Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Why Gannongate is important

As exhaustively covered on Americablog, we have a full-fledged situation here. Gannongate has jumped to the mainstream media, and is likely to be spun and counterspun for a few cycles. It is unlikely to have the impact of Rathergate, for obvious reasons, but as stories airing conservative dirty laundry goes, this one has legs.

I think it is worth the churning it is getting, though not (primarily) for the obvious reasons.

It isn't newsworthy because there is something reprehensible about a "reporter" running a gay escort service. It isn't merely because he was a shill -- if that sin got you tossed from the White House press room, it would look like The Staples Center in the 4th quarter of a blowout Lakers loss. And it isn't because, a la David Dreier, Gannon/Guckert/whatever is a world-class hypocrite, though it sure as hell ought to be.

It is vitally important that we keep making a stink about this because making Gannon an object of ridicule may be one of the few effective ways available to shame other reporters, who have been only slightly less shameless in their obsequiousness to the Bush machine, into doing their jobs. We need to embarass them back into the world in which reporters make their bones by asking tough questions and standing up to power rather than sucking up to it.

Today, the press corps is motivated primarily by fear of la famiglia Bush. If we can escalate a countervaling fear -- the fear of being exposed as a RINO (reporter in name only), we just might be able to make their pathetic herd mentality work for us rather than against us for a change.


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