GANNONGATE – MAINSTREAM MEDIA BLACKOUT: It's a story flush with intrigue – CIA secrets, White House malfeasance, hidden identities, even male prostitution. Yet, as Salon.com's Eric Boehlert describes, the serious questions surrounding White House "reporter" Jeff Gannon have received only scant coverage in the mainstream media; two of the broadcast television networks, "as well as scores of major metropolitan newspapers around the country, have completely ignored it."Liberal media my ass. More like lazy, meek, conventional media that is easily intimidated by the scary, bullying right.
UPDATE: Joe Conason has recently written about this topic. As he correctly notes,
Were the American media truly liberal—or merely unafraid to be called liberal—the saga of Mr. Guckert’s short, strange, quasi-journalistic career would be resounding across the airwaves.Exactly my point. Remember this the next time a right-wing zealot blathers on about the "liberal" media. Just look at the fallout from the CBS / Dan Rather controversy -- any such fallout or repercussions here? Nope, and not likely since the media heeling like good doggies....
The intrinsic media interest of the Guckert/Gannon story should be obvious to anyone who has followed his tale, which touches on hot topics from the homosexual underground and the investigation into the outing of C.I.A. agent Valerie Plame to the political power of the Internet. But our supposedly liberal media becomes quite squeamish when reporting anything that might humiliate the Bush White House and the Republican Party.
What Mr. Guckert seems to have been is not a journalist but a Republican dirty trickster. He was schooled at the Leadership Institute—an outfit run by veteran right-wing operative and Republican National Committee member Morton Blackwell. (It was Mr. Blackwell who distributed those cute "purple heart" Band-aids mocking Mr. Kerry’s war wounds at the Republican convention last summer.) His former employers at Talon News include leading Republican fund-raisers and former officials of the Texas Republican Party who have been active in partisan affairs for the past two decades.
Imagine the media explosion if a male escort had been discovered operating as a correspondent in the Clinton White House. Imagine that he was paid by an outfit owned by Arkansas Democrats and had been trained in journalism by James Carville. Imagine that this gentleman had been cultivated and called upon by Mike McCurry or Joe Lockhart—or by President Clinton himself. Imagine that this "journalist" had smeared a Republican Presidential candidate and had previously claimed access to classified documents in a national-security scandal.
Then imagine the constant screaming on radio, on television, on Capitol Hill, in the Washington press corps—and listen to the placid mumbling of the "liberal" media now.