Thursday, February 17, 2005

Open season for full-monty blogs

Many blogs have outed many people in the short history of open-tsoris journalism, but it was not until now that we have had our first full-frontal outing.

It happened in the case of Jeff (Whatever His Name Is) Gannon, the suck-up correspondent who pitched a softball question in a White House news conference, only to be exposed by alert bloggers as a right-wing shill really named James Dale Guckert.

Soon after Gannon/Guckert was exposed as a man of dual identities, he was outed by alert bloggers as the registrar of several gay-sounding web URLs.

No sooner was Gluckert/Gannon connected to these sites, then another alert blogger posted several screen shots that seem to expose Gannon/Gluckert in all his full-monty glory, save for a few Photoshopped figleaves. (For the pruriently inclined over the age of 18 who are not offended by nudity and six-pack abs, XXX marks the spot where almost all of it hangs out.)

Although this body of work is offensive to anyone but the decorously impaired, it is the logical representation of the free, easy and unfettered speech enabled by modern technology. Indeed, it is a perverse measure of the new paradigm's success that self-appointed, self-righteous and occasionally self-serving “journalists” of all stripes can not only inform but occasionally infest the public discourse.

The liberation and democratization of the media should be a time of giddy delight for those of us who endorse the broadest expression of free speech. Instead, open-source reporting has turned into open season.

I am appalled with the speed and degree to which participatory journalism has been perverted into a series of increasingly acrimonious tit-for-tat vendettas. If the right wingers get one guy, then the left wingers have to get a right winger, and on and on.

We can do better than this.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Marc said...

"We can do better than this."

Not to be cynical as you do a pretty good job of that, what evidence do you have that we can?

Next up is bloggers covering the food fight. Oops, I guess that is what the article is all about :-)

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a little disappointed in this commentary. This is not tit-for-tat. This is a story with real legs. Someone in the White House facilitated this unsavory charlatan's daily access. All the "real" journalists alongside Guckert never had a clue, never had any curiosity to follow up. It took the amateurs a few days to find enough information to add another chapter to this administration's shameless transformation of news into propaganda. Can we also add the stunning hypocrisy of a White House that is making political hay scapegoating homosexuals while inviting a gay prostitute to act as its shill? Most ominous of all, is the indication that Guckert may have had access to the classified CIA Plame memo.

I believe this is just the surface scum we're seeing. It's hard to imagine there isn't a lot more nasty, perhaps criminal stuff underneath. And whatever is there, it is tangled in the incredible web of Republican shady operations.

Do you actually think that exposure of the administration's use and abuse of the media, its subversion of honest news, and its use of secret, paid flacks in the ranks of journalists is somehow a "tit-for-tat" equivalent with the hounding of Dan Rather over a sloppy job, or the targeting of Eason Jordan over some intemperate remarks in a private venue?

I say: Bring on the nude pix! Let the sanctimonious hypocrites who voted for these scoundrels see just what kind of company they keep.

9:05 PM  

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