Monday, February 28, 2005

I communicate uh... good. 

FOX's media critic labeled Republican activist Gannon a "journalist"[Media Matters for America]

The funniest thing about this piece is the statement by Jane Hall, who really shouldn't be involved in teaching 'Communications' to others in any way apparently:

JANE HALL (assistant professor at American University's School of Communication): Well, I think the hypocrisy and the concern, you know, of -- there are a lot of different issues here. This was a guy who was called on a lot, as the group Media Matters, the liberal group, has pointed out. I mean, I just wonder whether a guy who was obviously phrasing left-wing questions, would have had a press credential for two years, you know, was funded by a GOP-related group, it's hard for me to imagine that this would have happened if the -- if the bias were on the other foot. So that's part of what's amusing about it to some people.

hee hee


The wicked Witch of the Right 

Universal Didn't Distribute 'Old Arab' in Coulter Column, Not Sure She Sent It

Something I didn't know about Helen Thomas:

"Thomas, whose Hearst column is distributed by King Features Syndicate, is of Lebanese descent."

I guess that makes Ann Coulter not only 'filled with hate' toward people who contradict her beliefs, but also those who aren't what? Of the pure Aryan race?

Not that I am trying to make more of the issue... Okay, I am.

Man, I just don't like her. :P


Yo! Philly! 

Philadelphia Inquirer | 02/28/2005 | White House stirs debate on media tactics

Now this is what i'm talking about.

Dick Polman of the Philadelphia Inquirer offers a good analysis on the Gannon matter. Its good to see that it was also picked up by Knight Ridder.

Now, if we can get CNN.com to post something more than just thier February 9th story, which has since been buried in their archives, then i would really have some hope this was going somwhere.

I know CNN has had Guckrt/Gannon on the air, but Blitzer's questions were as soft as Gannon's were in the press room at the White House.


Sunday, February 27, 2005

My new hero 

PressThink: In the Press Room of the White House that is Post Press - - Before the certification of "Jeff Gannon" as a White House reporter there was the Bush Administration's de-certification move against the Washington press. These two things are deeply related.

Jay Rosen has written a very nice piece that sums up all of my fears. Not that will will be shutting up anytime soon, but thought that this could better illustrate what's going on the media.


'Old Arab?' 

Her Syndicate Runs Edited Version of Ann Coulter Column

How can a person so filled with hate be taken serious. Who is she trying to insult exactly? Helen Thomas? Liberals? Gannon detractors? Arabs? Who?? Its like she is trying to be a sniper taking aim at a target 100 yards away, but using a shot gun filled with buck-shot instead of a rifle. All that accomplishes is making a lot of noise, while reducing the possibility of hitting her mark.

I take back the Vanna White comment. I'm starting to think that Ann Coulter is Don Rickles. An insult comic, although she is hilarious without intending to be.

As an aside, watch the conservative media closely. You will find them claiming that 'liberals hate Gannon for being gay', more than liberals actually focus on his homosexuality. this is a smoke screen to take attention away from the real issue of GOVERNMENT RUN AND FUNDED PROPOGANDA; don't fall for it. They can bitch and moan about bias as much as they like, but that just makes them look more hypocritical if you have been paying attention.
If the media, the senate, congress and the American people don't take a serious look at the real issue of a White House that is potentially misleading people, this country will be lost. It is bad enough that after 8 years of these people being in charge, all we can look forward to will be undoing the damage they have caused to not only America, but the planet and the human race as a whole. But that it is wrong for us to go out of our way to address the issue head on and inform citizens of what is being done in their name is ludicrous.

I am an idealist. I think of the foundation of America as glorious and noble, and was raised to believe that we (Americans) were building a great future for the world, not just ourselves. And have lately had my heart broken by a political base of Neo-Conservatives whose sole motive behind their actions is summed up in one word: power.

They lie to gain positions of power, they fight against environment and social protections to add to their coffers, they spread innuendo and rumor to put down any opposition, and once they have gained their precious power, they abuse it to give themselves more money and control, with a total disregard for the consequences of their actions. And why not? They will not have to eat the fruit that will grow from the seeds they sew, our children will.

