Applying The “Gannon Standard”

As we’ve learned from watching the left side of the blogosphere’s bizarre and obsessive coverage of the Jeff Gannon AKA James Guckert non-story, it’s vitally important that we have “real,” “non-biased” reporters asking questions at White House press conferences…you know, like Dan Rather or Michael Moore.

In fact, the left is such a stickler over this issue — in the case of Mr. Gannon at least — that they’re demanding to know why the White House didn’t do a long, detailed examination of Jeff Gannon’s sex life.

Who’d have thought this would be such a big issue to the left after they spent the Clinton years claiming that it was OK for the President to commit perjury as long as he was lying about sex? Interesting thought: I wonder how the left will react when Hillary’s sex life is given the “Jeff Gannon treatment” when she runs in 2008? Why am I guessing that they’ll be upset?

In any case, that’s beside the point — especially since I have a hot, juicy scoop (well, it should be at least as big of a “scoop” as the lefties had with Gannon) . I’ve found another person who’s getting into White House press conferences even though she’s not a reporter!

Her name? It’s Helen Thomas.

She quit her job as a reporter with UPI back in 2000 and now is a syndicated columnist for Hearst Newspapers. Maybe Gannon was from a minor-league organization, Talon News, but at least he was a reporter which is more than anyone can say for Thomas anymore.

Moreover, you want to talk partisanship? Just take a look at some of the questions Thomas has asked at press conferences…

Helen Thomas: “My follow-up is, why does (George Bush) want to drop bombs on innocent Iraqis?”January 6, 2003

Helen Thomas: “Is this (war) revenge, 11 years of revenge?”January 6, 2003

Helen Thomas to Fleischer: “[W]hy is [Bush] going to bomb them? I mean, how do you bomb people back to democracy? This is a question of conquest. They didn’t ask to be “liberated” by the United States. This is our self-imposed political solution for them.” — Feb. 26, 2003. As reported by Salon

Helen Thomas: “We didn’t go in to win the war on terrorism when we invaded Iraq.” — April 29, 2004. As reported by Unknown News

Helen Thomas: “…following up Ann Compton’s question [regarding Saddam Hussein’s court hearing], does [President Bush] agree with Saddam that Presidents are above the law?” — July 1, 2004. As reported by Unknown News.

Helen Thomas: “Prime Minister Blair took full personal responsibility for taking his nation into war under falsehoods — under reasons that have been determined now to be false. Is President Bush also willing to take full, personal responsibility –“

A: “I think Prime Minister Blair said that it was the right thing to do; that Saddam Hussein’s regime was a threat.”

Helen Thomas: “Those were not the reasons he took his country into war. It turned out to be untrue, and the same is true for us. Does the President take full, personal responsibility for this war?”

A: “The issue here is what do you to with a threat in a post-September 11th world? Either you live with a threat, or you confront the threat.”

Helen Thomas: “There was no threat.”

A: “The President made the decision to confront the threat.”

Helen Thomas: “Saddam Hussein did not threaten this country.” — July 19, 2004. As reported by Unknown News.

Helen Thomas: “Why are we killing people in Iraq? There are many men, women and children being killed there. I mean, what is the reason we are there, killing people, continuing. It’s outrageous.” — Nov. 29, 2004. As reported by Unknown News

Helen Thomas: “Has the President given any orders to stop the ongoing brutalization of Iraqi prisoners?” — Dec. 8, 2004. As reported by Unknown News

Of course, Thomas hasn’t been accused of any sexual misconduct, but how would anyone know unless Helen Thomas’ sex life is given the same exacting scrutiny that Jeff Gannon’s was? Is it possible that Thomas might be a lesbian? Could she have worked for an escort service on the side? Has she ever had an affair with a married man? Most conservatives, myself included, don’t think those are relevant questions to ask of reporters, but since the left doesn’t seem to share our opinion, perhaps there’s an intrepid liberal blogger out there who wants to dig into Helen Thomas’ sex life? Just look at the traffic that has been generated on the left by dragging Gannon’s sex life through the mud — who’s to say it would be any different with Thomas?

Let me close with a warning that bloggers on the left should take to heart: the precedent you are setting by dragging a minor media figure’s sex life (and even rumors about his sex life) into the public domain may come back and bite you. After all, if it becomes accepted that Jeff Gannon’s sex life is fair game, then why wouldn’t the sex life of major media figures or even big name bloggers be fair game as well? Let’s hope that the left side of the blogosphere — in a desperate attempt to keep a small, insignificant scandal alive — has not created a “Gannon Standard” that will be used to justify this sort of public sliming for years to come.

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