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The Gannon/Guckert affair

Powerline has a full piece on what happened in this infamous Jeff Gannon (Guckert) White House press pass afair. This is about all that has to be said on the subject. Very much worth reading. Powerline thinks this sordid affair (which includes the outing of this apparently homosexual fellow by the Left and homosexual activists) shows the depths to which the Left has fallen. "Rarely have I seen such deeply contemptible conduct." Ditto.

Discussions - 13 Comments

Of course, if a Democratic White House would be connected to the same sort of thing, all of this WOULD be a huge issue for you at NLT, and you’d be calling for impeachment of the president. But let’s just drop the Gannon/Guckert affair. How about some rationalizations and dismissals of the administration’s pay-outs to journalists to promote some of Bush’s favorite initiatives?? I haven’t seen anything posted about that here. Wait, let me guess...another non-story, right?

Well Ann got an shred of evidence that what you are charging did in fact happen. Any evidence at all that the White House was connected in some way? We will wait. Or is this a reference to Armstrong Willliams? That has been reported already in some detail. Facts are that he owns a public relations company and was hired after a government contract was let for specific services. And I thought liberals were all for minority set aside progrmas any how. But I think it is terrible of Armstrong Williams not to recognize the potential for serious conflicts of interest and decline the work. Not sure if Education has a good way to ferret this out but a policy should be established.

Right on, Ann. Welcome to hypocrisy 101, part of the core curriculum at the Ashbrook Center.

"And I thought liberals were all for minority set aside progrmas any how. But I think it is terrible of Armstrong Williams not to recognize the potential for serious conflicts of interest and decline the work."

How incredibly lame to try to twist this into some race issue. Well, I shouldn’t be surprised that you attempt to put the moral culpability solely on the black guy (Williams). Gee, MAYBE the problem is that the Bush administration OFFERED a journalist $$ to promote policies that they (the administration) were pushing for approval, funding, public support, etc... The administration offered money for the satisfaction of seeing their policies promoted, at the expense of journalists selling out their integrity. Remember, in prostitution, the johns are at least as culpable as the hookers.
(I’m sure you’d keep this in mind if we were talking about the same scenario in a Democratic admin.)

Sorry, but was any law broken here? And be careful with accusations of hypocrisy--they tend to cut both ways. Were you this outraged about Whitewater, Filegate, Monica Lewinsky, etc.--which actually involved violations of the law?

John,

Assuming you were aiming your polite warning about hypocrisy at me, you wrongly presumed that I’m a Clinton fan or defender. I’m not. Clinton probably DID commit some impeachable offenses during his presidency, but diddling Monica wasn’t one of them.

If the current administration broke no law in paying a journalist to promote one of its policies, do you then consider that an acceptable practice?

No answer at all to the request for any evidence to support your charges? I am guessing that is because you have none.

And does the fact that Williams OWNS a public relations company not penetrate your skull? TheEducation folks did not hire a journalist, they hired a PR company. Meanwhile Olover Willis is on the payroll of George Soros, Kos is on the payroll of someone but wont tell us and you have no clamor about it. Hippocrite thy name is Theiss.

Ann,

Assuming you were aiming your polite warning about hypocrisy at me, you wrongly presumed that I’m a Clinton fan or defender. I’m not.

Okay. But since you weren’t the one who used the term "hypocrisy," it wasn’t directed toward you.

Clinton probably DID commit some impeachable offenses during his presidency, but diddling Monica wasn’t one of them.

As has been said many times before, it wasn’t the "diddling," it was the lying under oath part that was the real problem. Whether or not this was an impeachable offense is debatable--my own view is that it probably wasn’t--but we can all agree that lying under oath is a violation of the law, can’t we?

If the current administration broke no law in paying a journalist to promote one of its policies, do you then consider that an acceptable practice?

I suppose on some level I’m marginally uncomfortable with it, but it isn’t keeping me up nights. If I knew that a journalist was "on the take," so to speak, it’d impair my ability to take that person seriously, but the rules are different in politics. I already don’t take politicians seriously.

As for how I’d feel if there were a Democratic administration in the White House, the point makes no sense. Democratic presidents don’t need to pay journalists to promote their policies--they have no problem doing it free of charge. So, back to the prostitution analogy--who’s worse, the one who sells it or the one who gives it away?

Yes, lying under oath is a problem, and a violation of law, but I believe Clinton was responding to irrelevant and inappropriate questions regarding consensual sexual relations with Lewinsky (immoral and also, therefore, embarrassing for Clinton, or anyone in such a situation) during the Paula Jones case - a case in which he was vindicated. Judge Susan W. Wright granted summary judgment in favor of Clinton, dismissing the Jones suit in its entirety, finding that Jones had not offered any evidence to support a viable claim of sexual harassment or even "intentional infliction of emotion distress." In the end, it really was about Clinton getting blowjobs from Lewinsky.