The media could stop this, but by remaining as silent as the administration on the Gannon subject, they imply that they are complicit, afraid or embarrassed. To them I say grow up and get back to work. You know, it would even make me feel better to hear that I am wrong and that this Gannon thing is really nothing, and that the Bush administration is not abusing its power by altering public opinion through manipulation of the press, but you had best back it up with some hard facts. This ‘because they said so’ nonsense does not hold water.

I don’t want to believe that this is something that even needs to be fought over. This is something that should make all Americans sit up and take notice. But the fight only exists here, on the blogs. It needs to be brought up in the msm before you’re average American will care enough to ask the questions that are truly in their own best interests.

And if you (the msm) look at it from a Neo-Conservative standpoint, there would be a lot of money to be gained from ratings for breaking a story like this wide open.

Now no one can say I don’t offer incentives for an honest days work. I put a carrot on the end of the stick. Now move.


Saturday, February 26, 2005


How to write like jeff gannon

See the quality skills you will learn from attending a 2 day course on journalism from the The Leadership Institute, all for the low low price of $50?

that must make all you folks who have recieved degrees from actual universities feel pretty silly, huh?

You know who else i don't care for? Ann Coulter. 

Coulter lied and distorted to defend "Gannon," ... [Media Matters for America]

It hurts my fingers even to type her name.
She is the frikkin' Vanna White of the vast right wing conspiracy.

One the flip side of that, i must say that that Media Matters for America is rapidly becoming one of my favorite websites.


Friday, February 25, 2005

Hmmmm... I don't know why.. 

it might have something to do with my day at work... but i feel in the mood for an angry rant.
check this out

This was taken from a website called Men's News Daily (remember that name, it will be on the quiz). Notice the second paragraph:

His (someone called Daniel J. Phillips -- edited by tomkitty) proposed questionairre would be: “Ask if any reporter is a homosexual. Ask if any has ever exchanged sex for anything. Ask them to list all web sites with which they have ever had any involvement. Review all of their questions and articles for any bias, agenda, or tendentiousness. Ask for a list of all political associations, involvements, activities, financial giving. Once step five is completed, the same investigation must be performed on the organizations that employ them. Report the results.”

I say, go right the hell ahead.

Why? Why take up a dangerous challenge sounding as though it might have a bad result, and be turned against you?
Let us validatide the media, for the good of the American people.

As you can see from my previous post for an Op-Ed piece i wrote for the Augusta Free Press, the gay thing is irrelevent to me. The sordid past thing is tough to call, but i believe a person can change, though it really depends on your definitions of the words change or sordid, but that's just me. A prostitute is still a person after all (a person Hepkitty doesn't want me hanging around with, but you'll have that when your married).

However i have a serious problem with how the media conducts its coverage of this administration, and if it takes a full examination of the media to get honest and fair coverage of events for the American people and for them to see what this administration is doing with their money and their future, than so be it.

If someone is reporting on something because they were told to or paid to, or inversely not reporting on something because they were told not to or threatend if they were to cover it, than why have a news media at all?

Close down all the newpapers and magazines. we could save a lot of trees that way (wow. more 'liberal' got into that sentence than i originally intended. sorry)

Shut down the news networks. That would mean we had more room on the dial for porn!

Disconnect all of the news websites. There will be more bandwidth for... well... porn.

And then we can get back to the business at hand of letting this administration wreck America's persona in the eyes of the world, grabbing up all the oil under the lands of people we don't like or can pin something on (SADDAM HUSSAIN DID NOT HAVE PEOPLE FLY PLANES INTO THE GODDAMN WORLD TRADE CENTER!!!), while stuffing as much money in their friends and thier own pockets as they can.

If there were to be such a questionaire, i can tell you one good result of such a thing is that there would be no more FOX news reporters in the White House press room, and thats enough for me.

Seriously, i ask the media to resume its roll of reporting the NEWS and stop shoving OPINION down my goddamn throat. (oooo... an opinion on my blog, wonder if Gannon will sue me too????)

ohhh... and in case you didn't know... Men's "News" Daily formally published Jeff Gannon's articles.

