James D. Guckert

A few weeks ago, George Bush held a press conference. He called on a certain reporter named "Jeff Gannon", who worked for a right-wing website cheesily called "Talon News." Talon News is wholly-owned and operated by the Texan right-wingers who operate GOPUSA. In recent days, "Jeff Gannon" has been literally and figuratively outed. At first, the questions were somewhat basic: how did a guy from a partisan website obtain daily White House press room credentials, only 4 days after the site itself was created? How did "Gannon" become one of only 6 reporters to see secret memoranda regarding Valerie Plame's CIA employment? Why is it that "Gannon" was referred to as "Jeff Gannon" despite the fact that his credentials were under his given name of "James Guckert"? Why is it that Bush called on "Gannon" on that day, at that conference? Why is it that Guckert obtained daily press passes after having been denied a press pass for Congress? To those who don't see what the big deal is, I don't think that the media that are permitted to cover the White House should be shills for said White House. If they want to ask non-probing questions, fine. But lobbing softballs and acting like Scott McLellan's lifeline ain't journalism. At the time, Guckert took some delight on his now-defunct website that the lefty blogosphere was paying so much attention to him, and wondering who he was and from whence he came. He issued a challenge; that he was "hiding in plain sight" and that people can go dig up whatever they want on him. Well, they dug alright. They dug to depths no one should have to dig. (WARNING on the link.) Guckert was apparently a male escort who marketed himself as a former Marine. On top of that criminal activity, he also owes the State of Delaware about $20,000 in back taxes, fees, and penalties. Wow. That's some background check that the Secret Service does on White House reporters. To quote the good folks at Americablog.org:
So in the end, why does this matter? Why does it matter that Jeff Gannon may have been a gay hooker named James Guckert with a $20,000 defaulted court judgment against him? So he somehow got a job lobbing softball questions to the White House. Big deal. If he was already a prostitute, why not be one in the White House briefing room as well? This is the Conservative Republican Bush White House we're talking about. It's looking increasingly like they made a decision to allow a hooker to ask the President of the United States questions. They made a decision to give a man with an alias and no journalistic experience access to the West Wing of the White House on a "daily basis." They reportedly made a decision to give him - one of only six - access to documents, or information in those documents, that exposed a clandestine CIA operative. Say what you will about Monika Lewinsky - a tasteless episode, "inappropriate," whatever. Monika wasn't a gay prostitute running around the West Wing. What kind of leadership would let prostitutes roam the halls of the West Wing? What kind of war-time leadership can't find the same information that took bloggers only days to find? None of this is by accident. Someone had to make a decision to let all this happen. Who? Someone committed a crime in exposing Valerie Plame and now it appears a gay hooker may be right in the middle of all of it? Who? Ultimately, it is the hypocrisy that is such a challenge to grasp in this story. This is the same White House that ran for office on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. While they are surrounded by gay hookers? While they use a gay hooker to write articles for their gay hating political base? While they use a gay hooker to destroy a political enemy? Not to mention the hypocrisy of a "reporter" who chooses to publish article after article defending the ant-gay religious-right point of view on gay civil rights issue. Who in the White House is at the center of all of this? Who allowed this to go on in the People's House? Who committed the crime of exposing Valerie Plame? Jeff Gannon has the answers to these questions, and boy we know he loves to talk.
The scandal is just too delicious.

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