gannon speaks

One of our friendly neighborhood trolls has been demanding that I provide the so-called “softball” questions that were posed by fake reporter Jeff Gannon during White House news conferences. My guess is, now that I’ve posted them, that he’ll come back claiming, ridiculously, that they’re all legitimate, hard-hitting questions, but, in the spirit of good sportsmanship, I’ve decided to play along and offer them up… The following questions come by way of the Washington Post , from a transcript of Keith Olberman’s MSNBC show:

May 10, 2004:

Gannon: “In your denunciations of the Abu Ghraib photos, you’ve used words like ‘sickening,’ ‘disgusting’ and ‘reprehensible.’ Will you have any adjectives left to adequately describe the pictures from Saddam’s rape rooms and torture chambers? And will Americans ever see those images?”

White House Press Secretary McClellen: “I’m glad you brought that up, Jeff, because the President talks about that often…”

July 15, 2004:

Gannon: “Last Friday, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report that shows that Ambassador Joe Wilson lied when he said his wife didn’t put him up for the mission to Niger. The British inquiry into their own prewar intelligence yesterday concluded that the President’s 16 words were ‘well-founded.’ Doesn’t Joe Wilson owe the President and America an apology for his deception and his own intelligence failure?”

April 1, 2004:

Gannon: “I’d like to comment on the angry mob that surrounded Karl Rove’s house on Sunday. They chanted and pounded on the windows until the D.C. police and Secret Service were called in. The protest was organized by the National People’s Action Coalition, whose members receive taxpayer funds, as well as financial support from groups including Theresa Heinz Kerry’s Tides Foundation.”

McClellen: “I would just say that, one, we appreciate and understand concerns that people may have. I would certainly hope that people would respect the families of White House staff.”

Feb. 10, 2004:

Gannon: “Since there have been so many questions about what the President was doing over 30 years ago, what is it that he did after his honorable discharge from the National Guard? Did he make speeches alongside Jane Fonda, denouncing America’s racist war in Vietnam? Did he testify before Congress that American troops committed war crimes in Vietnam? And did he throw somebody else’s medals at the White House to protest a war America was still fighting?”

Pretty pathetic, right? I mean, if it wasn’t clear before that this guy was a propaganda tool of the administration, just sitting there in the White House press corps, waiting to introduce talking points like the ones listed above, it is now, right? You’d have to be an idiot not to see that, right?

And, here’s the question that went too far, causing the folks at Media Matters to call for an investigation.

Gannon: “Senate Democratic leaders have painted a very bleak picture of the U.S. economy. Harry Reid was talking about soup lines, and Hillary Clinton was talking about the economy being on the verge of collapse. Yet, in the same breath, they say that Social Security is rock-solid and there’s no crisis there. How are you going to work — you said you’re going to reach out to these people — how are you going to work with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?”

Of course, as we’d soon come to find out, Reid had never mentioned soup lines. (That was something Rush Limbaugh had attributed to him in jest on his radio program the day previously.)

If you’re interested in reading more of Gannon’s questions, you can find a bunch of them at the Media Matters site.

And, while we’re at it, there’s a good piece in a Salon blog about Gannon today. Here’s a clip:

Let’s remember that, while its press secretary is calling on the Jeff Gannons of the world for cover, the Bush administration is also offering under-the-counter payoffs to columnists and sending out video press releases in which PR people masquerade as reporters. This isn’t a simple matter of a gaffe here and there; it’s a systematic campaign to discredit the media, launched by an administration that desperately needs to keep propping up its Potemkin Village versions of reality (We’ll find weapons of mass destruction! We’ll cut the deficit! We’ll save Social Security by phasing it out! Really!). When you’re pursuing an Orwellian agenda, your first target must be anyone who has the standing to point it out. Messengers are a pain — but if you shoot enough of them (figuratively speaking!), and send out enough impostors, you can have any message you want.

Now we just need to sit back and wait for the trolls to come out, defending Gannon’s questions as legitimate, and suggesting once again that we’re only pursuing this story because he’s gay.

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  1. john galt
    Posted February 16, 2005 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Thanks Mark,

    I was worried that he might have been asking embarrasing questions. After reading them however I don’t know what the fuss is about, thats certainly no worse than Larry King. I’ve never even heard any of these quotes before (and I get all the news wires firsthand) so I really don’t think he’s shaping public policy. When Clinton was in office he had ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN asking these same sort of questions. Whats the big deal? (I also don’t care if he’s gay, that’s his personal life)

  2. brett
    Posted February 16, 2005 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    “My guess is, now that I

  3. mike
    Posted February 16, 2005 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    I will read them tomorrow.tThanks mark. But I did just want to point out, that just like rubberneckers driving slowly by a horrible car crash, it only took Brett 6 minutes to break the “No Feeding the Trolls Day”. I will come back for lunch tomorrow.

  4. mark
    Posted February 16, 2005 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Hmmm…. 12:06 AM…. Brett, I’m very disappointed in you. But, as you didn’t address the troll directly, I will forgive you. Please don’t let it happen again though.