So, to the good folks over at Mens New's Daily, don't talk to me, or any one, about bias, talk to me about impartiallity. it makes for better news. but that is just my opinion. ;)

And by the way, you need to tell Daniel J. Phillips some thing for me; tendentiousness means bias. Put down the thesaurus, and be a little more original. And further, i see Men's "News" Daily as flawed as Talon "News" and GOPUSA given that you have also published Gannon's writings.
So go right on ahead and take the word 'news' out of your name, sit down and shut up. (a page from the book of "O'Rielly". Feels good! Now i know why he says it so much!)

ahhhh... i feel much better.

Later cats,

Thursday, February 24, 2005

You gotta admire his determination... I think 

It was horrified that the relentless string of hostile and a few downright disrespectful questions had been broken.
Jeff Gannon activated a new blog today. Man that takes balls (we know he has them, they have been posted on the internets). I will have to give him that, especially with that line (copied and pasted, not edited in any way by lil ol' me. >:} )

Keep going folks. This is what we call 'panic'. Too frantic to use spelling/grammer check, though i may not be the one to bring that up, but then again, i don't claim to be a journalist. I haven't given my $50 to the GOP yet. ;)


PS from hepkitty: Jeffy, it really is horrible when someone questions someone else in a democracy, isn't it?

PPS from tomkitty: hee hee hee :p

Hey cats,
Augusta free press published my Op-Ed, bless their hearts.
You can find the final version, sans bad grammar and punctuation errors here:

It may seem to forgiving to conservatives to some, but i think it was a good point to make.


Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Hey there,

Following my previous statement of promising to be more vocal, i have submitted my first editorial on the subject of Gannon/Guckert to the Augusta Free Press. They have posted other editorials with a critical eye on propagannan, and hope that they publish mine. In the case that they do not, i offer it here.

It is in response to a specific article they placed on their site to address some of the other comments they have recieved on the matter of Guckert/Gannon.
You can find it here:
click here to read the article in question

Here is my comment:

I read your article ‘VIEWS ON THE NEWS: Play nice’, and feel compelled to apologize for the excessive letters you have received from my ‘liberal brethren’. That you would be subjected to such treatment is not only wrong but pointless. But while I cannot dismiss all of the venom you have received, let’s engage in a mental exercise that might help illustrate what is happening here. (This is not another attack, but is directed toward both sides of the issue, although one might not appreciate it as much as the other, with full respect to the forum you offer your readers at large.)

We go back in time now, but back to an ‘alternate’ history.
It is 1998, and Bill Clinton is under fire for his definition of the word ‘is’, and it comes to light that one afternoon, at a presidential press conference, that there was a reporter who Mr. Clinton called on who asked a ‘soft’ question of the president himself in that open forum. This question could have been anything really, but lets say for instance it went something like this: ‘Don’t you think that the republicans in congress owe you and the American citizens an apology for making an issue of your sexual indiscretions the end result of an investigation that cost over 80 million dollars of the tax payer’s money for something that was initially supposed to look at a failed real-estate venture?’

This reporter, for the sake of argument, knew a friend of a friend of a white house staffer, and had a history of asking such questions, ‘soft’ questions of the administration when all they could look forward to were ‘hard’ questions from other reporters.

Later in this scenario, it is brought to light not only could it be construed that someone in the Clinton administration had planted that reporter in the press room for that purpose, but that the reporter in question was in his/her past a prostitute, or gay, or just not really a reporter (any of those things will due for our purposes). Based on the climate in the media surrounding the impeachment proceeding, what was most likely to have happened next?

My supposition is that gallows would have been built on the capitol steps so fast that the check for the lumber involved wouldn’t even have had time to clear the bank, and the major media would have been the prime contractor.

I hate to think that liberals are sending this open forum prejudiced comments about Jeff Gannon’s sexual history in order to make their point, but I understand that they would given how this story has been handled by the mainstream media. They are frustrated by the overall coverage by the media, or lack there of, of the administration’s long established behavior concerning he press at large. And, given the anti-gay marriage position of the Bush administration, Guckert’s past homosexuality becomes, in some minds, a glaringly obvious talking point.

That Mr. Guckert has a certain sexual aspect to his life that he doesn’t wish discussed in public is immaterial to the subject at hand, quite understandable, and it is indeed wrong to make that the heart of the argument by either side. That this sort of thing would not have flown for one minute during the Clinton years is why liberals are angry. There is a clear double standard here, and that is the reason liberals are foaming at the mouth over this incident.

