Sunday, April 24, 2005

Open (White)House

Bill Clinton had Monica. But who was having Jeff Gannon (aka James Guckert)? That is the question begged by John Byrne at Raw Story.

Gannon made more than 200 appearances at the White House during his two-year tenure with the fledging conservative websites GOPUSA and Talon News, attending 155 of 196 White House press briefings. He had little to no previous journalism experience, and previously worked as a male escort.

Perhaps more notable than the frequency of his attendance, however, is several distinct anomalies about his visits.

Guckert made more than three dozen excursions to the White House when there were no scheduled briefings. On many of these days, the Press Office held press gaggles aboard Air Force One-which raises questions about what Guckert was doing at the White House.

On at least fourteen occasions, Secret Service records show either the entry or exit time missing. Generally, the existing entry or exit times correlate with press conferences; on most of these days, the records show that Guckert checked in but was never processed out.

In March, 2003, Guckert left the White House twice on days he had never checked in with the Secret Service. Over the next 22 months, Guckert failed to check out with the Service on thirteen days. On several of these visits, Guckert either entered or exited by a different entry/exit point than his usual one. On one of these days, no briefing was held.

Maybe you've never heard of Gannon/Guckert, the male prostitute turned White House reporter/shill. Here's a sanatized version of his story from the Washington Post. Here's a more complete version from Daily Kos. And here's a story with pictures from AmericaBlog. It shows what Jeff looks like (kind of important) and outlines the gay prostitute side of things (Heads up-the graphics are PG-13, but some of the links in the AmericaBlog story are really racy--click with caution.)

It's a “rags to riches” story really, well actually a “car repair shop office manager/personal escort with no journalistic experience to a semi-permanent fixture on the White House briefing room floor” story.

In the scheme of big government, is it such a large deal that an anti-gay, Republican, male prostitute finds himself with access to the White House on a “bottomless” day pass? Aside from the brilliant hypocrisy that blinds the eye like a gaze into the noonday sun, there are more weighty issues attached to this story. Thankfully, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) thought so too, and made a Freedom of Information Act request about Gannon's White House activities.

As Byrne points out-Gannon was at the White House even when the press was not being briefed. There also were visits where he signs in but doesn't sign out (or vice-versa) from the home/work place of the President of the United States. I knew the president was casual to a fault about most things, but this is a little extreme, isn't it, especially given our post-9/11 concerns? What was Jeff doing at the White House during these unaccounted for periods (there are several)? How does a male escort go from no reporting experience to frequent, regular and, more alarmingly, extraneous (as far as journalism is concerned) White House visits in a matter of weeks? Hmm…maybe Guckert does have some stories to report after all.

Should we be more concerned that White House security is so lax or that a prostitute turned reporter was having some private q.t. with White House staff? Honestly, I don't care whether or not he was working at his other job while he was there. I do care to know, however, if he was having the kinds of meetings where the American people end up getting screwed with more paid for propoganda information like they got from Maggie Gallagher. She is the journalist who "forgot" she was being paid $21,500.00 by BushCo to promote the administration's anti-gay marriage rhetoric, or Armstrong Williams, the journalist who the administration paid $240,000.00 to "report" his support of No Child Left Behind. (I wonder if Tim Lahaye came up with the title for that bill.) Add that to all of those fake "town hall" meetings Bush is becoming famous for and maybe you can understand my concern about what Bulldog was doing at the White House.

Lax security or blowing the propoganda organ. In either case, America, we have a problem. Quick, click here to rub a bald head with the president for luck!


Blogger 'Thought & Humor' said...

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'Thought & Humor'
Cyber-Humor & Cyber-Thought
Harvard Humor Club

6:07 PM  
Blogger Troy said...

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9:46 PM  

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