    Don’t even toss a peanut shell into the cage. Nothing… As our friend Grover N would say, we want to make them so weak that we can drown them in the tub (or was that the river?)

  5. brett
    Posted February 16, 2005 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    mark, of course i was addressing you directly. I know the rules.
    My last post to one of ‘them’ is in the ‘condi scheme’ thread, and i should point out it’s time-stamped at 00:00.

  6. Ken
    Posted February 16, 2005 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    That first quote would make a funny cartoon where Scott McClellon is holding a bag that used to have all of his adjectives in it and when it is empty, all he can say is how hard it is.

  7. brett
    Posted February 16, 2005 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    …with the Schoolhouse Rock song “Unpack Your Adjectives” playing in the background.

  8. JF
    Posted February 16, 2005 at 8:59 am | Permalink


    Dont worry no one in here has ever addressed any of our points anyway. Just deflect and use hateful words. Why would this be any different.


  9. arun
    Posted February 16, 2005 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    to anyone who says it isn’t about sex i offer this –

    and my favorite “why it matters” is probably

  10. chris
    Posted February 16, 2005 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Oh My God! Those links, those large pectoral muscles, I feel funny down there. Does he do women? Of course, christian women that is. THe truth is stranger than fiction.

  11. mark
    Posted February 16, 2005 at 10:05 pm | Permalink


    You made me choke on my coffee, Chris.

  12. mark
    Posted February 16, 2005 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the Rude Pundit link, Arun. That’s good stuff.

  13. Ken
    Posted February 16, 2005 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    I put Rude Pundit on my blog roll. I spit coffee on the current article there, which is about O’Reilly. Funny schtuff.

  14. chris
    Posted February 16, 2005 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    OK OK Scary bad joke…but really did you see the naked shots of him on AMericablog, I had to laugh a lot of the photos had his face cut off.

  15. steve
    Posted February 17, 2005 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Well it’s good to see the libs are all inclusive here. You get a guy like James D. Guckert (Gannon) that asks a question right of Karl Marx or Vladimir Lenin and the libs are assholes and elbows getting the guy ousted. A bit “Republiphobic” if you ask me. Why, we can’t have these conservative oriented questions in our journalistic club here. Why, we need group-think and conformaty marshalling the sheep — no outsiders please!

    I take Gannon’s question as-is just like the libs take that hack of a so-called reporter Helen Thomas, who, let’s be honest, is an honorary member of the WH press corp because she’s been there for soooooo long.

    So it comes down to the same old song and dance: If you can’t debate an issue straight on, pull out those old 70’s boogie shoes and engage in a lot of deflection and dirty dancin’.

    Gannon posed an excellent question with an observation that most Americans (80%) DO feel about Democratic leaders in that they are indeed divorced from reality. And the reason is because the Dems have indeed positioned themselves in such a way that good news for America means bad news for the Democrats.
    And no, that’s not my line but it’s true no matter who said it first.

  16. mark
    Posted February 17, 2005 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Steve? Is that you? Your voice sounds different. You sound kind of like… (I check my watch to see if it’s after midnight, and it is) …an asshole.

  17. Posted February 17, 2005 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    I gotta blog this. I have not seen such a comprehensive listing! THANKS.

  18. john galt
    Posted February 18, 2005 at 8:12 pm | Permalink


    Gannongate Update

    So where’s the Jeff Gannon/James Guckert story at these days? [Note: The pseudonym Gannon will be used for the rest of the article]

    Even as the blogs investigating this story have continued to play the gay sex/escort/prostitution angle for all it’s worth, focusing on the the ancillary allegations shows how marginal the story actually is.

    Allegation – Jeff Gannon received a special permanent White House press “hard pass.”

    Fact – The bloggers who made that allegation have now retracted it. It appears that Gannon received day passes under his real name just as he has previously indicated.

    Allegation – The White House should not have credentialed Gannon because he was a conservative shill not a real reporter.

    Fact – Ari Fleischer, in an interview with Editor &Publisher, notes, “It is a slippery slope for any press secretary in any administration to pick and choose who gets a credential based on ideology, so long as they are a legitimate reporter.” A debate on the merits of Gannon’s journalistic credentials is beyond the scope of this post, but he certainly wrote and published stories at an online news organization, regardless of ones opinion of the relative quality of Talon News.

    Allegation – The White House should have know about Gannon’s sexual history and barred him from the White House.

    Fact – Ari Fleischer, in an interview with Editor &Publisher, notes, “The last thing our nation needs is for anyone in the White House to concern themselves with the private lives of reporters. What right does the White House have to decide who gets to be a reporter based on private lives?”

    Allegation – Gannon had full access to the White House and was running around unchecked in the White House for years.

    Fact – To make it scarier the blogs perpetrating this angle of the story need to mention the sexual angle, but on its face it’s a ridiculous claim. Regardless of how you try to spin it a day pass to the White House press briefings is not an all access pass. I don’t know it for sure, but they probably hustle you right out of there when the events of the day are over.

    Allegation – Gannon got a press pass while others were rejected.

