Coulter Puts Gannongate in (Warped) Perspective

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Coulter Puts Gannongate in (Warped) Perspective

Ann Coulter may be an annoying and obnoxious cretin, but this wicked witch of the Right works hard to spin and obfuscate issues. Witness her ability in this column to conveniently overlook the real issue in the Jeff Gannon controversy:
The heretofore-unknown Jeff Gannon of the heretofore-unknown "Talon News" service was caught red-handed asking friendly questions at a White House press briefing. Now the media is hot on the trail of a gay escort service that Gannon may have run some years ago.

Are we supposed to like gay people now, or hate them?
Of course, the pertinent issue with regard to Gannon and Talon is why a security-obsessed White House issued daily press passes month after month to a partisan conservative writer, thereby excusing him from the FBI screening that normally applies to White House reporters. Coulter doesn't completely ignore this issue. She just sidesteps it by writing:
Gannon didn't have a permanent pass; he had only a daily pass ... A daily pass and a permanent pass are altogether different animals.
Yes, Ann. That's precisely the point. They are different "animals" that require different levels of security screening.

A Washington-based journalist informs me that daily passes traditionally have been reserved, for example, for a California-based Los Angeles Times editor who might happen to be in the nation's capital when a White House press conference is convened. They have never been intended as credentials that are repeatedly issued to a Washington-based writer who is unwilling to submit to the same background check that other White House reporters endure.

At one point, Coulter tries to equate the fact that Gannon repeatedly obtained daily press credentials from the White House under an alias with the fact that
Air America radio host and "Nanny" impersonator "Randi Rhodes" goes by a fake name, and she won't even tell people what her real last name is.
Wow, what a perfect apples-to-apples comparison that is.

If only I'd known that a liberal radio commentator somewhere within the 50 states uses an assumed "on-air" name, I'd have realized right from the start that this Gannon thing was no big deal. Thanks for putting this issue to rest for us, Ann.

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