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Fake News Reporters in the White House
Jeff Gannon, or James Guckert, is outed as a phony reporter, interupting Karl Rove's media manipulation.
Karl Rove is known to brilliantly manipulate media coverage in campaigns of his clients, most notably George W. Bush, but the White House in which he is one of the most powerful figures has created its own press corps to not only manipulate but deliver its own version of the news pretending it comes from legitimate reporters. Frank Rich, writing in the New York Times, counts six cases exposed just this year where the administration has given money to reporters to deliver the White House spin on things.
The most recent case is Jeff Gannon, whose real name it turns out is James D. Guckert, who was actually allowed into the recent press conference of the president and asked a question about how he is going to work with people like Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton who "have divorced themselves from reality." Gannon is a complete phony, as Frank Rich describes. And he allowed himself to be photographed in the nude for websites he owned, one called hotmilitarystud.com. Rich suggests he is "another link in the boundless network of homophobic Republican closet cases."
This is a story which has yet to be picked up by the mainstream television networks, though Rich talks about how CNN has gingerly approached the issue. Jon Stewart featured the case on The Daily Show on February 16. Columnist Maureen Dowd talks about how she has been unable to get a press pass to the White House but a fake reporter could. She provides more background about the case and says: "With the Bushies, if you're their friend, anything goes. If you're their critic, nothing goes. They're waging a jihad against journalists - buying them off so they'll promote administration programs, trying to put them in jail for doing their jobs and replacing them with ringers."
As more details of this case become known one effect may be that the celebrated ability of this White House to manage the news will be broken down. Real reporters and news networks may become more cautious and critical about what this administration says and does.
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