|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
|The Morning Mendacity
Thursday, February 24th, 2005
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Prostitute and pornographic web site operator James D. Guckert has been criticized for assuming a false name and passing himself off as reporter Jeff Gannon. The White House has been criticized for giving the fake newsman a press pass and inviting him to participate in presidential press conferences. The President has been criticized for favoring Mr. Guckert-Gannon during press conferences, encouraging him to ask questions like “how are you going to work with people who’ve divorced themselves from reality?” i.e., the Democrats. Let this page be the first to denounce these criticisms as unfair.
In fact, President Bush believes in the value of journalism, so much so that the administration pays journalists out of its own pocket. Beneficiaries include conservative commentator Armstrong Williams, who received a quarter of a million dollars, columnist and marriage advocate Maggie Gallagher, and Michael McManus, author of a syndicated column called “Ethics and Religion.” The President’s plan to alleviate the plight of underpaid and exploited right-wing commentators with taxpayer cash deserves the support of journalists everywhere.
Mr. Bush’s respect for journalists goes beyond mere money. The President believes in the redemptive power of the press. Sheep who have strayed, he feels, are best brought back to the flock through the healing powers of reporting and commentating. Examples abound.
Gambling addict and former Education Secretary William J. Bennett became a commentator and writer specializing in virtue. Mr. Bennett has used print and the airwaves to attack gays, popular music, and yes, gambling. According to everythingchristian.org, Mr. Bennett is now an “outspoken family values advocate” who considers casino gambling a sin.
Drug addict Rush Limbaugh continues to broadcast to a radio audience of millions every day. Among his oft repeated demands: harsh jail sentences for criminals, especially drug addicts. Fox tele-journalist Bill O’Reilly, whose obscene messages directed to a young assistant were really intended as jokes, also comes down hard on criminals of every stripe. His thrilling novel, “Those Who Trespass,” is about a killer of journalists in New York City. Note: you can buy your “Boycott France” stickers at billoreilly.com. Anne Coulter’s rabid prose is due entirely to the fact that she does have rabies. As for the experience of reading Matt Drudge, the last name says it all.
Which brings us back to James Guckert, AKA Jeff Gannon. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the White House was fully aware of Mr. Guckert-Gannon’s true profession. Indeed, his work as a pornographer and prostitute is precisely why he was given a White House press pass. Mr. Bush reasoned that what worked for Limbaugh, Bennett, O’Reilly, and their sinning colleagues in the right-wing press would work equally well for Guckert-Gannon: redemption through reporting.
The real power of the press is the power to turn the sinner away from his sins. For the benefit of society, and of his soul, give a prostitute-pornographer a chance to be a reporter, Mr. Bush maintains, and he’ll make the career change as though borne on the wings of angels. After all, as the President often says, there’s so little to choose between the two professions.
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2005
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