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
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
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
hotmilitarystud.com, militaryescorts.com, and militaryescorts4m.com.
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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