Long time readers may recognize the following, which is a recycled post from February 2005 (when I was still on Blogger). At the bottom, I’ll explain why I’m resurrecting it:
Remember from playground days how, when someone was picking on your little brother, you’d rush over to defend him, and announce to the perpetrators, “Only I get to call my brother names”? I thought of that when I read this Hindrocket PowerLine post (which I reproduce here in its entirety, although I’ve omitted the original internal links):
The ‘Jeff Gannon’ affair has been a mini-cause celebre on the liberal side of the blogosphere over the past several days, to the point where we have gotten several belligerent emails from lefties demanding to know why we aren’t covering the story. My response has been that I can’t figure out what the story is. ‘Gannon’ wrote for the Talon news service and was occasionally cleared to participate in White House press briefings. He apparently is a conservative, and on some occasions he asked questions with a twist that was friendly to the administration. The ‘scandal’ that has erupted over the past few days involves the following elements: 1) ‘Jeff Gannon’ isn’t his real name; it’s James Guckert; 2) Guckert is alleged to be a homosexual (Markos Moulitsos of the Daily Kos has made a big deal out of this); and 3) several gay porn sites are registered in Guckert’s name. Gannon/Guckert has now resigned from Talon due to the attention. The first actual news story I’ve seen on the Gannon affair is this AP report, which quotes Scott McClellan:
White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Guckert did not have a regular White House press pass but was cleared on a day-by-day basis to attend briefings and used his real name. ‘He, like anyone else, showed that he was representing a news organization that published regularly and so he was cleared two years ago to receive daily passes just like many others are,’ McClellan said. ‘In this day and age, when you have a changing media, it’s not an easy issue to decide, to try to pick and choose who is a journalist. It gets into the issue of advocacy journalism. Where do you draw the line? There are a number of people who cross that line in the briefing room.’
I still don’t get it. Gannon has been attacked for not being a ‘real’ journalist–as compared to whom, Helen Thomas? He called himself a “voice of the new media” on his web site, and it seems passing strange to me for bloggers to suggest that only journalism school graduates are qualified to ask questions at press briefings. As far as I can tell, the only thing that distinguished Gannon from the other reporters is that he is a partisan conservative, whereas they are nearly all partisan liberals. I’d be happy if the administration threw the whole lot of them out and took questions from people on the street. Inasmuch as I still don’t see that there is much of a story here–apart, of course, from the somewhat entertaining strangeness of it all–I’ll stop writing now.
I can’t add anything better to what Hindrocket already said about the core issue (i.e., Gannon’s right to appear at press conferences). What surprised me was that the left is apparently terribly upset about Gannon’s purported homosexuality. Indeed, as far as I can tell from this comment at DailyKos, Claude Raines-like, the Lefties are “shocked, shocked” that Gannon might have a homosexual past — one, indeed, that might include prostitution. That’s sordid, I agree, but two things: that accusation might be false, and, if true, Gannon may well have reformed his wild ways.
My real point, though, is how the Left appears to feel that, while the right cannot comment on race, mental abilities, or sexuality, the Lefties can, with impunity. How else to explain their despicably racist comments regarding Condi Rice, the “cartoons” depicting George Bush as mentally retarded, and now this “homosexual agenda” attack on Gannon? Does being the self-proclaimed champion of people of color, the mentally handicapped, and gays mean that you get to insult them with impunity? I certainly wouldn’t want such offensive people to speak on my behalf. Indeed, I might prefer someone else’s tender mercies to those of my ostensible benefactors.
This old post keeps circling around to the forefront of my brain and reminding me of its currency. A month ago, there was the uproar that Matt Sanchez had a past in gay porn, although I think that outrage was more about perceived hypocrisy than about his actual gayness. (Dennis Prager handled that point here.)
Showing that the Left never learns when it comes to exposing its deep, deep disdain for those who deviate from identity politics servitude, Confederate Yankee points out that a liberal blogger has made racially demeaning comments about Condi Rice, calling her “Brown Sugar,” a manifestly sexual term reserved for African-American females. Apparently tbogg, a fairly well-ranked liberal blogger, figures that the monthly uproar quota for inflammatory racial remarks has been used up, and that he’s free to say what he wants. Or, more likely, he knows that, because his comment is directed at a conservative black, he’ll get a free pass.
Be that as it may, it shows once again that the liberals’ ostensible concern with racial or sexual identity has little to do with compassion, and everything to do with driving home ideological points and political demands.