Sunday, September 21, 2003
Talon News GOPUSA Story File
(NOTE - This is my archive of all posts that I have written on Talon News, but only the posts that are directly related. I had to backdate this post so it doesn't take up the whole page. All my future posts will be added to this archive. The posts are in chronological order.)
February 2, 2005: Jeff Gannon Is No Jeff Gannon
At the Daily Kos diaries, Susan G. has been conducting an "investigation" into the mysterious background of Talon News "Reporter" Jeff Gannon. Mr. Gannon (a name which Susan correctly guessed was a pseudonym as he pretty much just admitted in an interview with Fishbowl DC at Media Bistro: "It's definitely my reporter's name, and beyond that, I don't see how relevant anything else is.") has recently been exposed as nothing more than an Administration mouthpiece by Media Matters: ""Talon News Washington bureau chief and White House correspondent Jeff Gannon, who accused his colleagues in the press corps of "work[ing] off of the talking points" provided by Democrats, has used Bush administration and Republican National Committee (RNC) documents and releases in his Talon "news reports" verbatim and without attribution. In at least two of his articles, Gannon lifted more than half of the text directly from GOP "fact sheets.""
With help from other Kos contributors, Susan has done some sensational work, and has just posted a new diary entry, "Plame & PropaGannon: Dots Connect: Part IX" (Diary): "Talon News registers its domain name March 29, 2003. The site goes live April 1, 2003, and on April 3, 2003, the pseudonomic "Jeff Gannon," with no journalism experience and with a $50, two-day seminar at a right-wing propaganda institute under his belt, is seated four rows away from where the most powerful - and most guarded - person on the planet makes his pronouncements."
Pnionline.com reports that "Jeff is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University System and holds a Bachelor of Science in Education." That information was attributed to Mr. Gannon's official bio at Talon News, which seems to have mysteriously vanished (link). Pnionline.com also reports that one of Mr. Gannon's reports on the Daschle and Thune Senate Race in South Dakota was given a link by the Daschle v. Thune blog, a blog that was maintained by a paid Thune staffer.
The earliest story by Mr. Gannon that I could find was from January of 2003 for GOPUSA News, which owns all of his Websites.
On February 10, 2004, Mr. Gannon asked these interesting questions at a White House briefing (link to a Freeper thread, a Website Mr. Gannon posts at nearly every day): "Since there have been so many questions about what the President was doing over 30 years ago, what is it that he did after his honorable discharge from the National Guard? Did he make speeches alongside Jane Fonda, denouncing America's racist war in Vietnam? Did he testify before Congress that American troops committed war crimes in Vietnam? And did he throw somebody else's medals at the White House to protest a war America was still fighting? What was he doing after he was honorably discharged?"
February 6, 2005: Fake Ass Talon News
A few days ago I blogged about Jeff Gannon, the White House correspondent for the two-year-old Talon News.com which is affiliated with the extremely conservative GOPUSA.com: Jeff Gannon Is No Jeff Gannon. At the Daily Kos blog, a number of diarists, such as Susan G., Spiderleaf, and Baltimoretim, have done some fine work while attempting to unravel the mystery that has been dubbed "PropaGannon."
On January 31st, David Brock of Media Matters wrote a letter to Scott McClellan, the White House Press Secretary, asking him to revoke Mr. Gannon's press credentials because "Mr. Gannon and Talon News appear to be political activists rather than actual journalists, and as such should not be presented to the public as an independent news agency." Mr. Brock also brought up the fact that a few of Mr. Gannon's "articles are frequently little more than reprints of White House press releases and fact sheets...I understand that your office issues press releases with the hope that reporters quote them. But surely you understand that when Mr. Gannon's "articles" lift heavily from President Bush's statements without directly disclosing that the words are the president's, not Mr. Gannon's, he is working not as a journalist but as an agent of the White House."According to the About page at the fake ass Website, "Talon News is a news company which covers political, national, and world news. Talon News focuses on those stories often overlooked by other media outlets."