Bill Clinton’s sexual life was brought into our living rooms via the mass media, and forced many parents to explain what ‘oral sex’ was to children who were too young to need to know such information, but the media kept putting that information in front of them on a daily basis. Bill Clinton’s sexual behavior alone was not the reason we were inundated with that information. It stemmed from a notion (and totally unproven charges by the way) of financial improprieties by Bill and Hilary Clinton and their friends.

This Guckert thing needs to be addressed because it was the same notion of ‘perceived impropriety’ that allowed Ken Starr to run riot through the legal system using any and all means to tear down and discredit a president’s administration using a shifting rational that any magician trained in slight-of-hand would envy. To imply that the conclusion of the Whitewater investigation was acceptable, but to give the Bush administration a pass on one more in a long line of examples of media manipulation is irresponsible on the side of the press, and foolish for any citizen that thinks they live in a free and just society.

Guckert being used as a tool of the administration to influence public opinion is as I have said only the latest example. Other examples include this administration’s payments for phony news programs to support its policies, sending phony letters to the editors of local news papers across the country falsely addressed from deployed troops in Iraq to down play effects of the war, payments to journalists and commentators to support their policies, leaking classified information to the ‘press’ (a federal crime) in an attempt to discredit an opponent of their invasion of Iraq, most of that done with taxpayer’s money. That all of this is discussed briefly and then shoved to the side is frightening.

I would like to thank Augusta Free Press for allowing people to voice their concerns on this issue, and hope they continue to support the opinions of their readers of all types. AFP is an institution that truly serves the interests of the citizens of this country by letting people be heard in an open forum. That being said, I would like to ask that liberals try to take the high road as much as possible, though I know to them it may seem difficult as the established battlefield tends to be in the gutter. While the Guckert issue cannot be allowed to be swept under the rug, remember that his presence in the White House press room and access to classified memos is the heart of the matter, not his sexual identity. Don’t retract you’re claws, but please reduce the venom. When you lose your temper, you lose the argument.


Hopefully this statement will do some good. While this is not as 'rabid' as i would normally be on a subject that has so angered me speaking to those who know me well. Consider it an opening salvo in a larger war, and an attempt to maitain focus on the nature of our common enemy, addressed to conservatives and liberals both as all american citizens will regret this administration's actions done in our names for one reason or another over time.

I promise, to myself and you all, that there will be more soon.


Monday, February 21, 2005

Hi there!
I am Hepkitty's signifigant other, and would like to introduce myslf. While i have always held the same views as my beloved, i have remained decidedly silent where she would stand up and give her opinions at large. This was fine... for a while... but now i find myself with something to say (a term friends of mine may find amusing coming from my mouth ;) )
In the following few days i will be posting my own opinions and analysis on a subject that has very much raised a bit of my ire, that of one Mr. James Guckert (AKA Jeff Ganon).
For my first post, let me offer up my first editorial:

In the last few weeks, it has been brought to light that an individual calling himself Jeff Gannon, who had been attending White House press briefings for the past two years, was in actuality James Guckert, a man whose journalistic credentials are questionable to say the very least. Unlike others who attend the White House daily briefings, serving the function for their respective news services of asking questions and reporting back to their media outlets, Mr. Gannon served a function for those being asked the questions. Jeff Gannon it seems was at the White House to offer a lifeline to Scott McLellan, and even Mr. Bush himself just two weeks ago. On occasions when other reporters were asking questions that no one was fond of answering, McLellan could always count on Jeff Gannon to be there with the ‘softball’, or as I prefer to call it the ‘Tee-ball’ question, that would either change the subject to something that the administration wanted to talk about, or just a question filled with venom and misrepresentations directed toward opponents of the administration’s policies. With Mr. Gannon’s politics and connections coming forth these past few days, there is nothing in the way of a valid answer as to his presence at the briefings from the White House.

Quoting Mr. McLellan: My understanding was, when he started coming to the White House about two years ago, the staff asked to see that it -- that he represented a news organization that published regularly. And they showed that, so he was cleared and has been cleared ever since based on that time.

