Sunday, February 20, 2005

Hey Putz

Yes, you, Howard Kurtz. Even your own paper's editor realizes the Gannon story is not about bloggers, it is about the ability of a non-journalist, right-wing mouthpiece, getting planted as regularly called upon questioner. One called upon by the President in a news conference. It is another in a long string of Bush Administration undermining and coopting of the press.

Many more readers were exercised last week about the bizarre case of James Dale Guckert, aka "Jeff Gannon," the conservative "reporter" who worked for such organizations as Talon News and GOPUSA, and who managed to get himself regularly cleared into White House news briefings, and who asked a question at a presidential news conference about Democrats who he said "seem to have divorced themselves from reality."

Here's how one reader put it: "I don't understand why The Post has turned the 'Jeff Gannon' story into yet another piece about bloggers. The story happened to be broken by bloggers, to their credit. But the story has two serious elements that The Post should report out on its own: 1) How is it that in an era when we have to take our shoes off to get on an airplane, a guy gains access to the White House with an alias on his ID badge? I don't believe that has yet been answered; 2) To what extent was granting 'Gannon' access another form of buying or manipulating the news? These are important questions." I agree.

It is decidedly not about allegedly invading the privacy of a guy who happened to publicly advertise as a male prostitute.

That is just gravy, deliciously funny gravy about a man getting paid to make gravy. But still, it is not the real heart of the story.

I know that your wife Sheri Amis doesn't want you to spin it accurately, or you yourself do not wish to, but far be it from you to act like a journalist whose trade is to discuss journalism.

So do you really need to know why you are known as Howie the Putz?

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