Monday, February 21, 2005

First of All

There's something about discovering that the roof leaks that sends me into elaborate forms of denial. I suspect starting a blog with absolutely no real computer sense falls into that category. The fact that I have been reading other folks' blogs obsessively for the past two weeks probably had nothing to do with it.

If I go into my home office (two doors down from where the leak is currently plinking into the only pan I could find and remove from its cupboard easily), I can avoid calling a roofing company for a while. I can concentrate on things that matter, things that are mystifying and puzzling to thoughtful people.

For example, this whole thing about Jeff Gannon/James Guckert is rather an odd thing. There seems to be a lot of electrons working overtime on the story. Who cleared this guy into the White House Press room? Why was he there? What sensitive and/or classified material was he allowed to see and why?

The conservative types pretend to be mystified about the brouhaha blazing from the liberal types. The liberal types are indignant. I think the farce has been great fun and very instructive about such things as hypocricy and herd mentality.

The conservatives claim there was no conspiracy. He was a reporter for a news service and got a daily pass. The liberals claim he was an administration shill sent to keep the heat off the President and his press secretary. You know what I think? I think they're both right.

I'm not a big fan of conspiracy theory because, especially in this case, conspiracies require people with a modicum of intelligence and good sense. Here's how I think he got in. Mr. Eberle of GOPUSA is probably a good old boy contributor, a medium hitter with a following. He wants to play with the big boys so his following will be impressed and increased. He calls someone and asks for a chance to take part in press briefings. Somebody says, "well, OK, but for a press pass you really need to belong to a recognized press organization, not a Republican fund raising committee. Mr. Eberle nods, and then invents Talon News. Voila!

Now all he needs is a guy who is a journalist who will go to work for Talon. Apparently none of the big names from the mainstream media are interested, so he hires a guy who seems both interested and presentable and calls the administration buddy and says, "I've got me a news organization and a journalist. Now can I have a press pass?" "Sure."

Obviously more than one administration official is involved, but not involved enough to really check out the new Talon guy. Nobody seems to notice that the guy is not really a journalist, just a pleasant fellow who asks the kind of questions that puts a pleasant face on things. Nobody is aware that the pleasant fellow has a very steamy web site promoting his other career until it is pointed out in great detail in many, many blogs.

If it weren't for the fact that apparently anyone can get into a room with the President of the United States with their own agenda (or weapon), and if it weren't for the fact that the current administration sees nothing wrong with manipulating the flow of information, this would actually make a pretty good comedy.


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