The tone of Howard Kurtz's Feb. 10 Style article, "Online Reporter Quits After Liberals' Expose," suggests that Jeff Gannon is just a conservative reporter trying to do his job and that he is a victim of liberal bloggers using his past activities in online gay prostitution to get rid of a political opponent.
I am left wondering whether The Post is being too casual about this case. A political hack was credentialed as a "journalist" by means of a right-wing diploma mill that will bestow a "journalism degree" on anyone investing two days and $50. This individual, using a false name and questionable credentials, was then given access to White House press briefings for nearly two years on day passes, because he flunked the vetting process for a permanent pass.
Gannon was supposed to be the Washington bureau chief of Talon News, but it turns out that there was no news agency, no paper, no magazine -- just a Web site conveniently put up five days before Gannon's arrival at the White House, and with strong GOP ties.
In briefings, Gannon's questions and comments were partisan. The pieces he wrote were often verbatim White House news releases, published without attribution. Gannon has been associated with the Valerie Plame case since he referred to it in advance of other journalists, and he appears to have had access to an internal CIA document. He may have been instrumental in outing a covert agent. All this, and more, The Post might have mentioned. Who is going to defend journalistic standards and ethics if not The Post? And how does The Post feel about our government setting up this character as a mouthpiece for its messages?
-- Nora Tocus