Script/Transcript for program: Jeff Gannon and the Power of the Bloggers
Hi, this is Jody Paulson with what they don't tell you.
A couple commentaries ago I mentioned the name Jeff Gannon, an uncredentialled journalist with daily white house access whom Bush and press secretary Scott McClellan could always rely on to ask softball questions, and attack other journalists for being too aggressive. Here's an example of one of his "questions":
"Senate Democratic leaders have painted a very bleak picture of the U.S. economy. [Senate Minority Leader] Harry Reid [D-NV] was talking about soup lines. And [Senator] Hillary Clinton [D-NY] 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've said you are going to reach out to these people -- how are you going to work with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?"
This story has really taken off in the past few days, thanks to left-wing bloggers who have done a better job getting the goods on Gannon than the big shot corporate reporters who shared the Briefing Room with him. Here's what we know so far:
Gannon worked for Talon News, which claims to be a news organization, but is headed by the same guy who runs GOP USA, Bobby Eberle, a Houston engineer with no previous journalism experience. By the way, in the past year Eberle scored an interview with President Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove. Gee, I have more journalism credentials than these guys and I portion fries for a living. I wonder how he managed that?
Gannon was also cited by the Washington Post as having the only access to an internal CIA memo that named Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as a covert CIA agent -- and is now under grand jury subpoena. However it was bloggers, not the Post who uncovered pseudonym Jeff Gannon's real identity: Jim Guckert. And here are the web domains owned by Gannon/Guckert:
Yes, those last three are gay sex sites. Which leads me to wonder if this scandal doesn't actually run much deeper. Remember my James McGreevey and Golan Cipel commentary? At any rate, I have no doubt that regular people like you and me are googling away to uncover what they otherwise don't tell you.
I'm Jody Paulson, and I just thought you should know.