Monday, February 21, 2005

Why the Guckert/Gannon scandal actually is a scandal

They say that curiosity killed the cat. I'm not sure to which cat "they" are referring specifically, but I know it sure killed the kitten that climbed into the engine of my parents' car when I was 9 or 10 years old.

Curiosity has more recently killed the pseudonym and promising career of a Republican operative who was paid to pretend to be a journalist. Obviously I refer to the nearly unprecedented discrediting of James Guckert/Jeff Gannon at the fingers of a few very curious bloggers.

The short version of the story (and I'm sure you've already heard it) goes a little like this: Somebody noticed that there was this White House reporter named Jeff Gannon who worked for what appeared, at first fleeting glance at least, to be a news organization, and this somebody decided to look into both the reporter and the organization.

The organization, Talon News, turns out to be registered to a company called Endeavor Media Group, LLC, which also own Ahhh, the plot thickens. There is a complex web of connections involving wealthy Texan Bush buddies that would take too much time to explain here. Suffice it to say that Talon News might as well be a PR firm hired by the Bush administration.

As for Guckert/Gannon, it gets even more sordid and complicated. There are some aspects of this tale that are tangential in nature and are only relevant in that they highlight the hypocrisy of many right-wing opinion makers and movers and shakers, such as Guckert/Gannon's homosexuality, which technically was not closeted since he was literally prostituting himself out to DC area men. However, he apparently never thought that anyone would connect the male prostitute to the White House correspondent who were actually one in the same.

As I've said, other than to expose the questionable integrity of those who espouse viewpoints which are bigoted against the very things that they themselves practice, his homosexuality, and even his felonies (prostitution of course) are tangential to the real problem.

As this story has breaking, the only right-wing reaction has been an indifferent shrug and disingenuous requests to explain to them what the big deal is.

Here, in plain English, are what to me is the big deal:

  1. Talon News was not a legitimate news service
  2. Guckert/Gannon was not a journalist
  3. Guckert/Gannon received passes to enter and cover press briefings at the White House while

    1. Talon News was less than 1 week old
    2. Guckert/Gannon himself had absolutely no journalism experience, except for a few poorly written "articles" published on the now-defunct

  4. Talon News is owned and operated by Texans associated with George Bush

For a brand new journalist working for a brand new, fake news site to receive passes to cover what it takes other journalists years and years of hard work and dedication to cover doesn't just smell funny; it wreaks.

There is enough evidence to logically suggest, although not yet to prove, that Guckert/Gannon was planted in the White House, by the Bush administration, to take some of the heat off of itself. If not planted there by the White House itself, then at least by its close associates, and THIS is not in dispute.

So what is the big deal? The big deal is that for a democracy to remain somewhat uncorrupted, the people must be accurately informed about what their government is doing. Installing a propaganda machine at the highest levels and trying to pass off its sycophantic output as independent reporting is to rape our democracy. To lie to the American people is to undermine what makes this country great: the fact that we are supposed to have the ability to choose the representatives via a fair, objective process.

The American political process relies on the truth being widely disseminated to the people of America. How are we as Americans to make informed choices if we are being lied to on a daily basis by those who pretend to be looking out for us and telling us the unbiased truth?

To be lied to by the government via a complicit media, even about things completely unrelated to sex, is to enslave us and rob us of our right to participate freely and effectively in our beloved democracy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you find it interesting that Bush is proving to be right. The Mideast is looking to vote for their future. If it all works out that the Arabs want democracy then Bush is right, we will be safer than adding a bunch of thugs on the border. Do you dare to agree?

12:44 AM  
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