[Ed. Note: Sam Seder, Janeane Garofolo and the Majority Report Team will be guest blogging this weekend on ThinkProgress.org from the HBO Comedy Festival in Aspen, CO.]
The Jeff Gannon Incident has certainly been enjoyable. For the few of you that may not yet have heard, Jeff Gannon was the fake name of the fake White House Correspondent for the fake news service Talon News. Talon News is an affiliate of a right-wing outfit called GOPUSA. Jeff Gannon’s real name is Jim Guckert. His role in the White House press room was to throw McClellan softballs, in addition to changing the subject when things got too hot. Questions like:
Senate Democratic leaders have painted a very bleak picture of the U.S. economy. Harry Reid was talking about soup lines. And Hillary Clinton was talking about the economy being on the verge of collapse. Yet in the same breath they say that Social Security is rock solid and there’s no crisis there. How are you going to work — you’ve said you are going to reach out to these people — how are you going to work with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?
This aroused the suspicion of several bloggers, and a few weeks later, we find out that he’s the owner of several pornographic web domains (MilitaryEscortsM4M.com; MilitaryEscorts.com) and posted a very buff semi-clad photo of himself on AOL.
As fun as all this is, the story transcends the details, or at least it should, if the liberal bloggers and media make the leap to stage two.
Sure, the titillation was great — obviously that’s the main reason the media (including CNN) covered this story. But the larger point is this: The Bankruptcy of the Right Wing. The Gannon episode is just another in the line of scandals (Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher, political policy ads disguised as reports) that shows that the right wing has simply run out of gas.
We hear a lot about the market system from the right wing: create a fair playing field and let the best product win. We also used to hear — during the “Gingrich Revolution” a lot about the GOP had become the party of ideas. Well, however true that was (it wasn’t), it couldn’t be more obvious now. In fact, they’re so unconfident about their ideas, they actually have to buy off pundits, plant reporters, and create fake news. Much of which, by the way, has been at taxpayer expense.
The Bush Administration is intellectually dead. To the extent that it’s being propped up by a tax-payer-funded life support system, it’s time to pull the plug.
— Sam Seder, Janeane Garofolo and the Majority Report Team