The Boston Globe broke the story last week that Jeff Gannon, a reporter with a website called TalonNews.com, was enjoying regular access to the White House press briefings and even getting to ask questions to President Bush despite the fact that he was NOT a credentialed journalist... and possibly had no experience or training in journalism prior to coming aboard TalonNews.com.
While a member of the press pool, Gannon became well-known for asking "soft" questions that could only be described as subjective and pro-Republican. Some of these wouldn't even pass muster with a high school journalism teacher: "You've said you're going to reach out to (Senate Democrats). How are you going to work with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?" Gannon asked President Bush during a press conference last week. Some have observed that much of the text in Gannon's stories have been lifted verbatim from White House and Republican party documents while passing it off as his own work (oops... possible plagurism there).
Although it proclaims itself to be "committed to delivering accurate, unbiased news coverage to our readers", TalonNews.com has something in common with pro-conservative website GOPUSA.com: both are owned and operated by a Texas Republican activist named Bobby Eberle.
It also now looks like Jeff Gannon is possibly a provider of gay porn and an "escort service". But that's not what this post is about.
This is about how it looks like Jeff Gannon has been a reporter with an agenda all this time.
I gotta wonder how much this was already known, and by whom?
Someone (you don't have to know who this person is, but they have a lot of knowledge on some "things", 'kay) told me years ago how it is that the government - elected or no - can influence the opinions and activities of the general public. This person said that the CIA has long practiced this method, going back at least to the Vietnam War. The resources became plenty available then: they're even moreso now. And most of them probably don't even know that they're being used in this manner.
It's really very simple: an agent of the government contacts a minor media outlet somewhere. Say, a small-town newspaper or low-watt television station... or a low-traffic website. He tells the editor or producer that he's got a "hot tip" for a story. Usually this means that the potential story is intended to sow distrust and suspicion against a particular person or group (my source said that this was regular practice against anti-war activists and others during Vietnam) or in favor of a certain side in a policy debate... such as whatever's going on with Social Security. The small media outlet publishes or broadcasts a story. If it's been "cultivated" well enough then it can be decided that it needs more attention. A larger media outlet receives a phone call or e-mail telling them to "hey check out this issue of the Springfield Shopper there's this story you should check out". So the bigger newspaper or TV station takes a look, figures it's a legitimate story and THEY run with it, referring back to the initial source that first aired or published the news item. Ya see, that "establishes credibility that this is a real story", my source told me.
If played correctly, what started out as practically a filler story in the bi-weekly newspaper down in Lizard Lick, Georgia will go up the food chain, right into ears - and out the mouths - of Fox News and CNN. And it will have the effect of swaying public opinion either for something (or someone) or against.
This is how the government has long had tremendous control over the American people's perceptions of issues and ideology, the source told me: "It's psychological operations against the public."
Here's how one military information website defines "psychological operations", or "PsyOps":
'Psychological Operations: Planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator's objectives. Also called PSYOP. See also consolidation psychological operations; overt peacetime psychological operations programs; perception management. ' US Department of DefenseSo I gotta wonder: is a PsyOps operation being run on us by members of this administration in the White House? Was Jeff Gannon a "reporter" specially selected and placed so that a "credible news agency" would ask questions - intended to convey certain biases and beliefs that would favor the Bush administration - which would then be picked up and disseminated to a much vaster audience by the big dogs of the nation's press?
Someone had to know that he was there, in the White House press briefings. And that he and Talon News were routinely being sourced as "legitimate" news agencies. Didn't any of this raise some questions about validity or intent? Doesn't this at least bring a security issue to mind?
I'm starting to be inclined toward the belief that Jeff Gannon was a deliberate means by members of this current Presidential administration to influence the emotions and convictions of countless (millions?) American citizens. Hey if they can pay op-ed columnists to shill for them without informing the public about that lil' fact, why shouldn't we believe them to be incapable of inserting a fictitious reporter from a dubious "news website" into their own press briefings, so as to ask questions that will reflect favorably on them?