Monday, February 14, 2005

More on Jeff Gannon

So now it appears that "Jeff Gannon" aka Jim Guckert is -- or has been -- a gay prostitute.
Check out the real investigative journalism taking place in the blogosphere:
Let's review this story. It's pretty amazing.
Jeff Gannon, reporter and Washington bureau chief for Talon News, raised eyebrows on January 26 by asking a "softball" question to President George W. Bush at a press conference. The question suggested that congressional Democrats who talked of economic problems are "divorced from reality."
Despite the Washington press corps' generally fawning attitude toward Mr. Bush, this question was odd enough to prompt reporters to look into Mr. Gannon's background and into the workings of Talon News.
Within days, it was reported that several of Mr. Gannon's stories were lifted verbatim from White House press releases. He resigned from Talon last week, on February 8.
The next day, Media Matters For America reported that last year, Sean Hannity had paid tribute to him as a "terrific" reporter and bureau chief.
Investigation by the press and, more importantly, bloggers around the country, continued. Simultaneously, several story threads began to be reported.
It was revealed that Jeff Gannon was a pseudonym for Jim Guckert, who had registered domain names for several gay porn websites. In interviews, Mr. Guckert said that he had registered these domains on behalf of unnamed "clients."
At the same time, it was surfacing that Mr. Gannon/Guckert was among the reporters to whom the identity of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame had been leaked.
Stories about Mr. Guckert's "journalism" also began to circulate widely. He got more publicity than he ever had during his time as a working "journalist." News outlets and blogs reported that he had castigated John Kerry for advancing a gay-friendly agenda and had reported that Kerry would be the first "gay" president. Interestingly, he had also reported on an unfounded rumor that Kerry had had an extramarital affair -- with a woman.
Last Friday, Media Matters for America reported that Mr. Guckert's only journalistic training had come at The Leadership Institute School of Broadcast Journalism, a far-right organization. reported that Mr. Guckert had never received a permanent White House press pass, but was able to secure day passes. This highly unusual pattern was evidently supported by the White House. The importance of this bit of information is that a "hard" press pass requires an extensive background check, while a day pass requires a much abbreviated background check.
And today, we find out more about why Mr. Guckert might have wanted to avoid a full check: He was evidently working as a gay prostitute.
A story too strange to be fiction.