Thursday, February 17, 2005


I wouldn’t usually follow up one of my Bluest Fist posts so quickly but I want to stress to you that this James Guckert / Jeff Gannon story is one that you should really be following in the news. Both the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor are reporting on it today. And there’s continued investigative reporting on the web at and

The best synopsis of what’s new in this story since I last posted comes from two stories today in

Gannon/Guckert’s application for a press credential to cover Congress, a process handled there by reporters, was rejected. But at the White House the press office arranged for him to be given a new pass every single day, a highly unusual and deliberate evasion of the regular credentialing that requires an FBI security check, which likely would have discovered more about Guckert.

There's now documented evidence that Guckert attended White House briefings as early as February 2003. Guckert, using his alias "Jeff Gannon," once boasted online about asking then-White House press secretary Ari Fleischer a question at the Feb. 28, 2003, briefing. The date is significant because in order to receive a White House press pass, Guckert would have needed to prove that he worked for a news organization that, in the words of White House press secretary Scott McClellan, "published regularly," in itself an extraordinarily low threshold.

What's significant about the February 2003 date is that Talon did not even exist then. The organization was created in late March 2003, and began publishing online in early April 2003. Gannon has already stated publicly that Talon News was his first job in journalism. That means he wasn't working for any other news outlet in February 2003 when he was spotted by C-Span cameras inside the White House briefing room. And that means Guckert was ushered into the White House press room in February 2003 for a briefing despite the fact he was not a journalist.

May I ask, what in the HELL is going on here?? Someone in the White House issues a press pass to a prostitute who sits not ten feet from the President of the United States of America –– who CALLS on him using his first name! –– at which point, said prostitute lobs him softball questions which the President gladly answers as if they were real questions? And this continues for TWO YEARS with, again, someone in the White House making sure that this prostitute's alias and cover are not blown by the Department of Homeland Security or the Secret Service. AM I IN SPACE?!?

We can surmise that it is a symptom of this Administration that no one in the Secret Service decided to investigate Gannon/Guckert –– that they apparently decided he was just another hack conservative reporter asking the president canned non-questions at his press conferences (for instance, on January 26 when Gannon/Guckert asked the president whether the Democratic Leadership was "divorced from reality") rather than the MAJOR security breach he actually was. But the larger questions: 1) Who put him there in the first place; 2) Who kept his cover; 3) How many people in the White House knew the truth; 4) Did the President know; 5) Who illegally gave Gannon/Guckert information about undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame –– these questions need to be answered. Stay tuned…


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