Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Goodbye, Jeff Gannon

I'm just listening to a story about him on the Al Franken show. Gannon has just given us his farewell speech:

The voice goes silent.

Because of the attention being paid to me I find it is no longer possible to effectively be a reporter for Talon News. In consideration of the welfare of me and my family I have decided to return to private life.

Thank you to all those who supported me.

The story about the hounding of Jeff Gannon (in which I have played a tiny part by writing a few posts about his journalistic credentials that consist of a weekend course) is an interesting one. He appeared to be the White House hitman among the flock of otherwise hard-working journalists, and he first came into prominence by the type of questions he asked in the White House press conferences: asskissing ones.

His White House credentials were written for his penname, Jeff Gannon, whereas female journalists using their maiden names professionally had to use their married names for their credentials. It was this that first brought Mr. Gannon to the attention of progressive/liberal hounds when it was posted by Atrios.

Then Media Matters for America started doing research on Mr. Gannon's journalism and found out that he plagiarized large chunks of his writings directly from Republican party sources. And then things got worse and worse for Mr. Gannon: It seems that he's the owner of several odd websites:

This was yesterday, and today Jeff is bidding us goodbye. What is very bad about all this is that it could be the revelation that Mr. Gannon might be gay (whether he is or is not I don't know and I also don't care) that made him decide to pack it in. Although some of those sites could also be about prostitution in the military...

In any case, the real reason why "journalists" like Gannon should be hounded is in all the other earlier revelations: the biased reporting, the lack of any journalistic training by pretty much anyone working for his newspaper, the plagiarizations and so on. And, as Atrios points out today, the fact that Mr. Gannon somehow got hold of CIA memos when other journalists were not so privileged.

And just to make the point very clear: Jeff Gannon is not an innocent victim of horrible slavering lefty hounds on the internets. He's a player in the wingnut game and he's not following the rules that the party of the high moral ground holds so dear.