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Brock Demands McClellan Revoke WH Credentials of Talon News Reporter/RIGHTALK Host Jeff Gannon
Media Mutters | 1-31-05 | Bob J

Posted on 01/31/2005 5:57:56 PM PST by Bob J

Letter from David Brock to Scott McClellan January 31, 2005

Scott McClellan Press Secretary The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. McClellan:

I am writing to ask you to consider revoking the White House press credentials apparently granted to Jeff Gannon of Talon News. Mr. Gannon and Talon News appear to be political activists rather than actual journalists, and as such should not be presented to the public as an independent news agency.

Consider:

Talon News is virtually indistinguishable from an organization called GOPUSA, which describes itself as "dedicated to promoting conservative ideals." Both are run by Bobby Eberle, and websites for both entities are registered to Mr. Eberle at his home address. The contact information listed for Talon News includes Mr. Eberle's GOPUSA.com email address. The staff of Talon News and GOPUSA is comprised almost entirely of Republican activists with no journalism experience whatsoever. For example, Mr. Eberle is president of GOPUSA and also serves as editor in chief of Talon News, but his biography lists no journalism experience. He did, however, serve as a delegate to the 2000 Republican National Convention, and has held numerous other Republican Party posts in the past. Other Talon News and GOPUSA staff include county Republican Party chairs, delegates to state Republican conventions, and other Republican officials. Posts by Messrs. Eberle and Gannon on the online forum Free Republic make clear that the two men are partisan activists, not journalists. Mr. Gannon, for example, used Free Republic to try to organize partisan political activities designed to embarrass and discredit Senator John Kerry during last year's presidential campaign. Mr. Gannon's conduct during your briefings, as well as presidential press conferences, further suggests that his true role is that of a partisan operative rather than an independent journalist. His questions reliably criticize Democrats and praise President Bush, often containing false assertions, such as his question last week -- based on Rush Limbaugh's radio program -- that incorrectly asserted that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid "was talking about soup lines."

Washington Post columnist Dan Froomkin noted in a March 10, 2004, column that Mr. Gannon frequently asks "softballs" during White House press briefings, adding:

And press secretary McClellan seems to appreciate it.

Yesterday, for instance, McClellan was getting hammered with questions about the 9/11 commission and the possible inappropriate juxtaposition of a visit to a 9/11 memorial with a fundraiser on Thursday.

It was getting ugly. "I'm not even going to dignify that with a response," McClellan said in response to a jibe.

Then he saw daylight:

"Go ahead, Jeff."

Mr. Gannon wrote in a post on FreeRepublic.com that you are apparently aware of what he will ask you at briefings; in response to a comment about your reaction to a question he asked, Mr. Gannon wrote: "It's hard to say with Scott but he usually knows what he's going to get from me."

Given all of this, it seems that Mr. Gannon serves not as a reporter during press briefings but as a useful lifeline for you to rely on when you get in trouble.

In light of recent revelations about the Bush administration's relationship with conservative writers Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher, and Michael McManus, as well as about the administration's repeated use of fake video "news" reports to promote policies, the public is understandably concerned that the White House seems to be trying to manipulate public opinion using fake "news." Given that Talon News seems to be little more than a partisan political organization and given that, based on what Mr. Gannon has written, you apparently know what he will ask during your briefings, Mr. Gannon's continued participation in White House press briefings would seem to exacerbate those concerns.

The public has a right to expect that when you hold press briefings, the reporters are real and the questions are not staged beforehand. They have a right not to be deceived into thinking they are seeing and hearing reporters ask honest questions when they are really seeing a staged performance by partisan operatives.

Unfortunately, Mr. Gannon's propaganda doesn't end at the conclusion of White House briefings. His "articles" are frequently little more than reprints of White House press releases and fact sheets, as Media Matters for America has demonstrated. I understand that your office issues press releases with the hope that reporters quote them. But surely you understand that when Mr. Gannon's "articles" lift heavily from President Bush's statements without directly disclosing that the words are the president's, not Mr. Gannon's, he is working not as a journalist but as an agent of the White House.

Mr. McClellan, the public needs to be confident that your briefings and the president's press conferences are honest, open dialogues with real reporters. Now more than ever, the public needs to be certain that the White House isn't using fake "journalists" to manipulate public opinion. Revoking Mr. Gannon's credentials would be a good first step in that direction.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance or if you would like further information. I have attached some materials about Mr. Gannon we have produced that may be helpful.

Sincerely,

David Brock President and CEO Media Matters for America


TOPICS: Free Republic
KEYWORDS: blankley; brockafterblankley; gannon; liberalmedia; mediamatters; rightalk; talonnews
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This request must look funny coming from the non-partisan David Brock at the non-profit Media Mutters!

GO JEFF!

1 posted on 01/31/2005 5:57:57 PM PST by Bob J
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To: prairiebreeze; cyncooper; Mo1

Must read.


2 posted on 01/31/2005 6:00:09 PM PST by Peach
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To: Bob J

DB always has it panties in a wad about something.


