by Scoobie Davis
The Surreal Life
I just watched Special Report with Brit Hume on Faux News. Bill Sammon was on a panel that discussed the "Jeff Gannon" scandal. I don't have a transcript but Sammon claimed that "Gannon" (a GOP operative) was a conservative journalist who drew the ire of other White House journalists because they asked liberally-biased questions at White House press conferences and Gannon didn't. Sammon went on and said the only thing left-of-center bloggers got on Gannon was that he used a pseudonym and had registered the gay web sites. The larger issues (e.g., this and this) were ignored altogether. The other panelists were Jeff Birnbaum of the Washington Post and Charles Krauthammer. Of course, I didn't expect Krauthammer to criticize the Bush White House or treat this as a legitimate scandal. However, Birnbaum had little to say that clarified the seriousness of allowing Gannon into White House press briefings and press conferences. "Mr. Splainer Man" did very little explaining. Consequence: Fox News viewers were misinformed about serious issues of national security, journalistic integrity, and manipulation of the media by the Bush Administration.
UPDATE: For the most succinct analysis of the Gannon/"Manchurian Beefcake scandal, read Lambert's take (via APJ).