For two years the White House press corps turned a blind eye to a ringer in their midst. The ringer was James Guckert — known to them, and now to the world, as “Jeff Gannon.”
“Jeff,” as President George Bush called him at the fateful White House press conference on January 26th, turned out to be not only a fake reporter, working for a fake news agency, and operating under a false name — but he also operated web sites promoting male prostitution.
The bloggers at The Daily Kos, (one of the nation’s most popular political web sites) who led the way in exposing Guckert and the GOP front group, Talon News, will go down in the history of journalism as having significantly advanced what is being called “open source journalism.” The term “open source” derives from an element of the computer software community that seeks to make information widely accessible instead of narrowly proprietary or shrouded in mystery.
They are not only continuing their ground-breaking investigation, but they are also building a new organization — ePluribus Media — to carry it and other worthwhile investigations forward. (Full disclosure: I am honored to be among the founders of this organization.)
Meanwhile, ePluribus Media cofounder Susan Gardner and Todd Johnston have a new story published on The Daily Kos, on how Gannon’s debut in the national media coincided with the first known published review of his male escort services.
According to an ePluribus Media press release, Guckert first emerged “as conservative pit bull ‘Jeff Gannon,”‘ on Nov. 12, 2002, as author of an article published on ConservativeMonitor.com. This was the same date one of his male escort clients published a “rave review of his services,” said Gardner.
Gardner and Johnston detail Guckert’s career moves from office manager at an auto body shop in West Chester, Pennsylvania, to Washington DC-based male escort service entrepreneur and White House correspondent. His rise “was nothing short of meteoric,” Gardner said. “That this metamorphosis occurred in conjunction with his male escort business leads us to believe that the two may be connected. We are pursuing that investigation.”
The group has recently incorporated as a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization and needs your help to get off the ground: ePluribus Media
[Crossposted from FrederickClarkson.com]