Thursday, February 10, 2005

Guckertgate Smackdown

Aaron Brown is a horse's ass.

Ok, so I know I'm not exactly stretching myself with that statement. But John Aravosis and Eric Boelhert did an A+++++ smackdown of Brown tonight, and it did my heart good.

Aravosis of (of was a guest on Brown's CNN show tonight, talking about the Jeff Gannon / J.D. Guckert scam on the White House press corps. Brown led off by trying to frame the story as one of "bloggers attacking a man's personal life". What claptrap. And at that point, Brown lost control of the discussion with Aravosis and Salon's Eric Boelhert, who served as a calm and capable wingman to Aravosis' hyperactivity.

Aravosis made the best of his opportunity. He didn't shrink away from Brown, and kept hammering on the true essence of the story that the SCLM has been ignoring:
  1. How did Gannon get access to White House briefings using a pseudonym, particularly when he couldn't get clearance for the Capitol Hill press corps? Who cleared him? And bloggers didn't go after his personal life; they went after his business interests - which a rudimentary background check by the Secret Service would have uncovered.

  2. Was Gannon part of a formal effort by the White House to control the message of the news media? Aravosis rightly linked Gannon and Armstrong Williams' names.

  3. Why did bloggers have to do this job? Bloggers didn't go after his personal life initially; they went after his shady business interests. After Gannon himself laid down the gauntlet on his own website ("I'm hiding in plain sight; find me if you can."), it got personal.

  4. And lastly, why would someone of Gannon's (lack of) stature be afforded almost exclusive access to documents relating to the outing of a CIA agent?
Certainly, there's a lot more to the story, and you can catch up on John's blog or dKos or Eschaton if you're not up to speed. But John acquitted all progressive bloggers quite well tonight, and I couldn't be happier. Coming from someone who's done it before, it ain't easy getting in front of a camera and subjecting yourself to live questioning from someone like Aaron Brown who does it for a living.

Hop on over to Americablog and give John some love - and if you didn't catch the segment live, try to watch it (or tape it) when Brown's show repeats later tonight.

Or, here's a link to an online clip if you'd rather...