This speaks directly to the definition of a ‘News Organization’, and if Talon News (an organization that apparently didn’t exist until 2 months after Gannon got his first press pass) or GOPUSA fit the definition to Mr. McLellan or White House staffers, than anyone can go to the White House, be admitted to the briefing room and not only have the chance to ask a question of the press secretary, but of the president himself on nationally broadcast television. This notion in and of itself is ridiculous for McLellan to even have implied given this administration’s rightful obsession with security in the days following 9/11. Mr. 'Gannon' is no more a reporter than my wife is, who also ‘publishes regularly’ for her blog, and I am willing to bet that neither she nor I would get past the front door if we tried to gain access to the briefing room. Guckert, or Gannon, or what ever he prefers to be called is the most recent symptom of a horrible malady; an administration that has taken manipulation of the media to an art form. Whether or not there was a profit motive for Mr. Guckert, and I genuinely think that this was most likely an unspoken arrangement based on his loyalty to the administration’s agenda, the evidence in this instance, taken with the administration’s payments to three other journalists for support of it’s policies, along with the treasonous offense of the possible outing of an undercover CIA operative to Robert Novak and others in the media in apparent retaliation for a report that contradicted an administration assertion about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, leads to one ugly word: Propaganda.

This is a word that I have heard being used quite a lot over the past few days, and it is a word that should never be taken lightly. Propaganda is defined as the systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause. By this definition, propaganda should by default be considered totally unrelated to the concept of ‘news’, which is defined as information about recent events or happenings, especially as reported by various outlets including newspapers, periodicals, radio, television, and in the modern age, websites.

People use the news to stay informed as to things going on in the world around them. Propaganda is used to shift people’s opinions in a specified direction. I have a very old-fashioned thing that I like to do, while some of my friends who enjoy things like Fox News and the Rush Limbaugh radio show may think it is quaint, but I would like to offer this hobby of mine up for general consideration. I like to call it ‘Thinking for Myself’. It sounds strange, but in my spare time when not working or puttering around the house, I like to sit and read, watch television and browse websites with the idea of formulating my own opinions based on what I consider to be valid information on a given subject.

President Bush on January 26th, 2005 said it himself when responding to a ‘hard’ question about the administration’s payments to journalists for supporting his agenda: Our agenda ought to be able to stand on its own two feet. It should also be noted that following his answer, he called on, you guessed it, Jeff Gannon for his next question: Senate Democratic leaders have painted a very bleak picture of the U.S. economy: Harry Reid, who's talking about soup lines, and Hillary Clinton was talking about the economy being on the verge of collapse. Yet in the same breath, they say that Social Security is rock solid and there's no crisis there. You've said you're going to reach out to these people. How are you going to work with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?

This question, one of Mr. Gannon’s last questions asked in a ‘professional’ capacity, was based on comments made by Rush Limbaugh, confirmed by Limbaugh and posted on what once was Jeff Gannon’s own website.

In the interest of honest discourse, one must never be afraid to, or so secure in their opinions as to not, ask justifiable questions that pertain to the country in which we live and how it is run. Ask these questions to yourself, your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and your representatives in government. Ask these questions because the media isn’t going to ask them for you. These are not unfair or unwarranted questions, and there is no harm in asking so long as you receive a definitive and reasonable answer.

1. If this administration is honestly working for the best interests of the American people, why does it make use of ‘ringers’ in the White House briefing room to lighten the mood when too many ‘hard’ questions are being asked?
2. If the Bush administration has policies that are indeed good for the American people, why has this administration felt the need to pay for commentators to promote it’s agenda?

This final question is for the media:
3. With all of this being brought to the light of day, where are the Woodward and Bernstein of the 21st century?

If we as Americans truly care about this republic, we should never be afraid to ask questions about how our affairs are being conducted at the highest levels, and we should be truly afraid for the state of our democracy when we receive no answers. There are so many examples of impropriety by this administration over the past four years, yet the major media outlets seem to have forgotten an old term, and for their sake and ours I feel compelled to remind them at this time that ‘Where there is smoke, there is fire’.


There will be more i will post later that will range far afield from this first post, but this is as good of a place to start as any given the loads of material we liberal's have been given to work with. I have seen enough of this garbage that passes for government these past 4 years, and i would be commiting a personal sin by remaining silent. I am outraged, and I am determined to add my voice to the others that see problems with this administration. Hopefully someone will read this and feel the same.



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