James D. Guckert, a.k.a. Jeff Gannon, has stated that he is willing to answer questions from bloggers, both liberal and conservative. The group epluribusmedia, formed by DailyKos posters SusanG and NYBri, has been on the forefront of researching the implications of the Propagannon scandal. The group they have formed is also a model of how bloggers can pool resources and begin to mimic the techniques of mainstream media, which so often fails to live up to its investigative potential. In a diary today on dKos, NYBri posts the following press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Brian Kelly, Member, DailyKos.com
"Jeff Gannon" Accepts Challenge To Answer Questions About White House Reporter Scandal
Washington, D.C., March 2, 2005 --- Internet activists at DailyKos.com, a web site that focuses on Democratic political issues, asked fellow activists to help compose questions to ask "Jeff Gannon," the alias that escort service owner James Guckert used to pose as a White House reporter from 2003 until his dual role was revealed a month ago.
The following day, "Gannon" announced on his web site, jeffgannon.com, that he would entertain press questions, even ones posed by liberal bloggers.
"Our initial idea was to develop a list of questions we could submit to mainstream media reporters and editors," said Brian Kelly, spokesperson for ePluribus Media, a volunteer cooperative of more than 400 Internet activists who are investigating the scandal. "We were surprised and delighted when Mr. Guckert agreed to answer us, so we're submitting these questions to more than 300 U.S. news media outlets and to `Jeff Gannon' simultaneously," Kelly said.
Over a three-hour period, the request for questions at DailyKos.com drew more than 100 responses. To view the entire string, visit:
The questions range from serious concerns about Guckert's connection to high-level members of the Bush Administration, his plagiarism, his apparent access to a leaked CIA memo, and his ties with the right-wing Republican activist group, GOPUSA.com.
A list of questions derived from the DailyKos.com discussion is attached. Bloggers urge the media to use these questions and others to ascertain how Guckert, a fake reporter with questionable ties to the Republican Party, managed to evade the strict requirements for a Press Corps hard pass by being granted a daily pass for over two years.
The White House has yet to offer any explanation of how Guckert was granted access, or whether any other reporter in the history of the White House has been allowed such daily close access to the White House under such apparent lenient security measures.
"Our contention is that the Gannon scandal constitutes a serious breach of White House security, a serious breach of journalistic ethics and a potentially serious breach of the criminal code," said Kelly. "We join Sens. Durbin, Reid, Kennedy, Lautenberg and Kerry in calling for a congressional investigation and we think the justice department should consider appointment of a special prosecutor as well," Kelly said. "In addition, we urge the free press in America to look more closely into this scandal and ask the questions of the participants, namely Jeff Gannon, James Guckert and White House operatives, including Karl Rove," he said.
Ed. Note: ePluribus Media is an independent, unincorporated cooperative of private citizen volunteers dedicated to exposing truth, eliminating government propaganda, encouraging the highest standards of ethics and journalism, and coordination of independent web-based communities to enhance the vitality and effectiveness of the free press in America and worldwide.
Questions Posed To James D. Guckert by ePluribus Media volunteers
1. Is James D. Guckert your real name or is it, like "Jeff Gannon," another pseudonym? Have you used other pseudonyms in any of your other business ventures?
2. Were you paid for any of your work for Talon News or GOPUSA? If so, who paid you?
3. How did you begin your association with Bobby Eberle or GOPUSA? Did anyone contact you, or did you volunteer?
4. Have you ever been associated with GOPUSA in any capacity other than as a reporter?
5. In what capacity did you entertain Tony Blair during his visit on July 17, 2003?
6. How did you learn about GOPUSA.com?
7. At one point, you claimed you saw Talon News, liked it and began submitting articles to them. However, Talon News didn't exist until after you were put in the White House by GOPUSA. Do you wish to clarify this contradiction?
8. You claim in your bio that you served in the military. Which branch? Where and when did you serve? Have you worked for the government in any other capacity?
9. Have you ever been a member of a GOP activist group? If so, which one(s)?
10. Were you politically active as a college student or young adult?
11. When did you attend the Leadership Institute's Seminar for Broadcast Journalists?
12. The minutes of the Standing Committee of Correspondents, which accredits journalists to the Senate Press Gallery, makes reference to the fact that you are or were the Executive Director of the "Free Speech Foundation." Registration information for the Free Speech Foundation's web site reveals that the domain is owned by one "J. Daniels," though that information was later changed to list the owner as "I. Christian." Given that your close involvement with the Foundation was something you had no reason to hide from the Standing Committee, why did you use a pseudonym to register the domain name, since "Jeff Gannon," the name by which you were best-known and which would have generated the most positive publicity for the Foundation among your readers and listeners, was itself a pseudonym, thus protecting whatever privacy you used to enjoy?
13. Given the limited number of publications you had been affiliated with (and both publications boast a decidedly conservative slant), coupled with your fairly unknown status among the press corps, how did you arrange the interview with former Ambassador Wilson?
14. As a novice reporter, how did you learn the procedure for obtaining a day pass to the White House?
15. When did you first apply for a hard pass with the White House Press Corps? Did you apply for it or was it arranged through Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com?
16. When did you first apply for a daily pass with the White House Press Corps? Did you apply for it or was it arranged through Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com?
17. Did any members of the press question you on how it was that you were showing up regularly, but on a day pass rather than on a permanent pass?
18. You posted on an online discussion group that you have been subpoenaed to testify in the Valerie Plame case. In the same online discussion, you posted that you had seen the memo regarding Valerie Plame. Recently, however, you have suggested that you found out about this matter through the WSJ and that you were interviewed but not subpoenaed regarding the Plame case. Why have your recent responses not been consistent with your past statements? What is the truth?
19. Did anyone in the administration ever give you advanced information on any subject? Did they show you with a copy of the CIA Plame document?
20. Have you ever met Karl Rove? When? Where? How many times?
21. How did you come to find out about the Mary Mapes scoop with respect to the CBS/TANG documents?
22. What other parts of the White House have you seen or been in, other than the White House press briefing room? Who was your host on these occasions and what were the purposes of these visits?
23. Have you ever been to the President's ranch in Crawford, Texas and, if so, on what occasion and for what purpose?
24. You've used fabricated quotes, reprinted press releases and extensively cribbed from writers for other news publications such as the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan, Arcspace.com, and Newsquest, all beneath your own byline. Did your training in journalism include any coursework on ethics?
25. Legitimate journalists subscribe to a code of ethics, what do you think about those who violate or ignore that code?
26. Do you think working journalists should take money from anyone other than the professional news organization or publication that employs them for pieces they write? Did you?
27. Which falsehoods have been spread about you that you would like to dispell right now? For example, will you go on record saying that you were not running an escort service? We feel that this is relevant because of your past articles accusing others of behavior that you now consider "private, personal" information.
28. Since you've begun your own blog, do you think of yourself as a "blogger" or a "journalist"? Do you think of yourself as a "professional?" Since most people accept that a professional is someone who earns his living functioning in a known career field, how are you earning your living as a professional? Could you characterize how much monetary income constitutes "a living" in your opinion?
In addition, NYBri contacted Guckert/Gannon to alert him that they would be expecting answers to these questions:
Dear Mr. Guckert, I am writing to you on behalf of investigative members of DailyKos.com and ePluribusMedia. On March 1st, you wrote on your blog "Bloggers are again doing what the Old Media will not, that is, giving me an opportunity to answer questions without editing, filtering or interpretation. Therefore, I am granting interviews to both conservative and liberal bloggers." We are excited that you are willing to answer questions, as we have many regarding your experience in the White House. Below you will find a list of questions that was compiled by members of the DailyKos community. We will not edit the interview in any way, shape or form. We will post your answers exactly as you give them to us. This e-mail will also be posted. You should also know that we have supplied these questions to the media, so they are anticipating your responses as well. We would appreciate your prompt answer to all of the following questions:
Anyone interested in getting involved in the effort should contact NYBri or SusanG at epluribusmedia.