"Democratic presidents don’t need to pay journalists to promote their policies--they have no problem doing it free of charge." Oh boy, more of the liberal-biased media malarkey. Ok, PROVE IT. Yes, yes, there are entire organizations devoted to pointing out examples of liberal media bias. But there are also orgs. that exist to show just the opposite. BOTH sides conveniently ignore incidents that don’t serve to support their premises. You may be of the viewpoint that the media is liberally-biased (and I may believe otherwise), but please don’t act as though it’s some undeniable fact.

You asked, "So, back to the prostitution analogy--who’s worse, the one who sells it or the one who gives it away?" Well, I don’t think that the metaphor can be twisted to serve your argument (see previous paragraph), and I’m not really interested in casting aspersions on either prostitutes or unpaid promiscuous women as bad & worse versions of wicked witches. I would suggest, though, that conservatives are MORE LIKELY to look down on prostitutes than liberals/leftists are, but JUST AS LIKELY to sleep with the promiscuous women.

Whoops, forgot about this:

"If I knew that a journalist was "on the take," so to speak, it’d impair my ability to take that person seriously, but the rules are different in politics. I already don’t take politicians seriously."

What rules are different in politics, exactly? Is the current president one of the politicians that you don’t take seriously? If the white house pays off journalists to promote the prez’s policies, do you think this will help Americans to take politics, and politicians, more seriously? Do you WANT the public to take these things seriously?

Gary - just saw your earlier response.

"Hippocrite thy name is Theiss."

HUH???!!


Are you calling me a doctor (from Hippocrates, the Greek physician) or a hypocrite (from Hupocrites, the Greek actor)? Probably, the latter, I guess, since that would be a caustic insult. OR, are you trying to be creative, and combine hippopotamus with hypocrite, to call me fat? (Hey, I’ve seen some crazy stuff here before!) Well, if so, that doesn’t deserve a response at all.

As for Williams, there’s been plenty in the papers about how he gave back the $$ that he took. I know, Commie-controlled media. As far as I know, Williams wasn’t acting as a PR guy, he was acting as some sort of journalist. But since you’re a completely uncritical Bush-booster, I don’t expect you to concede anything.

What rules are different in politics, exactly? Is the current president one of the politicians that you don’t take seriously? If the white house pays off journalists to promote the prez’s policies, do you think this will help Americans to take politics, and politicians, more seriously? Do you WANT the public to take these things seriously?

Look at it this way--the president’s job is to get elected, and to do this presumably he has to successfully promote his policies. A journalist’s job is to get people to read his or her articles, and to do this he or she presumably develops or maintains a reputation for objective, unbiased reporting. If the president offers a journalist cash to help him promote his policies, he’s arguably doing his job (that’s not to say that it’s the only way of doing it, or that there aren’t better ways of going about it). If the journalist takes the money, he/she is compromising his/her objectivity, and therefore risking losing readership--and hence NOT doing his/her job.

This case might be compared to a Hollywood producer who pays a movie reviewer to write a favorable review of his latest film. Who’s really at fault here? I’d argue that it’s the latter. Nobody turns to a Hollywood producer for an honest evaluation of a film; his job is to get people to come and see it. On the other hand, many people rely on movie reviewers to provide that assessment. And if it’s revealed that the reviewer is "on the take," people will stop relying on that reviewer’s judgment. Who cares about the producer’s role in the transaction?

Ok, enough of this "so is your mother" arguing.

I think that as an American, I shouldn’t be told things by the media. I like to do research and get to know the topic myself. I’m hoping that lefties and righties don’t like to be force-fed things. This is why the left is "falling" as it tries to get to the bottom of things that may be politically and socially deplorable. The right can be angry because the "liberal media" is force-feeding the "liberal anti-Bush agenda." Whatever. Let’s get to the root of the problem, as both seem to be avoiding. This guy was a gay escort. Whoops, he’s busted. The real problem here is that a person of the press used a fake name to gain access to a Presidential event. He then lobbed "softballs" to the President so he could hammer his agenda home. Whatever. How about this: Left corner, stop trying to push the "impeachable offense" thing with this. Right corner, say, "aww shucks, you know, this was kind of dumb and a little questionable that this guy could get in and do what he did."

I wonder why and how this guy got a press pass into Presidential conferences. Seriously, don’t all of you?

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