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'Reporter's' fake credentials wrong

March 3, 2005 1:09 am

Scandal hits the White House. To paraphrase former senator and 1996 Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole, "Where is the outrage?" ["Bush administration obscures journalism boundary," Feb. 18.]

One might think that I am referring to some Democratic scandal. Quite the contrary.

As disclosed, the often-called-upon "reporter" at White House press briefings known as Jeff Gannon is actually James Guckert. Mr. Guckert was a paid hack for the GOP-friendly Internet site Talon News. What's more, photos of Mr. Guckert are present on some gay escort Web sites.

Scandalous, for sure. But this development takes the cake: Mr. Guckert got daily White House passes under his alias, Jeff Gannon.

In this post-9/11 world, where we honest folk have to endure the indignity of airport screenings and bag checks for the sake of homeland security, how is it that a phony reporter with a phony name and a hidden agenda can make his way unchecked into daily White House press briefings?

Where is the outrage?

Did Bush's White House give Guckert "a pass" because press secretary Scott McClellan and others knew that Guckert would publish pro-Bush copy?

Is anyone in this homophobic administration the least bit stunned by the individual-in-question's moonlighting activities?

Or is the real outrage that the White House, which ran and won the 2004 election on homeland-security issues, rubber-stamped a West Wing press pass for a person who wasn't who he said he was and didn't earn a living the way others thought?

Dan Smolen

Stafford





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