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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Whore in the White House

Those of you who know my real "day job" probably expect my absence from time to time when I have a show going on. I should be back in full steam next week. I feel I've really slighted the entire Jeff Gannon/Gay White House Press Corps Hooker story, but -- fortunately -- everyone else out there in the blogosphere is doing an amazing job of investigating and reporting. If you've missed the salacious details (Have you been living under a rock? Or just watching only FOX News?), here is a column by Wayne Besen that offers most of the pertinent and damning info. -- and reflects my take on everything, too.


Bush's Ringling Brothers Ringer

Although George W. Bush once owned The Texas Rangers, anyone who has seen him at a press conference knows that his favorite sport is really softball. Bush's penchant for puff helps to explain the mercurial rise and fall of "reporter" Jim Guckert, who went from working in a cyber-whorehouse to covering the White House as a "correspondent" for conservative Internet magazine, Talon News.

When not reporting conservative news, Guckert was a member of Bush's "ownership society". In fact, he owned seedy gay sex websites including HotMilitaryStud.com, MilitaryEscorts.com and MilitaryEscortsM4M.com. While other reporters covered a beat, Guckert's beat was under the covers.
Hypocrite-buster John Aravosis of AmericaBlog.org also posted evidence that Guckert sold himself on these websites for $200 an hour, or $1,200 a weekend. Having seen his picture, Guckert - a poor man's Mr. Clean - is guilty not just of impropriety, but overcharging.

One would think that with such a unique resume in the era of homeland security, Guckert would have had trouble getting clearance to cover the President. But this is the Age of Bush, where payola pals like Armstrong Williams, Michael McManus and Maggie Gallagher are standard fare. Still, would the administration let a gay right wing Internet pimp set up shop in a Republican White House that won partly by pandering to "values voters"?

Of course.

The administration didn't blush or blanch, but simply gave carte blanche to Guckert. Using the pseudonym Jeff Gannon, he quickly became Bush's patronizing patsy who served puff on a platter, while genuine reporters with real questions were overlooked. In his "news stories" he often cut and pasted administration press releases. The unqualified Gannon was so much a part of the White House Press Corps, he reportedly was given a classified CIA memo that outed agent Valerie Plame.

You've got to hand it to this White House. When they couldn't get the media to buy their spin, they bought the media. And now, when they couldn't get the media hook they desired, they simply got a hooker. Unfortunately for Bush, his ringer was a Ringling Brothers sexual circus.

Interestingly, Guckert was denied Capitol Hill press passes because Talon News was considered an illegitimate right wing propaganda service run by Republican rabble-rouser Bobby Eberle. Yet, he somehow got into the White House.

At the heart of the scandal are a couple of crucial questions: Was Guckert simply an ambitious prostitute or a propitious presidential plant? If he was a plant, exactly who greased the wheels that got him past tight security?

The vulgar scandal has revived Washington whispers that the supposedly anti-gay Republican Party is really nothing less than a gay affirmative action program. Glance at whose running the GOP and it looks like a Harvey Fierstein cocktail party. A few months ago, activist Mike Rogers revealed that GOP National Field Director Dan Gurley is gay and sought unsafe sex online. Rogers also revealed that Ken Mehlman, chair of the Republican National Committee, is gay.

This week, the Internet news site Raw Story posted allegations that White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan may be gay and suggested he is a common fixture at Texas gay bars - kind of like a gay, southern version of Norm on the old sitcom Cheers.

"He was often seen in gay clubs in Austin and was comfortable being there," an anonymous source told Raw Story. "He's been seen in places that normal people who are looking for heterosexual relationships are not seen alone."

Clearly, Mehlman, Gurley and McClellan are in powerful positions and have the authority to, say, get a whore through the door with press credentials. There ought to be a full investigation to find out how a man who poses in briefs got into the briefing room.

Quite frankly, I couldn't care less what people do in their spare time. If someone wants to live a miserable life and stay in the closet, it is his or her choice. If you want to cruise the Internet, just make sure you have good pictures. It only becomes my business when gay people run a party that actively works to pass a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting me from marrying. Based on their reported behavior, Gurley, Guckert and McClellan clearly aren't the marrying kind. Still, they have no right to earn their living by undermining the lives of other gay and lesbian people.

The GOP's hypocrisy on gay issues extends beyond administration officials. In 1999, right wing nut Alan Keyes spoke at a Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays conference, which falsely blames bad fathering for causing homosexuality. This week, his daughter Maya Keyes officially came out as a liberal lesbian. Talk about getting karmaed! In a demonstration of family values, Keyes threw Maya out of the house and will no longer pay for her education.

The conservative party line on homosexuality is a complete fraud. Conservatives who preach that gay people can go straight keep having gay kids. The Bush administration is the gayest in memory, although they are all quivering in the closet, or is that gyrating on the Internet? If Bush's face is ever plastered on currency, there is no doubt it should the three-dollar bill.

Find Wayne Besen's blog here --> http://www.waynebesen.com/columns/index.html

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