Jeff Gannon Selling Book, Himself in the Blogs?
When the subject is fraudulent journalism, thoughts naturally turn to Jeff Gannon. With FEMA staging fake press conferences and Hillary Clinton under the microscope for answering planted questions at campaign events, the male escort turned Bush White House press corps fixture inevitably will crawl out from under a rock for 15 more minutes of fame.
And so it appears on Perrspectives and several other blogs. Commenting on a Perrspectives blog post Saturday comparing the Clinton campaign's bad judgment with the masterful stage-management and political theater that is the Bush presidency, someone claiming to be "Jeff Gannon" weighed in in his own defense. His comment, lifted verbatim from an October 29. 2007 JeffGannon.com piece rationalizing FEMA's descent into Goebbels-style disinformation, defended Gannon's journalistic credentials while plugging his new book. Apparently, he objected to my application of the term "ersatz journalist" to his body of work (no pun intended):
When I learned of the fake news conference, I expected that the characterization of Jeff Gannon as a "phony reporter" would be revived. Liberal media activist Keith Olbermann noted it on his nightly train wreck of a talk show and the lefties of the blogosphere dutifully repeated it ad nauseum. This is a classic case of how a lie becomes reality, since the record proves otherwise. I was as real as a reporter gets, writing over 500 articles as a White House correspondent, a job that Secret Service records indicate I actually showed up for more than 200 times over the course of two years. The veracity of my work as a reporter has never been successfully challenged.
Further, in 2006, a year after my supposed exposure as a "phony reporter" - my peers accepted me into the National Press Club, the most prestigious association of professional journalists in the world. My book about the media will be featured at the National Press Club's 30th annual book fair on November 1. Not bad for a "fake, fraud and phony."
In response to the potential Jeff Gannon commenting on this site, I explained:
Jeff Gannon (real or imagined),
No one doubts that you/Jeff Gannon was a "real" reporter in the metaphysical sense that you/he showed up at briefings and then committed words to the page.
The "fake, phony and fraud" journalist issue you/he raise is simply the result of your/his willingness to bend over for President Bush and his allies, a position that despite your/his past career, you/he now seem willing to do for free.
In what would be an altogether fitting circle of life, Jeff Gannon appears to be blog-whoring to sell his book, The Great Media War, currently ranked #1,008,585 (#2,453,537 in hard cover) on Amazon. With the holidays coming up, Gannon's book along with other selections of ConPorn from Bill O'Reilly, Lynne Cheney and Scooter Libby could be the ideal gift for that reactionary on your list.
Whether or not the Perrspectives commenter is in fact Jeff Gannon, it's nice to know he's not going to go the route of Richard Nixon. We'll always have him to kick around.
For more examples of Jeff Gannon selling himself and his book in the blogs, see The Carpetbagger Report, UncommonSense and The Garlic. (The Garlic contacted Gannon, who confirmed "that the comment left of The Garlic was with his 'knowledge and permission.'")
UPDATE: Jeff Gannon replies below. Perrspectives responds. See the Comments for more.