Thursday, June 25, 2009

List Membership Has Its Privileges, Including a Seat Next to "Jeff Gannon"

Dana Milbank brought it upon himself!

Back on May 22, I heard him on NPR's Morning Edition talking about the "dueling speeches" Obama and Cheney were holding that day about terrorism. Setting the whole thing up like a boxing match he called "A Thrilla Near the Hilla," Milbank spoke plenty about the atmosphere at each event, the tone, Cheney's visceral anger and Obama's intellectual cool -- you know, drama!!

Somehow, in the radio spot and in a column, he never got around to figuring out which claims were true, false or unverifiable. Not even once. And there was plenty to pick at -- even with that middling humor schtick. (I mean, Cheney'd said, "The terrorists see just what they were hoping for: our unity gone, our resolve shaken, our leaders distracted. In short, they see weakness and opportunity." Hell, there's better evidence that they want to see X, where X equals various porn celebrities, re-runs of '50s sitcoms, Saudi pop icon Donna Nogoy, whatever.)

And still I did not add Dana Milbank to my much-afeared list of People Who Are Teh Ur-Platonic Forms of Model Douchebag Individuals.

But, re: my opener, he's done it to himself. I might have awarded Milbank membership based solely on his middling-humorous complaint yesterday that the White House planned to call on the Huffington Post's Nico Pitney, while back when George W. Bush was president, Milbank never voiced such concerns when male prositute James Guckert -- posing as a journalist under the name "Jeff Gannon" -- got called on during press conferences.

Here's the kicker, though. Milbank yesterday:
The use of planted questioners is a no-no at presidential news conferences, because it sends a message to the world -- Iran included -- that the American press isn't as free as advertised.
Right. You're a douche. Got it.
Pitney recognized his prompt. "That's right," he said, standing in the aisle and wearing a temporary White House press pass. "I wanted to use this opportunity to ask you a question directly from an Iranian."
[Emphasis mine.] OK. You're a status-conscious douchebag, getting all incensed over this Pitney interloper, when "Gannon" also carried a temporary pass. Noted.
During the eight years of the Bush administration, liberal outlets such as the Huffington Post often accused the White House of planting questioners in news conferences to ask preplanned questions. But here was Obama fielding a preplanned question asked by a planted questioner -- from the Huffington Post.
[Emphasis mine.] Uhhhhgggghhhhh. You're suggesting that's an implausible accusation? Teh douchebag status confirmed by way of your May '07 column:
"This isn't that kind of event," explained Jeff Gannon, spokesman for the host, the International Bible Reading Association. Gannon, actually a pseudonym for James Guckert, had earned fame in 2005 representing a conservative Web site at White House briefings until it was revealed that he posted nude pictures of himself on the Web to offer his services as a $200-an-hour gay escort.
Beeeee-ooooooo!!!! Beeeeee-oooooo!!! Teh Ur-Platonic Form of Model Douchebag: Unlocked!

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