Friday, February 18, 2005

Today's Gannon Report and Some Unavoidable Truths
This is one of those stories that just keeps on giving. The major revelation yesterday was that Gannon was clearly in a WH briefing as far back as February, before his "news service", "Talon," was even invented. Inquiring minds want to know how and why.

Today's revelation is that despite being brand new to the very idea of journalism and representing a news service that was essentially created at the time he began, Gannon had major news scoops correct and before most other press, including such national security issues as when the war in Iraq was scheduled to begin. And there are others.

I have been hesitant about getting too upset over the press credential angle (even though I will confess to reveling in the salacious outing of such an annoying conservative. It's a character flaw of mine, no doubt). In principle, I think Ari Fleischer is right when he says that we don't want the WH determining who gets in from day to day to cover the Office of the President. It shouldn't be near-impossible for a citizen of journalistic intentions to receive a WH briefing. I'm talking about sitting in there and listening and raising your hand to ask a question. And we would rather err on the side of inclusion than risk the dangers of its solution. At least unless and until more people clamor to get in than we have room for. Then they'll have to rethink the WH "day pass" process, which is what Gannon/Guckert got every day.

But let's be real honest about what we are staring at here. And someone may as well say it.

Jeff Gannon was sleeping with someone in the White House (or Pentagon), in return for access and possibly money. Either that, or he became real buddy-buddy with someone in the know who delighted in slipping him information because Gannon was such an unabashed Republican. Even national security information. Even though he was demonstrably *not* a journalist, or even a hack with media experience. He had to know somebody. Even if you could get in without special help, you can't get all those scoops without it. I don't see any other explanation. It's fair to demand to know who it was.

Let's think back to the Clinton years. Remember when Republicans screamed bloody murder because WH staff didn't dress up? Clinton didn't always wear a jacket and tie in the oval office? And now this Bush team at best leaked classified information to a blabber mouth because he was on their side, and at worst leaked classified information to a blabber mouth because he was screwing them (and was on their side). Treasonous blackmail, treasonous prostitution, or just plain old treason. Take your pick.

"We screw with our ties on." Do you think that's what Bush had in mind with the promise to restore honor and dignity to the White House? It's hard to see much else.

No comments: