One thing that particularly bothered me was Gannon using the panel as a forum to attack other journalists such as Maureen Dowd and David Corn, where in both instances he distorted the truth.
In the case of Dowd he claimed that she was misleading people about the press corps credentialing process by telling people she can't get a hard pass, and then he went on to explain why she does not meet the requirements of hard pass access. Dowd does have access and here is what she actually said in the column Jeff was alluding to
At first when I tried to complain about not getting my pass renewed, even though I'd been covering presidents and first ladies since 1986, no one called me back. Finally, when Mr. McClellan replaced Ari Fleischer, he said he'd renew the pass — after a new Secret Service background check that would last several months.And from David Corn's response to Gannon's comments
Now he's saying that my appearance in the White House press room somehow justifies how he seemingly scammed his entry into this den of spin. I truly don't want to engage in a debate with Ganon/Guckert, but since this panel has gotten more attention than it deserves, I feel compelled to respond -- briefly.But perhaps what was most frustrating was hearing Gannon defend the administration paying Armstrong Williams to shill for No Child Left Behind by claiming that the administration had to pay Williams just to get some coverage without a "filter." Thats what Jeff said he does, he bypasses the "filter." Words can't express how badly I wanted to be on that panel or in the audience at that moment. The words came to me instantly. Here's what I would have said to Jeff if I had been there:
Unlike Gannon/Guckert, I have been a fully credentialed member of the Washington press corps for almost two decades. During that time, I have had a congressional press pass, which is the main press pass for working journalists in the nation's capital. Gannon/Guckert was turned down for such a pass. As a holder of such a pass, I can call the White House press office whenever I wish to attend a press briefing there--which is not often--and request a day press and expect to receive one.
You're right Jeff. There is a filter. Its called the truth. I wouldn't expect you to understand, but thats what journalists do: they take what the government says and they scrutinize it to see if the government is telling the truth. Thats why the press is so important to a democracy, Jeff. In a government "of the people, for the people, by the people" the government has to be held accountable.
"Who watches the watchmen?" We do. The press is our watchdog, or at least its supposed to be. You're no watchdog Jeff ... you're a lap dog.