing the same thing? Balboa, do you really want to stoop to the level of republicans? Say it ain't so! Democrats are so good at all that preening morality, you should at least fake it, even when it's absent.[/quote]

Quite the contrary. I'd think it would be JUST as shady if it were a Democrat. I just don't believe all the neo-cons who are saying "This is mucho ado about nothing" when they would have the Kenneth Starr lynch mob sent out to take down any Democratic-leaning reporter in the same situation. It's a little hypocritical, no? I'm not being hypocritical; I'm against it no matter what side of the political fence it occurs.

Beto Ochoa

Sadly for Mr. Guckert his foray into illicit sex was a fact but, it was something from his past. To assert that he was actively engaged in the "Escort" business at the time he was trying to re-invent his life as a "Journalist" is not in line with the facts. I believe his biggest mistake was changing to a vocation so closely aligned with having to whore yourself as a condition of pursuing said vocation.

Forbes

Sorry Balboa, in between having a little fun at your expense, and your telling of neo-con intentions (or not), I missed your argument regarding what was shady, and what you're against.

A daily press pass holder who has a shady background?

Beyond a criminal record, or a confidential background search, how would this shady background be uncovered? Via a public "outing" on a web site for every WH press pass applicant?

Last I checked, the press was very concerned about privacy and confidentiality and would be barking out loud should a special prosecutor be turned in their direction--as they are doing in the Fitzgerald investigation.

Compared to what Ken Starr turned up--in terms of salaciousness--the material posted on americablog appears to have well topped that report. So whether the shoe was on the other foot, or not, it's pretty clear that a Ken Starr-type investigation, at this point is pretty redundant--unless you're interested in breaches of journalistic standards.

And really, what could be a more important part of the Democrats agenda, than that? ;)

Or what you're against are these investigations?

Beto Ochoa

YES YES!! Investigate them all! Please to do it after I die so I won't be up nights listening to the howling.
But what would actually change since Karl Rove took away our rights when he had "Curious George" sign the patriot act. Now I have to check out my Ward Chuchill books from the underground library.

TM

Travelgate "happened" in 1993, but the investigation took place in 1995 and 1996, when, guess who, Republicans controlled the House.

Hope that helps in your efforts to educate dummies!

How soon they forget. The TravelGate firings were in 1993; the initial hue and cry involved questions of whether Hillary was involved, and whether her involvement was being concealed.

The rabid WSJ editor began a famous series with "Who Is Vince Foster?", who then killed himself in July 1993, at which point, the scandal really took off.

And yes, (IIRC) eventually it was kicked over to the Special Prosecutor and taken up by Ken Starr. But I think it is fair to say that the events of 1993 counted as a scandal.

PBS covers some of 1993.

CNN on the Starr referral; Starr was appointed in 1994, prior to the Rep takeover (as Joe Mealyus noted earlier, that Special Prosecutor law was a bear.

Frank

AppalledModerate makes an interesting point.

*sigh* I remember the good old days, when a scandal was a politician caught with a mistress, selling arms to our enemies to finance an guerilla war, politically motivated firings, the gathering of enemies lists, endorsing the racist presidential campaigns of the past

Now, it's just letting an ex-prostitute ask the President stupid questions.

The thing is we tried to make scandals out of the facts that the administration was torturing people and lying us into wars. No one cared.

The hope that drives PropaGannon is that if we can prove Bush likes to take it up the tailpipe some people might get interested.

Not that liberals have anything against that you understand, but we aren't trying to communicate to liberals.

TM

So if it happened with a Democrat in the White House, all the Republicans would say "What's the fuss?"

Rrrrright...

So let's see - if a Dem were in the White House, and a reporter asked a blatantly anti-Republican question (boy, this is straining my imagination), and we then learned the reporter was gay and a possible/probable escort, Reps would howl?

That would be ruled an assisted suicide - invasion of privacy, homophobia, curtailment of a free press, intolerance, and general inability to Get Along With Others.

The non-suicidal (and more likely) response would be for Reps to say, gee, a liberal, gay reporter - what a surprise.

As to this, from Richard:

The real scandal is the so-far successful effort of loudmouths like Maguire to whitewash the whole thing as a silly kerfuffle...

My Mind Control Rays have already bent David Corn and Rick Hertzberg to my Evil Will. Resistance is Futile... Ordinarily.

However, I am making available to my readers, for a limited time only, autographed NY Yankee baseball caps with a tinfoil lining *hand-rolled* by the expert staff of JustOneMinute!

This extraordinary value could be yours...

space

For the terminally stupid, here are the questions: Why did the White House give access to a gay hooker? Did said gay hooker have inappropriate access to classified information, including info regaring Valerie Plame and the launch of the ("Shock and Awe") Iraq war?

For the self-delusional, this is not about a "journalist" throwing a life-line to McClellan or Bush. Guckert is not a journalist. He had ZERO credentials, not even as a "volunteer" for GOPUSA, when he first got access to the White House. Even if he could be taken serious as a journalist for a second, his blatant plagiarism is more than enough to disgrace him. The only reason his rampant plagiarism isn't more of a story is that *nobody takes him seriously as a journalist*.

Got it? "Gay hooker in the White House. Why?" There's your scandal.

Cecil Turner

"Did said gay hooker have inappropriate access to classified information, including info regaring Valerie Plame and the launch of the ("Shock and Awe") Iraq war?"

Umm, no.

"Got it? "Gay hooker in the White House. Why?" There's your scandal."

As opposed to the highly qualified professionals like Jayson Blair, Jack Kelley, Stephen Glass, Dan Rather . . . and Helen Thomas? Sorry, this doesn't come close to passing the "so what?" test.

late hit:
"The thing is we tried to make scandals out of the facts that the administration was torturing people and lying us into wars. No one cared."

They might've, if you'd made a better case.

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