Captain's Quarters Blog

« CBS News Faces Legal Nightmare | Main | Who Killed Rafik Hariri? »

February 16, 2005
What's The Point?

The port side of the blogosphere has crowed over their outing of a conservative hack reporter that managed to get day passes to White House briefings. Jeff Gannon, the nom de plume of Jeff Guckert, worked until recently for Talon News, a tiny conservative outfit that hired Gannon without doing much checking into his background -- much to their recent chagrin. Leftists such as those at Americablog have focused on Guckert's sexuality to shame him out of the briefing room, a strange McCarthyite tactic for those who claim that all sexual matters should remain private.

Now Men's Wear Daily reports on Russell Mokhiber, an associate of Ralph Nader and a political activist, who also manages to get White House daily passes and styles himself a journalist, despite representing no news agency whatsoever:

The media watch-group Accuracy in Media charged today that a liberal activist and associate of Ralph Nader has been obtaining access to White House press briefings while claiming to be a legitimate news reporter.

Russell Mokhiber, who sells a $795 a year newsletter that bashes corporations, attends the briefings to make obscure anti-Bush political points. Recently, for example, he asked spokesman Scott McClellan whether President Bush violated one of the Ten Commandments by invading Iraq. Mokhiber, who told AIM that he has never taken a journalism class in his life and was denied a permanent White House press pass, posts his ludicrous questions and answers on a far-left web site under the title "Scottie & Me."

Other Mokhiber topics have included industrial hemp, Israel's 1967 attack on the USS Liberty, possible war crimes charges against Bush, and Halliburton.

AIM editor Cliff Kincaid said Mokhiber's attendance at the briefings makes it clear that the controversy over Jeff Gannon attending the same briefings was manufactured by left-wing bloggers and liberals in the media because they don't want conservatives in the White House press corps.

Quite frankly, I don't think the White House should make decisions about who represents true journalism in the briefing room. Most days, there are plenty of open seats. If someone presents themselves honestly (Guckert got the passes under his real name), presents no security risk, and acts with decorum, why shouldn't they be allowed to ask questions? I think that's true for Guckert of Talon News just as much as it is for Mokhiber of his own newsletter. If the questions get exceedingly stupid, as apparently offered by both men, then either exclude them, quit calling on them, or use them for comedic relief -- but do that based on their professionalism instead of their backgrounds.

One would think that bloggers would take a more libertarian view of journalistic qualifications than the leftists, who seem more engaged by sexual innuendo than issues these days. Let Mokhiber and Gannon alone, and quit manufacturing silly scandals regarding the quality of the White House press corps. Even those that represent major news outlets provide enough embarassment to go around.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 16, 2005 6:10 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry is

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference What's The Point?:

» Gannon-Guckert Redux from
Ed Morrissey alerts us to this press release exposing another pseudo-reporter in the White House Press Room - Accuracy in Media charged today that a... [Read More]

Tracked on February 16, 2005 8:30 AM

» More On Jeff Gannon from Secure Liberty
Good grief. I'm still shaking my head over this one. It seems that more details of Jeff Gannon's life are emerging. (H/T Wizbang) The evidence suggests that he was a gay escort. So? I thought diversity was a good thing? Here's what the left has t... [Read More]

Tracked on February 16, 2005 8:41 AM

» A Failing Guild, and an Opportunity from Democracy Project
Many bloggers have written about the breakdown in MSM, and a central element of that fall is this: while the best journalists acquire skills and perfect their art throughout their careers, journalism, unlike engineering, requires no special degrees or ... [Read More]

Tracked on February 16, 2005 2:44 PM

Design & Skinning by:
m2 web studios

blog advertising


Proud Ex-Pat Member of the Bear Flag League!