Friday, February 25, 2005
IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER TO HAVE SAID NOTHING:
Sullivan finally, apropos of nothing whatsoever, for once brings up something many people wondered if he would talk about: the growing Gannon/Guckert scandal.
By rights, of course, as you all know, he should have publicly recused himself from doing so since the story hits too close to home. Or at least the part of it he gives his game away over by being too concerned with.
The Reynolds post he links to (we have only once linked to Reynolds, and don’t do so since Glenn blogrolls Little Green Goofballs) is an extraordinarily weak thing to say you agree to.
Glenn basically takes a subliterate emailer as representative of the whole argument and tries to torque it around to being about liberal outrage that the gay Guckert is a conservative. We salute whoever it was on the right who came up with the idea to spin it that way, but Reynolds deals not at all with the “substantial” part of the story, and by link neither does Sullivan.
Let’s go over this one more time:
- Man with past and present as gay prostitute/military pimp gets White House press pass to help Scott McClellan out with pro-Bush leading questions (last part is not a scandal in and of itself).
- With no prior journalistic background or experience, and already having been rejected for a Capitol press pass, he joins a hastily created news organization with close ties to a Republican think tank owned by a big Texas Republican fundraiser, a news organization that puts all its content on its site for free and runs few ads save for the think tank, making it hard to ascertain how it meets the standards for accredited news organizations covering the White House that require that the organization derive its revenues from reporting the news.
- In this position he gets either a hard permanent pass, despite FBI screening that should have revealed both his seedy yet quite public past in an illegal activity and his $20,000 back-tax bill to Delaware; or a regular day pass despite Secret Service edicts ending this practice after 9/11.
- Not only this, he is apparently tipped off by the White House about certain big stories, and leaked important documents, some classified, just ever-so-slightly ahead of the mainstream media.
Gannon/Guckert’s homosexuality is not totally irrelevant to the issue. Now, if the right is, as outrage like this is betraying, mad at the left for forcing it to confront the blatant homosexuality of one of its lesser members, much as they were about the Mary Cheney “disclosures”) that’s their problem. They should not be blaming liberals for inadvertently bringing this to their attention.
But let’s remember what the real issue is. Since he was not (unlike Sullivan) out and proud, and traveled among circles where, as Sullivan should know only too well, homosexuality, even among a dyed-in-the-wool patriotic conservative (and remember that Gannon did in fact write anti-gay material for Talon, whatever Smalltown Boy thinks), has never been fully accepted, this was blackmail material. Just like the outstanding tax bill.
A long time back, so long ago we don’t feel like looking for the post so late, Sullivan got all hyped at The Washington Post for reporting that a Virginia man slated to go to Iraq pre-3/19 as an arms inspector was active in the DC-area S&M scene. Exposure! Outing! No Privacy! howled Captain Bareback. It completely didn’t cross his mind what could have happened if one of Saddam’s agents had gotten a hold of that information first and the Post had never published. And so we said at the time.
And today, it completely fails to cross Sullivan’s mind what might have happened if everyone had just pretended those websites, viewable by anyone, didn’t exist ... except for the Adams Morgan al-Qaa‘idah cell. And Reynolds. And Lileks.
Whatever Corn wants to believe, this may well not be trivial. Perhaps Gannon/Guckert had gay acquaintances or clients in the White House Communications Office pull strings for him despite heightened security precautions. Perhaps not. But it goes deeper than that.
Someone wanted Gannon in the White House press pool for something over and above tossing softballs at Bush (if that was all they needed, they already had Les Kinsolving). The creation of Talon News alone is fishy enough to warrant some questions. There is evidence of intelligence connections around the edge — let’s get to the bottom of this.
Michael Getler thinks it’s a story. The conservative news service WorldNetDaily does too (OK, maybe they’re just jealous, and Joseph Farah is getting a little snitty with the administration lately). Smaller newspapers like the Portland Oregonian know this isn’t a bloggers vs. the world story. It’s more.
BELATED UPDATE: Jo agrees completely.
posted by Sully 2/25/2005 10:28:00 PM
Thursday, February 24, 2005
WE GUESS IT WOULD BE REALLY BAD IF WE WOKE UP ONE DAY IN A COUNTRY RUN BY THAT GUY:“Newt Gingirch”
posted by Sully 2/24/2005 04:05:00 PM
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
MORE POURING YOUR FIRST DRINK WHILE THEY’RE PUTTING THE CHAIRS AWAY:
John Whiteside again points out how late and lame Sully is with his iPod piece:Sullivan more or less stumbles into the real point: “Americans are beginning to narrow their lives.” Well, that would have been an interesting statement around 1998. Today, it’s like pointing out that the storm is coming as the floodwaters reach your roofline.
posted by Sully 2/23/2005 09:47:00 PM
THE CHICKENS COME HOME:
To Sager and Sullivan we can only say one thing, over and over.Bow down before the one you serve.
You’re going to get what you deserve.
posted by Sully 2/23/2005 09:41:00 PM
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
DEDICATED NON-FOLLOWER OF FACTS:
P O’Neill has the latest amusing take on how Sullivan seems not to have given up blogging so much as reduced his exposure to criticism, complete with pertinent Kinks quote.
He also reports it turns out that the homoeroticism-laden quote from Jose Canseco about him and Mark McGwire may have some reality-based problems.Many of his claims are difficult to believe. The thought of Canseco and McGwire in a clubhouse bathroom stall injecting each other’s buttocks is borderline ludicrous. First, the two were so big, even pre-steroids, that they wouldn’t even fit into a stall (it would be like a couple of elephants attempting to drink lattes together inside of a Volkswagen). Second, scores of teammates from the Oakland days will tell you the two were never very close.
Actually, maybe the first part of the quote should be taken with a grain of salt. The sportswriter in question is arguing from purely theoretical grounds, and we’d bet that there are at least a few gay men out there who have a more realistic take on whether two men of their dimensions could fit inside a typical men’s bathroom stall and, uh, inject each other in the buttocks (it would help to know just how big the bathroom stalls in the A’s clubhouse actually are). A lot depends on whether you actually shut the door or not.
The second part casts more doubt on the story, we think.
As for Sullivan’s sudden desire to quit, even if he hasn’t, as so often with us we find a Pink Floyd song most to the point:
I wanna go home
Take off this uniform and leave the show.
And I’m waiting here in this cell
Because I have to know, have to know, have to know
... have I been guilty all this time?
... have to know, have to know, have to know ...
You all know what comes next ...
“Caught red-handed showing feelings ... showing feelings ... of an almost human nature. This will not do”
posted by Sully 2/22/2005 12:56:00 PM
Roger Ailes, in addition to being the latest to note Sullivan’s not-blogging blogging, takes Smalltown Boy to task for not broadly applying his concern for academic freedom.I can’t remember Sully comparing the demands for the firing of Howell Raines or Jordan Eason or Trent Lott or Ward Churchill to the Great Purge. In fact, it was Sully who — more jackass than wolf — was braying for blood in the Raines and Lott cases. There’s more Stalinism in Sully’s retroactive editing his earlier writings than there is in the remarks of those taking issue with Summers’ assertions.
posted by Sully 2/22/2005 12:38:00 PM