Sunday, February 03, 2008

Yeah! and the punchline is...

White House press credentials

Gannon first attended a White House press conference on February 28, 2003, and there asked a question of then White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. At this time Gannon had never had an article published, and was not associated with any kind of news organization (Talon News had not been created yet[2]). However, Gannon states that he was editor of his high school student newspaper, as proof of having some journalistic experience. [8]

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan later said that there was no breakdown in security and no one intervened on Guckert's behalf to ensure his access, despite the fact that Gannon had been able to get a press pass for the White House using an assumed name. Gannon's response was that the alias Jeff Gannon was a professional name used for convenience, saying that his "real last name is hard to spell and pronounce," and that the Secret Service was aware of his identity.[2]

Journalists have said that it can take weeks to get the kind of clearance Gannon received. The Augusta Free Press reported that its acquisition of a single one-day pass was a two-week process.[9][not in citation given] Furthermore, it was said that, highly unusually, Gannon was issued one-day press passes for nearly two years, avoiding the extensive background checks required for permanent passes, and sidestepping Gannon's inability to gain the necessary Congressional press pass. Gannon applied for a Congressional press pass in April 2004 but was denied one by The Standing Committee of Correspondents, a group of congressional reporters who oversee press credential distribution on Capitol Hill, on the grounds that Talon did not qualify as a legitimate and independent news service.[10] On his resume Gannon said he is a graduate of the Leadership Institute Broadcast School of Journalism, a two day seminar for "conservatives who want a career in journalism."[11]

[edit] Talon News