Saturday, July 15, 2006
JOURNO SOCKS IT TO GOP GAYS
By RICHARD JOHNSON with PAULA FROELICH and CHRIS WILSON
July 15, 2006 -- FORMER White House reporter and alleged male escort Jeff Gannon came to town on Thursday to address the Log Cabin Republican club's monthly meeting - and he took no prisoners, The Post's Robert George reports.
Openly gay Gannon, a k a James Guckert, quit his job with the now-defunct conservative Talon News Web site last year after his fake name, slender journalism background and escort connections came to light.
At the gathering of gay Republicans this week, Gannon, who still lives in Washington and is working on a book, let rip at hypocrisy, sexual and otherwise, in the political ranks. He included jabs at:
* Mary Cheney: "I haven't read Mary's book, but I imagine it goes something like this: 'My dad's the vice president; I'm a lesbian - and we don't talk about it.' "
* Ex-New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey: "He said, 'My truth is that I'm a gay American.' No, your truth is that you're not courageous; you're corrupt - and a coward."
* Democrats who use the Bible selectively: "Ted Kennedy says, 'Jesus would have wanted us to raise the minimum wage.' No, Teddy, Jesus would have wanted you to help Mary Jo out of the car that night."
But Gannon reserved his harshest ire for members of the gay liberal media. He called gay liberal activists like author and radio host Michelangelo Signorile and Americablog owner John Aravosis members of the "gay mafia" for outing Republican members of Congress and their staffers.
He added: "There are Democratic members of Congress who play with their boys in D.C. - then go home to pose for pictures with their wives. I know who they are, but they are safe from the gay mafia because they vote the right way."
Gannon denied that they had "outed" him when Aravosis' Web site revealed his alleged male escort past because, "I was no more in the closet than Valerie Plame was a covert CIA agent."
When a non-Log Cabin attendee at the meeting demanded to hear about Gannon's odyssey "from being a prostitute to being a journalist," Gannon refused to answer. He insisted the escort charge was never proven and refused to declare what the truth was, calling it "irrelevant" to his role as a journalist.
He added, "This line of questioning would never be asked of a liberal."
I'll add a few other nuggets from the Jeff Gannon talk a little later.
UPDATE: A New York Daily News gossip columnist also reported on Gannon's appearance. Interestingly, Ben Widdicombe focused on some different quotes:
To each his own, as they say.
GOP (gay) orientation session
What, you're not a gay Republican?
Good for you.
But former White House correspondent Jeff Gannon had some interesting insights about politics and sexuality when he addressed the Log Cabin Republicans last week.
Some sample wisdom on Madonna: 'The slut, not the blessed mother of Christ.' On former Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey: 'By day he's doing photo-ops with his wife and kids, and by night he's on his knees at a truck stop in New Jersey.'
On the fact that a certain homophobic Pennsylvania senator has a gay press secretary: 'I think it's a tribute to Rick Santorum. I think it says a lot about the man.'
On G.O.P.-turned-Democrat provocateur David Brock: 'At 35, he decided that he loved shoving dollar bills down the pants of the twinks down at [D.C. gay strip club] Wet.'
Finally, on allegations of his own hooker past: 'Responsible people see it my way, that it doesn't matter.'
It's Jeff Gannon's moral universe, folks. We're just living in it."
A few other observations from last Thursday stand out -- salacious, politically-pointed, and one rather endearingly sad.
Gannon knocked the Gay Pride Parade in rather salacious terms: "If I march, I'm 'proud'...look at me in my assless chaps! I'm proud." I have to admit that line did remind me of this decidedly politically uncorrect Onion story from a few years back.
On general liberal hypocrisy: "You're allowed to throw racial epithets against Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell or Clarence Thomas -- if you're a Democrat or in the media."
He slammed the hypocrisy of the gay activists who insist on privacy rights for all but used Gannon's sexuality "to smear members of the White House, including [former press secretary] Scott McClellan, Karl Rove and even the president himself." While Gannon might not be the poster child in terms of demanding privacy, he does make a legitimate point here. As Signorile himself admits, he outed then-Pentagon spokesman/now NBC correspondent Pete Williams in 1991 to protest the gays-in-the-military policy and the seeming hypocrisy of having Williams in a high-profile position.
The question then -- as now -- is whether there was a legitimate difference between Williams as a civilian spokesman representing the DOD policy on allowing gays to serve openly in the active military. Signorile sees no difference. Others do.
Finally, Gannon said he resigned from Talon News when the media intensity expanded to his family. "My 72 year old mother started getting calls. She called me and said, 'Who are these people? Are they going to hurt you? Are they going to hurt me?'"
UPDATE II: Welcome, Americablog folks! Gosh, who'da thunk that Mr. Gannon would produce so many new visitors! Well, while you're here, don't be shy: Feel free to check recent entries on George Will, Superman, Joe Lieberman -- and the Federal Marriage Amendment! Cheers!
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