The Gannon / Gosch / Moonbat Connection

Back in Feburary, I was mocking the left side of the blogosphere for pursuing the Jeff Gannon story like it was another Watergate.

But who’s laughing now? Well…actually, it’s still me because according to The Des Moines Register, the left side of the blogosphere has devolved into full-on “moonbattery” over the story. This, you’ve got to read…

“Johnny Gosch may finally have been found, thanks to Rush Limbaugh.

The Iowa paperboy was kidnapped in 1982, with unsubstantiated stories emerging later from his mother that he was abducted into a child pedophilia ring. No trace of him has ever been found, and no suspects have been arrested.

Nearly 23 years later, White House correspondent Jeff Gannon, who wrote for a conservative Web site, was exposed in February as James D. Guckert, a man with no journalism experience and links to several gay escort addresses online.

If you have the time to read a few hundred Web postings, you will see how Johnny Gosch and Jeff Gannon, two completely unrelated individuals, became the same person on the Web. The way the theory developed says much about the anything-goes nature of the blogosphere and self-proclaimed reporters on the Internet, who seem to find accuracy and proof a nuisance in uncovering fantastical conspiracies.

It took the random efforts of scores of Web loggers (bloggers), credulous readers and longtime followers of the case to assign the two men a bizarre, shared backstory involving satanic CIA agents, pedophiles and presidents. And, of course, Limbaugh.

Gosch’s mother, Noreen Gosch, called the theory “quite bizarre,” but not impossible.

“We don’t have anything conclusive,” she said.

….Bloggers picked up on the theory and soon the yarn was developing on hundreds of sites, many linked to one another. Entire blogs, or Web journals, are now devoted to the subject of whether Gosch grew up to become the disgraced reporter.

The complete concoction goes like this: Gosch was kidnapped into a pedophilia and child pornography ring that serviced the upper echelons of Washington, D.C., society. He was brainwashed by the CIA, trained to be part of a top-secret escort program. Then, he became Jeff Gannon and was given a plum job as a White House correspondent with the online conservative news service to keep him quiet.

Finally, he was “uncovered” by the bloggers.

Photos combining the two men’s faces are now posted on dozens of sites. Gosch’s glossy, parted hair morphs into Gannon’s bald head. Gosch’s little-boy smile turns into Gannon’s broad, tough-set jaw.

The nose is similar. The facial shape similar. A mark on one cheek is similar.

A coincidence, you might say, but a lot of people are buying it.

“Though the photos’ perspectives differ, and it’s proof of nothing, the alignment of features is striking,” wrote blogger Jeff Wells on Rigorous Intuition (rigorousintution.

But a lack of proof wasn’t enough to stop a vast network of gossip from enveloping the story.

“The synchronicities . . . are stunning”

The most fervent bloggers on the Web aren’t as interested in linking Gannon to Gosch as they are in presenting their version of a massive conspiracy. The story that excites them is a sordid tale about the CIA operating a pedophilia ring on behalf of dignitaries and politicians and training male prostitutes to serve as spies.

They try to link both Bush presidents to this conspiracy, prove that Hunter S. Thompson’s death was not a suicide and investigate a so-called government-sponsored pedophilia operation they claim continues to abduct children.

Coincidentally, Gannon was exposed as Guckert by persistent bloggers. After drawing attention to himself with softball questions and inaccurate quotes, Gannon became a topic on Rush Limbaugh’s radio talk show. The bloggers then dug up erotic photos of him and a connection to the escort sites.

Now bloggers, reveling in the notion of political hypocrisy, say they won’t let the story die until Gannon’s DNA has been compared to genetic material from the Gosch family.

…Despite the story’s more ludicrous subplots, a few coincidences seem eerie – the matching cheek marks, the coincidental names, the sexual overtones of the scandals. Add in the rumor that Johnny Gosch’s mother, Noreen, declared Gannon was her son, and it’s no wonder that some bloggers stuck by the story.

In reality, she says she’s not convinced either way.

Several facts, however, do not add up. Gosch and Gannon/Guckert would be 12 years apart in age. Gannon is 48, and Gosch would be 35.

Noreen Gosch said some Web sites have reported Gannon as being 31 or 35. “Most people think he looks younger,” she said to the Register.

Conneaut Lake High School in Pennsylvania confirms, however, that a James D. Guckert graduated in June 1975. His college, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, reports that he graduated in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in education and a concentration in social studies.

Gannon himself told the New York Times that his mother is 72. Noreen Gosch wouldn’t say her age, but said she is not 72. According to previous reports of her age, she would be approximately 61.

But if you want to believe something, and you’ve got the catchall reasoning that the CIA can alter anything, it’s not hard to brush aside such discrepancies.

…Several bloggers suggest Gosch was brainwashed or has multiple personalities. “He may not have any idea,” observed a visitor using the tag “ohmygosch” on

Jim Rothstein, a retired New York City police officer and longtime investigator on the Gosch case, said becoming a White House reporter is completely in character for a former victim of the pedophilia ring.

In fact, Gannon/Guckert may have orchestrated the scenario for a greater purpose.

“Is it possible he drew attention to himself during that Jan. 26 press conference to pique the curiosity of citizen investigators?” posited one blogger.

At Tyranny Response Unit news (, the sex scandal is cast as an act of revenge.

“It appears that Gannon is the good guy – he might be getting back at his abusers,” observed the Tyranny Response Unit blogger.”

Hat tip to Wizbang! for pointing out this story.

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