The National Press Club Welcomes Jeff Gannon

There are so many things wrong with this that it’s hard to know where to start.

The same day that the prestigious Washington, D.C., journalism organization plans to present a lunch talk by former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, it will also allow the former White House reporter/escort to be on a panel discussing bloggers and online journalism.

Gannon, whose real name is James Guckert, resigned his job with the conservative Talon News last month after it was revealed he had used a pseudonym, had little journalism background, and had ties to male escort Web sites.

Gannon said he always considered himself a legitimate journalist, and “perhaps their invitation is recognition of that.”

Actually, it’s not recognition at all Jeff. This invitation is akin to inviting a turkey to Thanksgiving dinner. 

Press Club President Rick Dunham, who also covers the White House for BusinessWeek, called Gannon “a figure in the news” who is involved in an important journalistic issue.

“The panel came together because we wanted to discuss some issues that came about from the Gannon case,” said Mike Madden, a Gannett News Service reporter and a member of the Press Club’s Professional Affairs committee, which is organizing the free event. “So we thought, why not try to get him?”

“Why not try to get him…” Uh huh…exactly. Like any good horror movie, the victim is always the last person to know what is going to happen to him. Only this time, I don’t think there are any people yelling at the screen, saying things like, “Watch out!”, “They’re setting you up!”, and “Don’t go in there!”

“The idea was talking about these issues and who should be allowed to set up shop [as a legitimate journalist],” Madden said. “It is not intended to be a forum for [Gannon] to present his side unchallenged. It is going to be moderated and there will be others on the panel.”

Unfortunately, the “others” on the panel won’t include Ace or Goldstein. (There’s still time guys!)

Press Club president Rick Dunham said “journalists should be given a chance to question him.” Reminded that many reporters had interviewed Gannon in the past month, Dunham still believed his presence would be good for the event. “I want us to be on the news,” he said. “I think it is better to have people ask any question they can ask.”

Oooh yeah. Unvetted questions, no holds barred, free-for-all. And a special guest appearance by Wonkette! You suppose there will be a happy hour with half price well drinks before the show?

Gannon said he “thinks it is a good opportunity for me to speak to issues related to bloggers.” He also added that he was, “trying to stay out there where people can see me.”

There’s a phrase that describes “staying out there where people can see me”. It’s “Self Flagellation”, and apparently Jeff Gannon doesn’t own a dictionary.

The circus comes to town on April 8th. Mark your calendars.


  1. From the Ashes… GANNON RISING!

    He’ll be speaking at the National Press Club on blogs and on-line reporting. PunditGuy shows a great deal of disrespect towards Our Immortal Champion, but he’s still got the facts on this amazing rebirth….

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