Friday, February 25, 2005
Cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria: The surest sign yet that the apocalypse is upon us comes from David Corn at The Nation magazine. Corn has been poked and prodded by the loony left to look into the "Jeff Gannon" "scandal". Corn comes to the same conclusion I have -- this is much ado about nothing.
Let me stipulate that how Gannon/Guckert came to be permitted into the White House press room is a worthy topic of inquiry. But his pursuers ought to be careful on this point. Talon News was a fly-by-night (or phony) news operation with a political agenda. But White House daily briefings should be open to as diverse a group as possible. There is a need for professional accreditation; space is limited. Yet there is nothing inherently wrong with allowing journalists with identifiable biases to pose questions to the White House press secretary and even the president. And if such a reporter asks a dumb question--as did Gannon/Guckert (which triggered this scandal)--the best response is scorn and further debate. Bloggers should think hard when they complain about standards for passes for White House press briefings. Last year, political bloggers--many of whom have their own biases and sometimes function as activists--sought credentials to the Democratic and Republican conventions. That was a good thing. Why shouldn't Josh Marshall, Glenn Reynolds, John Aravosis, or Markos Moulitsas (DailyKos) be allowed to question Scott McClellan or George W. Bush? Do we want only the MSMers to have this privilege?
I'll be visiting the East Coast this summer to visit the World's Greatest Niece, and have considered attempting to get a day pass to the White House briefing room myself. If I ask a question that's not sufficiently "hard-nosed" for the hacks over at Media Matters, will I have lefty bloggers digging up whatever they can on me? (Don't waste your time, you're not going to find anything juicy.)
There's no there there. Get over it.