February 09, 2005
Say it's not McCarthyism!
A White House Press Correspondent named Jeff Gannon has been forced to resign because lefty bloggers discovered he was gay and outed him. While I don't approve of outing, this just shows that if you have (or have ever had) the slightest homosexual inclinations, you can forget about ever being in the closet if you have the slightest interest in public life.
Ipod blogger Charlie Quidnunc notes the irony
So much for Mr. Gannon. Who will step up next to face the liberal press corp and the scorched earth militant lefty bloggers? Any other brave blogging souls on the right willing to put up with the intense media and blogospheric scrutiny and ask for a press pass? Daily Kos would love to rip you a new one.I suppose if someone who refused to be shamed -- like Pym Fortuyn -- came along, Daily Kos would have trouble ripping him a new one.
What is to be done with those who will not be shamed?
This whole affair is puzzling to me. What's in a "press credential," anyway? According to this organization (link here) it ought to mean having to answer detailed questions about one's background. Homosexuality aside, I'm wondering about this sudden need to do background checks on people who might ask the president a question. Are they only investigating conservatives?
Or have they all been subjected to this same level of scrutiny?
I sure hope no one is calling for official licensing -- or blogs may be next!
MORE: Brainster's Blog doesn't think this has anything to do with "exposing hypocrisy":
What it's really about? The liberals like to claim that it's hypocrisy, but you know how that goes; if you're a liberal gay journalist people would be horrified at the notion of "outing" you to the world like this, but if you're a conservative gay journalist it's quite alright. This is not about gay or straight, this is about liberal or conservative.No more closets? not even for the little guys?
Witch-hunts for gay conservatives? Background checks looking for smear material?
I'd say it's a case of too much Joe McCarthy on the brain . . .
UPDATE: Reflecting on his predicament, Jeff Gannon himself poses a rather interesting question:
The story isn't me, the story is that it doesn't seem that there is room for a single conservative in the White House press corps.Good question. (I'm assuming he doesn't mean "single" in the marital sense, of course . . .)
UPDATE: GayPatriot asks why the background of an underling like Gannon is considered more newsworthy than Eason Jordan's maligning of troops in wartime.
UPDATE: While the facts involving "credentialing" are a bit confusing, it appears that Gannon was never issued a full "hard pass" White House credential, but had to obtain a "daily pass," because his employer (Talon News) was unable to first obtain the requisite Capitol Hill pass:
Gannon's credibility was first called into question last spring by The Standing Committee of Correspondents, a group of congressional reporters who oversee press credential distribution on Capitol Hill. Julie Davis, a reporter at The Sun of Baltimore and a member of that committee, said Gannon approached the group in April 2004 seeking a Capitol Hill credential for Talon News, but he was refused.At this point I'm not sure I know what the rules are, much less what they "reflect."
MORE: Some of the leftist blogs (like this) have devoted enormous energy to what strikes me as a rather boring sex scandal (if it's even that). Beats me what the fuss is about. If the guy is gay, so what? Stated concerns about "potential male prostitution" (based on web site names like militaryescortsm4m.com) seem strained, unconvincing, and a tad sanctimonious. Are these liberal bloggers really as shocked as they pretend? It reminds me of Jimmy Swaggart's act.
As to the charge of hypocrisy. . . Please. Spare me.
UPDATE (02/10/05): Power Line's John Hinderaker of Power Line doesn't see what the fuss is about any more than I do:
I still don't get it. Gannon has been attacked for not being a "real" journalist--as compared to whom, Helen Thomas? He called himself a "voice of the new media" on his web site, and it seems passing strange to me for bloggers to suggest that only journalism school graduates are qualified to ask questions at press briefings. As far as I can tell, the only thing that distinguished Gannon from the other reporters is that he is a partisan conservative, whereas they are nearly all partisan liberals.Interesting that the only people complaining about the man's apparent homosexuality seem to be on the left....
UPDATE (02/11/05): Drudge now links to the same quote from Scott McClellan which Power Line linked yesterday:
"[Gannon/Guckert], like anyone else, showed that he was representing a news organization that published regularly and so he was cleared two years ago to receive daily passes just like many others are," McClellan said. "In this day and age, when you have a changing media, it's not an easy issue to decide, to try to pick and choose who is a journalist. It gets into the issue of advocacy journalism. Where do you draw the line? There are a number of people who cross that line in the briefing room."Since when is there an "official" definition of "journalist?"
(Surely they're not thinking of licensing. . . )
posted by Eric on 02.09.05 at 05:37 PM
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