opinion

The Ultimate Attack?

Stephen Yagielowicz
Like it or not, the participants in, and consumers of, our industry are reviled, and looked down upon by the mainstream world, including by those who partake of our wares and services. This is never more apparent than when one party wishes to launch a personal attack on another: rarely is a better vehicle found than the ability to declare that your opponent "has ties to the porn industry."

A case in point is that of former White House correspondent Jeff Gannon, who was forced from his position after repeated attacks by left wing "bloggers" who have been conducting a smear campaign against him, highlighting his homosexuality and involvement in the wicked world of gay porn among reasons for discrediting him.

Gannon is the reputed owner of several gay website domains, including militaryescorts.com, militaryescortsm4m.com, and hotmilitarystud.com, currently available for sale at Afternic.

While the casual observer might consider an alleged homosexual and gay porn promoter to be "a liberal," it is the liberal camp that is attacking Gannon, proclaiming him to be a conservative propagandist in league with the Bush administration. It seems that no one is safe from such an attack, or above carrying out such an attack.

Gannon, whose real name is James Guckert, has been outwardly criticized by blog sites Media Matters, AmericaBlog, and others, for his involvement in gay porn – but the real agenda behind these attacks is to discredit his political views. While Gannon is contemplating legal action against the bloggers over what he sees as a "political assassination" that cost him his job, the damage is already done in the court of public opinion.

Previously, Gannon enjoyed routine White House press access, beginning in early 2003 when he was a representative of Texas GOP activist Bobby Eberle's GOPUSA, but after President Bush took a question from Gannon at a press conference last month, the left wing went on the offensive, apparently unhappy with the premise of Gannon's question to the President.

Media Matters, which has devoted an extraordinary percentage of its recent commentary to the Gannon case, apparently feels that his questions, and reporting, were biased in favor of the Bush administration. Despite the publicity they are trying to give this partisan 'outrage' however, it seems that many media outlets, including those who are typically considered to be liberal organs, simply do not care.

A report on MSNBC by author and media critic Eric Alterman described how the Gannon story has been overlooked by major media outlets, stating that "All sorts of interesting, and damning, nuggets continue to tumble out of the Gannongate story. Yet according to LexisNexis, neither ABC, CBS, Los Angeles Times, nor Miami Herald (just to name a few) have reported on the $200-an-hour male escort who, with no journalism experience and using an alias while working for a phony news organization, was allowed into White House press briefings without having to submit to a full background security check. Move along folks, nothing of interest here."

Nothing of interest is right. If the gay escort / porn site angle was removed, even less people, and even fewer media outlets, would have given this turd of a story a second look. After all, a headline that reads "Gay Escort & Porn Fiend A White House Tool!" will attract more attention than one that reads "Liberals Find Someone Else To Disagree With..."

At the end of the day, Gannon's detractors will cite his lack of a journalism degree and alleged favoritism towards the Bush administration as the reasons for their attack. However, it is doubtful that his credentials would have been called into question, or his perspective second guessed, had his questions and commentary been in line with the leftist blogger's agenda.

The big picture for me, however, is the use of "the porn card" as a weapon against the messenger, when the message is unwelcome by a certain individual or group of individuals. For those that see the adult industry as increasingly becoming part of the mainstream, you need look no further than the latest headlines to see how we as an industry are truly perceived.

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