Last edited: February 11, 2005

Mystery Anti-Gay ‘Journalist’ Goes Underground, February 10, 2005

By Paul Johnson, Washington Bureau Chief

Washington—A man accredited by the White House as a journalist has gone underground after being exposed as a fake, a possible a shill for the president, and perhaps a spy for the Pentagon trying to out gays in the military.

Questions began to circulate within the White House press corps almost as soon as the man who called himself Jeff Gannon arrived on the scene. But, it was not until gay activist John Aravosis, who operates the AMERICAblog Web site, began to probe Gannon’s background that some of the mystery became clear.

Gannon was accredited by the White House as a reporter for the conservative Web sites Talon News and GOPUSA. During news conferences he was regularly called on for questions by President Bush. But, invariably Gannon’s questions would show an extreme right-wing and often anti-gay agenda. On one occasion he asked Bush how he could work with Senate Democratic leaders “who seem to have divorced themselves from reality.”

White House press secretary Scott McClellan also would regularly call on Gannon “whenever he would be under more aggressive, hostile questions from the press,” according to media watchdog David Brock. “He’d call on him and he would get a complete softball,” Brock said.

Gannon’s right-wing writing often has been homophobic. During last year’s election campaign Gannon wrote that Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry “might someday be known as ‘the first gay president.’”

He then noted that Kerry has enjoyed “a 100% rating from the homosexual advocacy group Human Rights Campaign since 1995 in recognition of his support for the pro-gay agenda.”

While the White House press corps winced at Gannon’s lack of objectivity and began to wonder if he were an Administration “plant”, Aravosis and other liberal bloggers began to probe Gannon’s background.

They discovered that Gannon was really a man named J.D. Guckert and that he owned a number of extreme conservative websites. They also found that Guckert owned gay sex sites—all with a military theme and all encouraging gays in the military to join. The sites included,, and

While the White House welcomed Gannon Congress would not. Gannon applied for a congressional press pass last April but was rejected on the grounds that he did not work for a real news organization.

Asked about the Administration’s relationship with Gannon, McClellan said only that he did not have a permanent White House pass and said it was up to the media to police itself.

Following his exposure Guckert Wednesday quit Talon and GOPUSA. The websites attributed to him have been taken off line, and in a message on his personal Web site he writes, “I find it is no longer possible to effectively be a reporter for Talon News”.

But, troubling questions remain unanswered. What has become of any membership list to his gay military sex sites? Were those sites created only to out servicemembers under “don’t ask, don’t tell”? Were any names turned over to the Pentagon?

Additionally, was there more to Guckert’s relationship to the White House and the GOP than McClellan has acknowledged? In light of three journalists being exposed for being paid off by the Administration to tout the Bush “family” initiative, in columns that featured scathing attacks on gays and same-sex couples, it remains to be seen if Guckert was also being paid with tax dollars.

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