Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Was Jeff Gannon a "PsyOps" by the Bush Admin?

It's not "major league" news in most of the press right now: in fact it wouldn't be surprising if you haven't heard about this at all. But it's gotten pretty big among a lot of bloggers so Lord only knows where this thing is gonna end up.

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 Defense
So 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?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

"a deliberate means by members of this current Presidential administration to influence the emotions and convictions of countless (millions?) American citizens."

Oh my goodness! Say it isn't so! Isn't that forbidden by the Geneva convention or something?

Christopher said...

Well, considering that it's being done under a cloud of deceit, that makes it more than a little wrong, don't you think?

It certainly implies that this bunch isn't above insulting the intelligence of the American people with schemes like this.

Anonymous said...

WHAT deceit?

1) In this, the land of the first amendment, annyone can pick up a pad and a pencil, start or write for a website, or a newsletter, or a newspaper, and call themselves a "credentialed journalist". And that's a good thing. Or is the government supposed to define for us what does and does not qualify as a "credentialed journalist"?

2) Using multiple names to apply for press credentials at the WH is simple, legal, and common, as filling out field d of form DD1879, the form for background investigations up to Top Secret.

"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"

For crying out loud. So what? Is there some sort of law that requires the WH to invite only journalists who are hostile to him? Is he supposed to rely on the usual suspects in the liberal media to get his message out? (You know how that works. Have you noticed their form of questioning?). So he isn't supposed to invite or allow any writers who might be sympathetic to his points of view?

There is no psy-ops here. That's just your fevered imagination.

Christopher said...

No. This is someone who is pointing out behavior that if it ever happened during Bill Clinton's watch would incite screams of outrage from the people who now are all to eager to brush it off with lame rationales when they get caught doing it.

Namely, you.

Anonymous said...

"No. This is someone who is pointing out behavior that if it ever happened during Bill Clinton's watch would incite screams of outrage from the people who now are all to eager to brush it off with lame rationales when they get caught doing it."

Get caught doing what?

If this did happen on Clinton's watch, no one would give a damn, because it already happened on Clinton's watch (Clinton invites journalists who are sympathetic to his cause to press conferences), and no one, not me, no one, raised any fuss about it.

"Namely, you."

Yeah, like you know me and every other poster on the internet.

BLITZER: I was going to say, were you there in the White House briefing room on a daily basis to try to change the subject, if you will, send softball questions to Scott McClellan, the press secretary? Or were you there as a real journalist trying to get the story?

GANNON: Well, Talon News is a legitimate conservative online news service. And my questions are things that my readers, 700,000 daily subscribed readers, want the answer to. And those are my questions.

I created the questions. Nobody fed questions to me. Scott McClellan certainly never knew what was coming. He knows -- he certainly knows...

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: Because you wore your politics on your sleeve. Everyone knew you were very conservative.

GANNON: Absolutely.

BLITZER: Why did you not get credentials, real credentials, from Capitol Hill from the U.S. Congress?

GANNON: Well, I made an attempt to do that originally when I was going to be covering Washington for Talon News. Our business -- Talon News' business model didn't fit the criteria of the Senate Press Gallery. And while we've been trying to comply, I couldn't stop doing the news. So I went on the basis of a daily pass. And that's -- it's all under the procedures that the White House has established for that.


http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0502/10/wbr.01.html

Christopher said...

Call me crazy, but not many conservatives that I know of are disseminators of gay porno.

Or admit to it anyway.

Much less post their photo on the Internet so as to prostitute themselves for it.

Anonymous said...

"Call me crazy, but not many conservatives that I know of are disseminators of gay porno. Or admit to it anyway."

He's a web designer. He was contracted to make those sites. That doesnt make him a disseminator of gay porno. He's not the distributor.

"Much less post their photo on the Internet so as to prostitute themselves for it"

Yet another phony baloney theory hatched by the idiots over at democraticunderground. And you fell for it.

Christopher said...

Ummm... I don't visit Democratic Underground. Maybe every now and then but the last time was perhaps 2 months ago.

But it would still beat falling for a phoney baloney theory by the Bushbots.