    Fact – Gannon was denied the only passes that matter in this story – the Capital Hill pass issued by the Standing Committee of Correspondents and the White House hard pass, which allows ongoing access to the White House press briefings. The White House hard pass requires a pass first be issued by the Standing Committee of Correspondents. Gannon was left to apply for the only other type of pass available, the daily pass. The daily pass, like its name implies, is good for one day only and by all indications does not have the same restrictions as to who may receive a pass as the the others do. While goofy Maureen Dowd complains that her pass was rejected, she most certainly was writing about a hard pass or a Standing Committee pass, which Gannon too was denied. If Dowd really wanted to cover the White House she could have stood in line for day passes too…

    Allegation – Gannon attended a press briefing before Talon News was founded.

    Fact – This appears to be true. Gannon appears to have attended a press briefing under the auspices of GOPUSA. From Ari Fleisher’s interview it’s not hard to imagine that Talon News was created to insulate the press coverage that GOPUSA decided it wanted to do from it’s organization. This likely occurred in response to questions from Fleisher about whether GOPUSA was a party organization.

    Allegation – Gannon received the Valeria Plame memo and was subpoenaed by the special prosecutor in the Plame case.

    Fact – Highly unlikely. Tom McGuire and The Washington Post’s Dan Froomkin debunk that myth pretty convincingly.

    Allegation – Gannon asked softball questions.

    Fact – True. This is the essence of the Gannongate story. Gannon was “outed” (not sexually) by mainstream media types with the help of David Brock’s Media Matters For America. The reporters got their wish when Gannon quit. The bloggers continuing to pursue the story only “succeed” is they can claim a scalp besides Gannon’s, which is why they continue to search for new angles to implicated ANYONE else…

  19. mike
    Posted February 19, 2005 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    John – how dare you post facts here. We have no room for this kind of talk. You are now considered a troll and we will call you names and then tell you taht you are full of hate. You neocon…neocon.
    Can’t we ban facts from this site? This is getting ridiculous.
    john is putting us through so much. Web Master Steven, please give us as much personal info on John as posible and post it here. We need something to threaten him with. Can’t you decipher the ‘log’ files or something?

  20. john galt
    Posted February 19, 2005 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    from the washpost actual quotes from gannon about the whole kerflufle

    Jeff Gannon, the former White House reporter whose naked pictures have appeared on a number of gay escort sites, says that he has

  21. mark
    Posted February 19, 2005 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    You guys (Mike, the other characters in his head, and Republicans in general) absolutely amaze me. You vilify homosexuals, you use gay marriage as a means to motivate the religious fanatics that compose your base, and, now that it suits you, you try to deflect the investigation of Gannon by suggesting that it’s got something to do with his sexual preference. You are absolutely ridiculous.

  22. mike
    Posted February 19, 2005 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Mark, once again you put up your own strawmen so you can easily knock them down. Deflect, deflect, deflect.

  23. mark
    Posted February 19, 2005 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    I am praying for your soul, Mike, and hoping that our lord Jesus Christ shows you the way.

  24. chris
    Posted February 19, 2005 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    So you don’t think that those allegations that are in fact true are not THE most important ones. Essentially, the whole point is, as Arun so poignantly put it earlier-it really is about the sex…or something like that. And more importantly what’s good for the gander is good for the, oh I don’t know…THE FASCIST!!!

    And Mike, I mean Mr. Galt, your post has such a feeling of cut and post, I mean paste, aren’t you supposed to source your quotations? But then again, plagiarism is what I expect from the likes of a GOP troll.

    But wait, something more important to do with my time than engage the likes of you…watching the Matrix Reloaded. Because if I am going to watch bullshit I should at least be able to enjoy some special effects! Save yourself a response as I will be saving mine. Geez, I thought the troll definition link was humiliating enough but you guy(s) seem to love basking in disgust.

  25. john galt
    Posted February 19, 2005 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    once again the usual slader and denial this site is famous for. Both of the articles I posted are sourced.. The first is from the second from the wash post (thats a newspaper). Mark say’s this has nothing to do with Gannon’s sexual history, however in posts to the main page of his blog, he called Gannon an ass-selling pimp and both of his articles seemed overly interested in Gannon’s homosexuality.. Of course if Gannon were a lib and an evil neocon were to point out his sexual status, Mark would surely jump to his defense and offer the comments as proof of the neocon hatred for gays.

  26. Ken
    Posted February 19, 2005 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Mark, I think this Jeff Guckart is a fine outstanding, patriotic, tax-paying citizen. I want to start a website that would lobby for his job back at that news thingy that he worked at. I also think we need some good moral folks in there representing what republicans stand for. Would you help me with the content for a site like that?

  27. mark
    Posted February 19, 2005 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant idea, Ken. Can you photoshop the image of the American flag in behind one of his nude shots? Let’s get this campaign going. Free speech needs to be defendend, even if it’s by alias using fake journalists hired by the GOP to help in the Bush disinformation campaign.

  28. chris
    Posted February 19, 2005 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Uh people we’re chumming the waters. I just deleted a 5 sentence rebuttal. Mark, you’re parents are here. A perfect opportunity for you and Linette to go out alone and have a beer. Its really weird to be alone with each other outside of the house post children. The air, the noises, the moonlight.

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