02/20/2005: More Vintage Dowd:
The Master of the Understated herself, Maureen Dowd, has been at it again in this piece over at the Ny Times Bush's Barberini Faun about James Guckert, a k a Jeff Gannon of Talon News.
"Who knew that a hotmilitarystud wanting to meetlocalmen could so easily get to be face2face with the commander in chief?It's hard to believe the White House could hit rock bottom on credibility again, but it has, in a bizarre maelstrom that plays like a dark comedy. How does it credential a man with a double life and a secret past?...
I was rejected for a White House press pass at the start of the Bush administration, but someone with an alias, a tax evasion problem and Internet pictures where he posed like the "Barberini Faun" is credentialed to cover a White House that won a second term by mining homophobia and preaching family values?At first when I tried to complain about not getting my pass renewed, even though I'd been covering presidents and first ladies since 1986, no one called me back. Finally, when Mr. McClellan replaced Ari Fleischer, he said he'd renew the pass - after a new Secret Service background check that would last several months.In an era when security concerns are paramount, what kind of Secret Service background check did James Guckert get so he could saunter into the West Wing every day under an assumed name while he was doing full-frontal advertising for stud services for $1,200 a weekend? He used a driver's license that said James Guckert to get into the White House, then, once inside, switched to his alter ego, asking questions as Jeff Gannon. Mr. McClellan shrugged this off to Editor & Publisher magazine, oddly noting, "People use aliases all the time in life, from journalists to actors."...
With the Bushies, if you're their friend, anything goes. If you're their critic, nothing goes. They're waging a jihad against journalists - buying them off so they'll promote administration programs, trying to put them in jail for doing their jobs and replacing them with ringers...."
Well, Maureen has said it all...and so on point as usual. Now, here's a smart woman who qualifies as capable of joining the cause of "Women Who Could Run the World...I'd vote for her.
Even Dan Froomkin has much to say about this Jeff Gannon in his White House Briefing at The Washington Post.
Karen on 02.20.05 @ 06:00 AM CST