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GANNONGATE
I'm just asking

By John Steinberg | RAW STORY COLUMNIST

There are two basic themes that have dominated my political thoughts for the last few months. One has been the neglected cesspool that is the Jeff Gannon story. (For a time, I sent regular emails to Raw Story’s capo that consisted of nothing but “GannongateGannongateGannongate.”) The other has been the plumbing of the darker corners of President Bush’s primitive, dystopic psyche, which has proven fertile columnar ground. I have touched on Junior’s Oedipal fixation and his sadism. I have explored his feelings of guilt at his unearned wealth and his messianic pretensions. (And there may well be more where they come from. My current reading list consists of Richard Hofstadter’s Anti-intellectualism in American Life and Justin Frank’s Bush on the Couch, a juxtaposition that may be too obvious even for me.)

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If the content of my columns has been regularly drawn to a just a few subjects, my technique has also followed a fairly consistent pattern. I like to examine a couple of seemingly unconnected facts and present an unconventional hypothesis that explains them both. I don’t necessarily claim the hypothesis is correct; I just ask a “what if?” and let you decide.

Raw Story has reported on the records recently released by the Secret Service showing that JimmyJeff GannonGuckert visited the White House more than 200 times over a period stretching from February of 2003 – well before the start of his stint publishing other people’s stories under his own byline as a “reporter” for Talon News – and his banishment in February of this year. (Our intrepid whiffleballer insists he is merely “on hiatus” from the White House press room, and assumes that the reason he was not invited to this year’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner is that “Probably many who would want to extend such an invitation already assume I will be in attendance.")

Those records show some remarkable facts, which lead to some intriguing questions. JimmyJeff visited the White House on more than 20 occasions when there was no White House press conference held. The Secret Service records also disclose that there were numerous days upon which he entered but never signed out, left but never signed in, or was inside the White House several hours longer than the day’s press gaggle lasted.

These facts have not been satisfactorily explained, which only feeds the kind of ugly speculation that gives tabloid journalism a bad name, and gives me yet another column that practically writes itself. As far as I know, JimmyJeff has never denied having been a male escort. (He only coyly tells us, much like our President does, that he has “made mistakes in his past.” Without elocuting the sins in his sordid past, GannonGuckert still insists that said past should not besmirch his reputation in his subsequent endeavors as a plagiarist.

But I digress. Fact “A” to be harmonized today is JimmyJeff’s remarkable string of unexplained presences within the seat of our Executive power. These sojourns only feed rumors that began circulating as soon as Gannongate broke: was he sleeping with Ken Mehlman? Scott McClellan? Karl Rove?

But on to seemingly unrelated fact “B.” A number of websites and blogs have compiled a rather remarkable collection of photographs of George W. Bush displaying what I can only characterize as a rather fetishistic Presidential interest in the scalps of bald men. (Take a look here.) And there are a number of remarkable pictures of our self-styled Texas Rancher in Chief holding hands with Arab men. (See, e.g., here and here.)

I consider myself an open-minded, socially progressive, sensitive hetero guy. I cried when I read The Kite Runner; I cried watching Field of Dreams. I have hugged male friends. I admit these things. But I am reasonably sure that I have never rubbed a bald man’s head. And even I would hesitate to walk hand-in-hand with an adult male. Not that there is anything wrong with it, if you go in for that sort of thing. But if I thought my livelihood and legacy both depended on the support of NASCAR dads, I’d eat worms before I let myself be photographed scalp-rubbing or prince-holding.

Which brings me to seemingly unconnected special bonus fact “C”: looking at all of these pictures recently called to mind the now-infamous footage of a daring Bill Clinton embracing Monica Lewinsky when he had a photo op with a crew of White House interns. It was as if Clinton wanted to say, “If I was having sex with this woman, do you think I would do THIS?”

(Cue sound of dime dropping.)

Gannongate, meet George Bush.

We know Bush has a Village People-like thing for uniforms; we know that HotMilitaryStud claimed to have been in the Marines. (It appears JimmyJeff lied about his military record, but authenticity has always been optional for our Connecticut cowboy.) We know Bush has a thing for bald men; Gannon, of course has left nothing to the imagination regarding the extent to which he shaves areas other than his face. (Note: link not work safe, unless your name is Jim West.) There are rumors that Bush was, shall we say, sexually inclusive in his fraternity days; we don’t know much about GannonGuckert’s frat exploits, but as far as I know he has never denied being gay.

Granted, the evidence for the hypothesis I tease from A, B and C is so thin that “circumstantial” would be a great leap forward in credibility. But in the pantheon of liberal fantasies, this must stand as the best of all possible worlds:

What if the reason JimmyJeff spent so much time in the White House despite being manifestly unqualified to be there (and who else fits that description?) was a sexual relationship between GannonGuckert and George W. Bush?

I’m just asking.

John Steinberg bloviates regularly at www.bluememe.blogspot.com.

 



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