2/16/2005

"Liberal" media silent about Guckert matter

From Joe Conason in the NY Press:
What Mr. Guckert seems to have been is not a journalist but a Republican dirty trickster. He was schooled at the Leadership Institute--an outfit run by veteran right-wing operative and Republican National Committee member Morton Blackwell. (It was Mr. Blackwell who distributed those cute "purple heart" Band-aids mocking Mr. Kerry's war wounds at the Republican convention last summer.) His former employers at Talon News include leading Republican fund-raisers and former officials of the Texas Republican Party who have been active in partisan affairs for the past two decades.
How did this character obtain a coveted place in the White House? What did the White House press staff know about him? How does his story fit within the larger scandal of payola punditry, with federal funds subsidizing Republican propagandists in the press corps? Did someone in the Bush administration give him a classified document? Such questions are evidently of little concern to our liberal media outlets, whose leading lights prefer to deliver prim lectures about the unwarranted invasion of Mr. Guckert's private affairs and his victimization for his conservative views. In fact, everything known about him comes from material he posted on public Web sites, but that's beside the point.
Imagine the media explosion if a male escort had been discovered operating as a correspondent in the Clinton White House. Imagine that he was paid by an outfit owned by Arkansas Democrats and had been trained in journalism by James Carville. Imagine that this gentleman had been cultivated and called upon by Mike McCurry or Joe Lockhart--or by President Clinton himself. Imagine that this "journalist" had smeared a Republican Presidential candidate and had previously claimed access to classified documents in a national-security scandal.
Then imagine the constant screaming on radio, on television, on Capitol Hill, in the Washington press corps--and listen to the placid mumbling of the "liberal" media now.

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