Tuesday, February 15, 2005

A Poor Choice Of Words

It's hard to believe that it was less than two weeks ago. On February 3rd, I posted a piece called "Sneaky Internet Bloggers, Cheap Media Whores". That was about a "reporter" who called himself "Jeff Gannon", and who maybe wasn't a reporter at all. "Gannon" had attracted attention by asking unusually soft questions at White House gaggles and press conferences. In that post, among other things, I wrote:
I wonder what they pay him. I wonder whether he earns enough to pay for his own lipstick.

Go ahead, Jeff. Tell us. What's your price?
Two weeks in politics is a very long time. Recent events have shown that there was a lot more involved in this story than I imagined at the time. Now we know that the man who called himself "Jeff Gannon" was using a false name. And he wasn't simply a faux-reporter lobbing softball questions. He was actually a man with another profession. The "oldest" profession, if you get my drift. And that's not all. Nobody could have guessed how much bigger and uglier the story would become, and we still don't know all there is to know!

If you haven't been following the "Jeff Gannon" story, here's a good place to start, and here's a good place to continue. There are some very interesting links on these pages, and in the stories they link to. Especially the second one. As the expression goes, "Viewer discretion is advised".

Suffice it to say that my use of the word "whore" in that title was more appropriate than I could have imagined. But I cannot claim as much credit for my use of the word "cheap". If you follow those links, you'll find out that the man who called himself "Jeff Gannon" billed his clients at the rate of $200 an hour, or $1200 per weekend. That's not what you would call "inexpensive".

But on the other hand, "cheap" doesn't always mean "inexpensive". According to dictionary.com, it can also mean "Worthy of no respect; vulgar or contemptible". And even though I say so myself, the lowly and nearly frozen Winter Patriot hit that nail right on the head. "Vulgar" and "Contemptible" seem like compliments compared to what some other people are saying about the so-called reporter known as "Jeff Gannon". You can surely find any number of bloggers who are ripping him to shreds, even as we speak.

But I'm not headed in that direction. Not tonight, anyway. I simply want to make one small observation, somewhat off to the side of the gay-sex-for-hire angle. It seems that the media whore who called himself "Jeff Gannon" asked a question during an interview which showed that he had access to classified CIA information pertaining to covert agent Valerie Plame, whose cover was blown, seemingly deliberately, by someone deep within the corridors of power.

Did "Jeff Gannon" play a role in 'outing' a covert agent? It seems as if he may have. And if so, we're not talking about prostitution any more, folks. We're talking about treason. There's a lot more that went on behind closed doors, and some of it may never come out. But given what we know now, and the probability that more details are still to come, it looks to me as if the "Jeff Gannon Affair" is going to wind up being very expensive indeed. But for whom?

Governments have fallen over less. Much less, in fact. But we're talking about a government which cannot afford to fall. So what else can happen?

Stay tuned, but be very careful...