Thursday, February 03, 2005

Film at 11: Winger replicants invade the press corps 

I'm shocked! Shocked!

Or not. Move along people, move along, there's no story here. Can it be that Inerrant Boy is so fearful of question, so unable to think on his feet, so terrified that someone will pop his bubble, that He sinks to taking planted questions from ringers at his press [cough] conferences? Say it isn't so!

The Bush administration has provided White House media credentials to a man who has virtually no journalistic background, asks softball questions to the president and his spokesman in the midst of contentious news conferences, and routinely reprints long passages verbatim from official press releases as original news articles on his website.

Jeff Gannon calls himself the White House correspondent for TalonNews.com ... [T]ranscripts of White House briefings indicate that McClellan often calls on Gannon and that the press secretary -- and the president -- have found relief in a question from Gannon after critical lines of questioning from mainstream news organizations.

[Media Matters] quickly discovered two things, he said. First, both Talon and the political organization GOP USA were run by a Texas Republican activist and party delegate named Bobby Eberle. Second, many of the reports Gannon filed for Talon News "appeared to be lifted verbatim from various White House and Republican political committee documents."
(via The Boston Glob)

And how's this for an utterly classic piece of up-is-down-ism?

Gannon declined to comment. He did reply to [Media Matters] on his personal blog: "In many cases I have liberally used the verbiage provided on key aspects of the issue because it is the precise expression of where the White House stands -- free of any 'spin.' It's the ultimate in journalistic honesty -- unvarnished and unfiltered. If only others would be as forthcoming."

'S beautiful. [Sniffs, wipes nose on back of sleeve.] Beautiful... Journalistic honesty is the same as typing RNC talking points—verbatim.

Up is down... Although, come to think of it—

How is what Talon's Gannon says any different from what Judith "Kneepads" Miller has already said, just using fancier words? (back)

"[LA MILLER] [M]y job isn't to assess the government's information and be an independent intelligence analyst myself. My job is to tell readers of The New York Times what the government thought about Iraq's arsenal."

I guess I'm getting old—it still strikes me as funny that a reporter at The World's Greatest Newspaper (not!) would espouse exactly the same philosophy as a shill for the Texas Republican Partei. I just hope they aren't actually paid for what they do (like the $250,000 the Republicans gave Armstrong Williams as part of their disinformation campaign for No Media Whore Left Behind). I just don't think I could take a revelation like that.

I mean, they can't all be on the take, right? Even if Bush does have the budget for at least 200 talking heads.... ("PR" stands for Paying Republicans, back) ... and so far we only know about 4, some of whom sold themselves for a lot less money than Williams did.

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