3 posted on 01/31/2005 6:00:53 PM PST by gov_bean_ counter
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To: Bob J

waaah! waaaah! Where's the crying baby logo, fer Pete's sake. The Stone Age Media simply can't come to grips with the fact that THEIR political operatives (i.e. the WA press corps) no longer has free reign in the public domain.

Viva La Revolucion!


4 posted on 01/31/2005 6:02:21 PM PST by The Right Stuff
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To: Jeff Gannon

Apparently, Brock doesn't like you.


5 posted on 01/31/2005 6:02:36 PM PST by SoDak (hoist that rag!)
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To: Bob J

It is alright to be partisan but only if you are a liberal.


6 posted on 01/31/2005 6:03:35 PM PST by Claytay ("We will fight the terrorist till hell freezes over. Then we'll fight them on ice.")
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To: Bob J
Would that Media Matters apply this level of scrutiny to the rest of the White House Press Corps. < / Sarcasm >

Regards,

TS

7 posted on 01/31/2005 6:04:30 PM PST by The Shrew (www.swiftvets.com & www.wintersoldier.com - The Truth Shall Set YOU Free!)
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To: The Shrew

like Helen Thomas.........she ceased being a real jouranlist sometime around the Nixon Admin..........


8 posted on 01/31/2005 6:06:52 PM PST by NorCalRepub
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To: Bob J


Where is it written that a journalist favoring an administration cannot be in the White House Press Room? If that were the case during the Clinton years Dee Dee Myers would have been talking to a room full of empty chairs.


9 posted on 01/31/2005 6:08:32 PM PST by msnimje
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To: Bob J

Oh I was needing a good laugh!!!


10 posted on 01/31/2005 6:09:00 PM PST by OldFriend (America's glory is not dominion, but liberty.)
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To: NorCalRepub

She's been a urin-a-list, her whole, fat, ugly life. Bite your tongue.


11 posted on 01/31/2005 6:10:02 PM PST by 7.62 x 51mm ( veni vidi vino visa "I came, I saw, I drank wine, I shopped")
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To: Bob J
Only certain anointed ones can be "journalists". What an ass.
12 posted on 01/31/2005 6:10:12 PM PST by Texas_Jarhead (I believe in American Exceptionalism! Do you?)
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To: Bob J
Mr. Gannon, for example, used Free Republic to try to organize partisan political activities designed to embarrass and discredit Senator John Kerry

Sheesh...the dickhead says "Free Republic" like it's a dirty word or sumpin..

13 posted on 01/31/2005 6:10:41 PM PST by ErnBatavia (ErnBatavia, Boxer, Pelosi, Thomas...the ultimate nightmare Menage a Quatro)
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To: Bob J
BRING IT ON...WAAAAAAA

MAKE IT STOP.............

This has be a PSA for 'THE' media from:

aka David Blechhh Brock

14 posted on 01/31/2005 6:11:25 PM PST by JesseJane (KERRY: I have had conversations with leaders, yes, recently.That's not your business, it's mine.)
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To: Bob J

Only if the credentials of reporters from the house organs of the Democratic Party (W. Compost and Newsweek) are also lifted.


15 posted on 01/31/2005 6:11:59 PM PST by expatpat
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To: Peach
Mr. Gannon, for example, used Free Republic to try to organize partisan political activities designed to embarrass and discredit Senator John Kerry during last year's presidential campaign.

John Kerry embarrassed and discredited himself far better than FReepers ever could.

Sounds like we need to call another Waaaaaambulance for David Brock. The hospital psych units must be FULL of RATs after those Iraqi election turnout stats, LOL!

16 posted on 01/31/2005 6:12:22 PM PST by prairiebreeze (George W Bush: Spending well-earned political capital.)
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To: NorCalRepub
After they get done purging the White House Press Corps of the partisan hacks Media Matters can head down the highway to evaluate the non-partisan questions given during each conference to the SecDef.

I'm not holding my breath.

Regards,

TS

17 posted on 01/31/2005 6:14:10 PM PST by The Shrew (www.swiftvets.com & www.wintersoldier.com - The Truth Shall Set YOU Free!)
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To: Bob J
This guy is really out to get Gannon. If Gannon is a real reporter I would think he could win a libel suit against Brock. He is attempting to take away Gannon's ability to earn a living by publishing untruths.
18 posted on 01/31/2005 6:14:25 PM PST by wattsup ("It's best to stay silent and be thought of as a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.." ..Abe L.)
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To: Bob J
BROCK WON'T TAKE THIS SITTING DOWN!!!!
19 posted on 01/31/2005 6:14:38 PM PST by Rakkasan1 (john f'n kerry-the original 'million dollar baby'.)
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To: wattsup
This should definitely up Jeff Gannon's profile and hopefully his compensation.

Semper Fi Jeff,

TS

20 posted on 01/31/2005 6:15:55 PM PST by The Shrew (www.swiftvets.com & www.wintersoldier.com - The Truth Shall Set YOU Free!)
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