If Fitzwater or Neuman honestly believes that there is any comparison to be made between Helen Thomas and a fake journalist with a fake name working for a fake news outlet asking fake questions at a real press briefing, then Neuman's feigned befuddlement over what a journalist is begins to seem less feigned. Alas, if the Los Angeles Times sees fit to print lazy and misleading pieces such as this, then the craft may indeed be facing an identity crisis, the likes of which Jean-Paul Sartre described 50 years ago.
-the piece misses so many of the actual truths invovled in this fiasco, that we were forced to write a letter to the editor of the latimes:
ladies and gentlemen:
i was happy to see your paper finally cover the gannon/guckert story about a phony reporter having access to the white house without proper credentials for over two years (a story which has been discussed publicly in other print media, on television and on internet discussion forums for more than a month, but better late than never, right?). however, i have some reservations about your reportage.
ms. neuman, aside from not researching or contacting the so-called “gay activists” and “left-wing bloggers” that broke the story, stated that those bloggers “posted on the internet homoerotic photos of gannon advertising himself as a $200-an-hour gay escort.” this implies some sort of invasion of privacy “outing” activity. ms. neuman failed to make clear that it was gannon/guckert who posted those “homoerotic photos” of himself on the internet for anyone with a mouse click to see (including print reporters for a large metropolitan newspaper, if they were so inclined to do any actual investigating).
and, by quoting gannon/guckert when he said “i’ve made mistakes in the past,” ms. neuman helps to propagate the implication that gannon/guckert’s escort activities were over with. in reality, the websites advertising his $200 per hour services were still current and active as of the beginning of this year, when the story broke. ms. neuman makes no mention of this fact.
further, ms. neuman failed to specify that talon news, the partisan republican website that gannon/guckert was “reporting” for, did not come into existence until several months after gannon/guckert was already allowed access into the white house under a false identity.
by focusing mainly on the “homoerotic” part of the story, ms. neuman deftly denigrates the points being made and questions being asked by thousands of americans on the internet forums (who have at least as much journalistic integrity as gannon/guckert, and therefore deserve as much respect from your paper). these are questions of national security, to wit: how did a prostitute (male escort renting sexual favors by the hour) get access to the white house under an assumed identity?”.....(read the rest at link)
why not take some time write a letter of your own?
"...as we've seen in spades over the past two years in Iraq, this rashness - this tendency to leap before we look - has its downside. Things don't come out wonderfully just because some fine person asks, Why not here?"
But this is clearly the question the United States is destined to provoke.
I appreciate the longing for freedom just as much as any freedom-loving person. I think, however, that someone should poke a reality-stick in David Brooks' manic blather-bubble about his rhetorical question: "Why Not Here?"
The head of the Syrian Press Syndicate told The Times on Thursday: "There's a new world out there and a new reality. You can no longer have business as usual."
The people of Syria and Iran understand that Bush likes to provoke more than just 'questions'.
When most of them think "Why not here?" in terms of America, they are thinking 'If Bush could do what he did to Iraq, he could do it to us.' It sends shivers dcown their spines. They're not freedom-shivers.
They recall a President who leaped before he looked and still has not looked too closely at the civilian carnage and lives torn apart by his unnecessary war.