Quits Over Ties to Gay Sex Sites
February 10, 2005
By Jen Christensen, PlanetOut Network
SUMMARY: A conservative journalist who routinely asked
the Bush administration unchallenging questions during White House press
briefings resigned after it was discovered he had ties to sites that are
suggestive of gay porn.
A conservative journalist who routinely asked the Bush
administration unchallenging questions at White House press briefings resigned
after it was discovered he had ties to Web sites that are suggestive of gay
James D. Guckert, who writes under the name Jeff Gannon,
has authored regular columns for conservative Web sites such as GOPUSA and
Talon News, some critical of gay issues. He gained the scrutiny of liberal
bloggers after asking a loaded question at the Jan. 26 White House press
briefing. He asked how the president could work with Democratic leaders in
Congress “who seem to have divorced themselves from reality.”
Bloggers on sites such as Atrios and DailyKos used public
records to look into Gannon’s background. What they learned was that his
name was on registration records for Web site domains such as
militaryescortm4m.com, hotmilitarystud.com, and militaryescort.com. The sites
are currently inactive or password-protected.
On his personal Web site, Gannon wrote: “Because of the
attention being paid to me I find it is no longer possible to effectively be a
reporter for Talon News.” He said he quit his writing job “in
consideration of the welfare of me and my family.”
Gannon told the Washington Post that he never took
positions against the gay community. But in past Talon articles Gannon said
presidential candidate John Kerry may be known as “the first gay
president” because of his endorsements from HRC. In a story about Sen. Rick
Santorum’s remarks that gay marriage could lead to “man on dog” sex,
Gannon derided the “predictable responses” of gay activists.
In a letter to President Bush, New York Democratic Rep.
Louise Slaughter asked the president to explain why White House staff cleared
him to be a part of briefings. Gannon had been denied a similar press pass to
cover Congress in 2003. In the letter, Rep. Slaughter linked Gannon to
conservative commentators paid by the Bush administration to write pro-Bush
columns. One of those commentators, Mike McManus, who wrote a column
syndicated in 50 newspapers got $10,000 from the Bush administration to push
Bush’s marriage initiative.
Slaughter wrote, “It appears that ‘Mr. Gannon’s’
presence in the White House press corps was merely as a tool of propaganda for
“It may be a little different, but I do have a concern
that these kind of groups have a reporter in the White House press corps,
particularly, since access is so one-sided,” said John Marble, spokesman for
the National Stonewall Democrats.
“This administration has completely cut the gay
community off from the White House. American voters would be much better
served if this administration hears from all kinds of communities, not just
from the conservatives,” he said.
Political blogger Glenn Reynolds of InstaPundit.com told
the Washington Post that the tactics used to discredit Gannon were
“If I were a member of the White House press corps,
I’d be really worried,” he said. “If working for a biased news
organization disqualifies you, a lot of people have a lot to worry about. If
being involved in a dubious business venture is disqualifying, I suspect a lot
of people have a lot to be worried about. I guess I don’t see what all this
has to do with his job.”
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