A minor occurance on The Garlic this week.
Monday started in quite typical fashion. Fired up the computer, pulled up The Garlic and, lo-and-behold, there was a comment in our "Wag The FEMA" post... A big, shiny comment ...
And it was from Jeff Gannon!
Could it be the same, softball-throwing Jeff Gannon? The fake-reporter-working-for-a-fake-news-organization Jeff Gannon?
It quickly passed through my mind, that, no, it couldn't be. It had to be a fake Jeff Gannon, and that quickly turned into thinking who would want to be a fake Jeff Gannon?
Would they be longing, or plotting, to get into the White House Press Briefing Room and feed pablum to the Press Secretary (though, the current one, Dana Perino, certainly has shown she doesn't need a plant in the audience, she does fine creating her own)? Was this fake Jeff Gannon also a hot military stud? Was this fake Jeff Gannon sitting there, day-after-day, hoping against all hope, that another covert, CIA agent would be outed, so fake Jeff Gannon could play a role in exposing their name?
Would the fake Jeff Gannon be calling themselves by a name different from their given one?
That one made me think of the Steven Wright joke, about making instant coffee in the microwave oven.
I suppose, a fake Jeff Gannon (and using a fake, fake name), could, possibly, find some work, in one of those celebrity look-alike agencies.
But that gave way to wondering if the real Jeff Gannon was a celebrity.
Infamy, certainly, the 15-minutes-of-fame thing ... But does that 15-minutes in the spotlight automatically give you the title of "celebrity"?
I checked The Google, to see if I could find any requirement, standards that had to be met in order to call yourself a celebrity (and not a fake celebrity, the kind that would work for a look-alike agency).
Didn't find anything. Anybody can call themselves a celebrity, though, it's not clear that anyone else would call you one. You could probably count on some friends and family, but that's not a given.
I mean, let's be real here.
If it only takes 15-minutes to become a celebrity, Christ, the place would be crawling with them.
There'd be all kinds of celebrity news shows ... Reality shows ... Game shows ... Probably sports and dancing shows ...
Wait a minute ... Scratch that ...
I got back to the comment ... The Jeff Gannon comment
You can read the comment, in full, here.
Just the heading, right under "Jeff Gannon Says" was a give-away that a compliment was not going to be forthcoming;
"Old Media Ablaze Over Staged FEMA Presser"
And then the first five words - "Liberal activists and the Old Media"
Hmmm ... Using "Old Media twice in the opening ... Made a quick mental note to imprint that the words "Old Media" sits in the Rightwing code book. Mr. Gannon then recounts the fake FEMA press conference, accurately (no, he doesn't indicate that he dreamed, wistfully, of being able to sit in that one) and, in the second paragraph of the comment, offers a scenario that excuses FEMA for pulling a fast one (Hint - blame the Liberals and Old Media).
Third paragraph infers wrong impressions were put forward - again, by the Old Media - on Hurricane Katrina (Hmmm .. Cameras focused on thousands of people at the Morial Convention Center without any food or water, for days, was an incorrect impression) and that he learned a big enough lesson ... And then it comes, right there in the third paragraph;
"In my book, “The Great Media War: A Battlefield Report”, I detail the flawed coverage of one of the greatest natural disasters in American history – a record that has yet to be corrected." He's hawking a book
Fourth and fifth paragraphs are Gannon defending himself against the "phony reporter" charges, pointing to "Liberal media activist Keith Olbermann noted it on his nightly train wreck of a talk show and the lefties of the blogosphere dutifully repeated it ad nauseum."
I was as real as a reporter gets, writing over 500 articles as a White House correspondent, a job that Secret Service records indicate I actually showed up for more than 200 times over the course of two years. The veracity of my work as a reporter has never been successfully challenged." He then, in the last paragraph, burnished his credentials, indicating he is a member of the National Press Club and that "My book about the media will be featured at the National Press Club’s 30th annual book fair on November 1."
He ends the comment with "Not bad for a “fake, fraud and phony.”
Well, it has been said that "showing up" is about 80% of it.
And he certainly isn't the first, nor will be the last, "fake, fraud and phony" to publish a book.
This comment intrigued me.
The links in it leads back to JeffGannon.com and there, it is descried that the comment was simply a copy-and-paste of a post, dated October 29, 2007.
Here I am, sitting here with my little The Garlic blog, thinking I've gotten whacked by a possible celebrity (see above) and it's was only a cut-and-paste job. No freshly-written prose ... I was just lumped into a mass mailing, probably, a spam comment (Note: After writing this, I discovered it was - see "Was Jeff Gannon a “Fake White House Reporter”?, over on The Democratic Daily)
Some Rightwing fan (possible that fake Jeff Gannon), defending the legendary fake reporter, scanning and jumping through the World Wide Web, parrying back at all the "Old Media" and "Liberal Activists".
So, to satisfy my curiosity, I emailed Jeff Gannon, through his website, asking "to verify comments left on my blog, The Garlic: All The Cloves Fit To Peel, were left by you, and/or you authorized a third party to submit the comment", noting that "it is unsigned (with no link back to an individual email), it is a copy of a post on your website, and with links to your new book."
Well, as Gomer Pyle used to say, "Surprise, Surprise"
Just over two-hours later, I received a reply - from Jeff Gannon - confirming that the comment left of The Garlic was with his "knowledge and permission." (Okay conspiracy theorists, get to work, he didn't actually say he posted it; Could, possibly, be that fake Jeff Gannon person). And he was quite cordial, thanking me for checking the source.
And I did call the National Press Club, who verified (over the telephone) that, yes, Jeff Gannon was a member and, yes, his book is being featured in the book fair
So, I have read and reread the comment a good number of times, and I have to admit, that I do agree with Mr. Gannon, that he isn't, and wasn't a "phony reporter".
He was a shill ... A Republican shill ... A Hack ... An RNC, Talking-Points Hack ... A Hatchet Man ... Part of the Sludge Report, Freakshow crowd, or, at least, attempting to earn his way into it (He would have to admit the irony of being gay and Republican doesn't open a lot of doors in Red America; Let's wait and see how many Faux News Network programs he gets on with his new book, though, to be fair, if it offers taking a swipe at Hillary/The Democrats/Liberals/Daily Kos/Media Matters, Fox would put John Wayne Gacy in front of the cameras).
Dwarfs, Finks, Phonies and Frauds, the lot of them.
Whether my writing is good enough, my satire witty enough, that is for others to decide.
Having Gannon comment on The Garlic (and, as of this week, STOPTHEACLU is picking on us), I can find solace in the fact that I've done, at minimum, my 80%.
Bonus Jeff Gannon Links
William Pitt: The Jeff Gannon Experience
Joe Conason: Gannon: The early years; Before he was buttering up Bush at White House press conferences, "Jeff Gannon" was doing the GOP's dirty work in attacking Tom Daschle.
Eric Boehlert: Fake news, fake reporter; Why was a partisan hack, using an alias and with no journalism background, given repeated access to daily White House press briefings?
SusanG/Daily Kos: Plame Leaked by Fake News Source? Overview: Part IV
Howard Kurtz: Jeff Gannon Admits Past 'Mistakes,' Berates Critics
Mark Fitzgerald/Editors & Publishers: Jeff Gannon Returns To Fray With Book Blasting Media's 'Liberal Bias'
A great moment in softball history