Bobby Eberle - an engineer and Republican activist/delegate from Houston, Texas - is the head honcho for this "news company" as well as the GOPUSA "empire." Message to Bobby: You might want to change that last sentence on the About page to Talon News filches stories from other media outlets. Mr. Gannon is not the only plagiarist on the staff of the Talon News. And it's not just the White House who's words are being lifted. Talon News also cribs from The New York Times and Fox News.Just after the 2004 election "results" were officially certified late Thursday afternoon on January 6, 2005, a report by Carl Cameron, Julie Asher and Jim Mills appeared on the Fox News Website: link On January 7, 2005, the article - "Congress Ratifies Bush Victory After a Rare Challenge" written by Sheryl Gay Stolberg and James Dao - was published in The New York Times (excerpted at this cache link), although it most probably was available at The New York Times Website sometime late Thursday evening. On Friday, Steve Roeder, a "correspondent" for Talon News "wrote" a practically identical "article" called "Dems Fail in Ohio Electoral Vote Challenge" which is (how do you delicately put it?) practically stolen (Steve Roeder from Talon News is a plagiarist):
Roeder - A joint session of Congress resumed proceedings Thursday evening and quickly ratified President George W. Bush's November election victory. Cameron, Asher & Mills - A joint session of Congress resumed meeting Thursday evening and quickly finalized certification of President Bush's 286 Electoral College votes to Democrat John Kerry's 251. Roeder - Certification was halted for the majority of the afternoon when Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH) stopped the formal declaration process. Cameron, Asher & Mills - The certification was delayed for several hours after Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio, stopped the formal declaration of Bush's second term to protest voting irregularities. Roeder - Boxer said on the Senate floor that she and Jones wanted to "shed some light" on issues of reported voting irregularities in Ohio and nationwide election reform. Cameron, Asher & Mills - Boxer said on the floor of the Senate that she joined with Jones to "shed some light" about the issues of reported voting irregularities in Ohio as well as election reform throughout the nation. Roeder - Lawmakers were forced to retreat to their separate chambers for two hours of debate and a vote on the challenge. Stolberg & Dao - Instead of holding a courteous joint session to certify the election, lawmakers were forced to retreat to their separate chambers for two hours of debate and a vote on the challenge. Roeder - Earlier in the day, Boxer and Jones acknowledged at a news conference that they did not expect to overturn the results. Cameron, Asher & Mills - Earlier on Thursday, Boxer and Jones held a news conference and acknowledged they are not expecting to overturn the November election results. Roeder - It was only the second such challenge since Rutherford B. Hayes won in 1876. Stolberg & Dao - It was only the second such challenge to a presidential race since 1877. Roeder - In 2001, more than two-dozen Democrats objected to the certification of Florida's disputed election won by President Bush. However, since no senator also objected then, as is required to cause a recess of the joint session of Congress, the objection was ignored. Cameron, Asher & Mills - In 2001, more than two-dozen Democrats objected to the certification of Florida's disputed election, but because no senator objected, as is required to trigger a recess of the joint session, the objection was ignored. Roeder - Boxer said she regrets that she didn't object to the certification four years ago. Cameron, Asher & Mills - Boxer also said she regrets that she didn't object to the certification four years ago when the controversial election put Bush over Al Gore. Roeder - Debate in the House on Thursday was lively. In contrast, the Senate debate included only the two Republicans from Ohio: Sen. Mike DeWine and Sen. George V. Voinovich. The Democrats filled the remaining time with reasons why the voting system needs improvement. Stolberg & Dao - Although debate in the House was vigorous, in the Senate only two Republicans Mike DeWine and George V. Voinovich of Ohio joined in, leaving Democrats to fill the time with relatively subdued speeches about why the voting system needs to be improved. Roeder - Most Democrats concluded Bush was the rightful winner and said the move cast a needed spotlight on voting rights. Republicans called it a waste of time. Stolberg & Dao - Democrats, nearly all of whom conceded that Mr. Bush was the rightful winner, said the move cast a needed spotlight on voting rights. Republicans called it a waste of time. Roeder - "This is a travesty," said Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), who forced a formal roll call vote in the Senate to spotlight lawmakers' positions. "[Democrats] are still not over the 2000 election, let alone the 2004 election." Stolberg & Dao - This is a travesty, said Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a member of the Republican leadership, who forced a formal roll call vote in the Senate to spotlight lawmakers positions. Of Democrats, he said, Theyre still not over the 2000 election, let alone the 2004 election. Roeder - House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) characterized the Democrats' move as a "quadrennial crying wolf." Stolberg & Dao - Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, the House majority leader, drew applause on the House floor when he denounced the Democrats move as a quadrennial crying wolf. Roeder - The challenge divided Democrats. Party leaders and many rank-and-file distanced themselves. Black and liberal lawmakers embraced it. Stolberg & Dao - The challenge cast a spotlight on divisions among Democrats, with party leaders and many in the rank and file distancing themselves from the effort, while black and liberal lawmakers embraced it. Roeder - Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), who lost the election to Bush, said in a letter sent to supporters Wednesday he would not take part in a formal protest of the Ohio Electors because, despite widespread reports of voting irregularities, his legal team had "found no evidence that would change the outcome of the election." Kerry said he planned to introduce election-reform legislation and request congressional hearings on the voting irregularities. Cameron, Asher & Mills - Kerry, who lost the election to Bush and is currently overseas, said in a letter sent to supporters Wednesday he would not take part in a formal protest of the Ohio Electors because, despite widespread reports of voting irregularities, his legal team had "found no evidence that would change the outcome of the election." Kerry said he planned to introduce election-reform legislation and push for congressional hearings on the voting irregularities. Roeder - Democratic officials in Ohio said that, while they desire improved election practices, they worry that the party was wasting time and money. Stolberg & Dao - But even Democratic officials in Ohio said that while they wanted improved election practices, they worried that the party was wasting time and money refighting the last election. Roeder - Likewise, Republicans from Ohio were not pleased by the Democrats' objection. Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH) called the procedural challenge an effort by "certain extreme elements of Sen. Kerry's own party" to mock an election that Kerry himself conceded. Cameron, Asher & Mills - Republicans from Ohio were not pleased by the Democrats' objection. Rep. Deborah Pryce, R-Ohio, called the challenge an effort by "certain extreme elements of Senator Kerry's own party" to mock an election that Kerry himself conceded. Roeder - Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) concurred. Charges made about Ohio's election are "wild, incoherent and completely unsubstantiated," he said. On the Senate floor, Dewine added that he found it "almost impossible to believe" that the Senate was debating the matter when the official results showed that Bush won his state with more 118,000 votes. Cameron, Asher & Mills - Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, said charges made about Ohios election are wild, incoherent and completely unsubstantiated. He delivered a statement on the Senate floor saying he found it "almost impossible to believe" that the Senate was debating the matter when the official results showed that Bush won his state with more 118,000 votes.The following line appears on the Talon News Website: "Copyright © 2005 Talon News -- All rights reserved." Tell that to Fox News: "This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Copyright 2005 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved."
I'm not sure if Mr. Roeder has a blog but if he does I hope he can explain his thievery just as eloquently as Mr. Gannon does at his self-titled blog: "I'm everything people on the Left seem to despise. I'm a man who is white, politically conservative, a gun-owner, an SUV driver and I've voted for Republicans. I'm pro-American, pro-military, pro-democracy, pro-capitalism, pro-free speech, anti-tax and anti-big government. Most importantly, I'm a Christian. Not only by birth, but by rebirth through the blood of Jesus Christ."
We can agree on one point, Mr. Gannon, you certainly seem to be pro-capitalism. But you also seem to be pro-paid speech by big government taxes (also I'm a little confused...if the "people on the left" despise whites and are supposed to be anti-black and anti-Hispanic for opposing the nominations of a liar and a torture lawyer who's left for us to like?...oh yeah...I forgot...we're all Saddamites and Laden lovers...my bad).Perhaps there is an official military term for what is going on at Talon News (and elsewhere on the Internet and in the mainstream mass media): Information Operations. Information Operations are "programs designed to influence public opinion by countering what the Pentagon considers to be misinformation or lies that circulate in the international news media." Even though it's illegal for the government to willingly deceive the citizens in this country through use of propaganda, this wouldn't be the first time it's happened over the last few years (or, maybe even, last few decades). And I'm not even referring to the Armstrong Williams story or those pseudo news report videos released by the White House last year.
February 8, 2005: Steve Roeder: Serial Plagiarist For Talon News
UPDATE - As the whole blogosphere knows by now, Jeff Gannon (aka JD Guckert) quit Talon News and halted his blog late last night "because of the attention paid to" him over the last few days by nearly every left-leaning blog on the net. Talon News & GOPUSA have also removed many of the stories from their archives, including the purloined stories copy-and-pasted by Steve Roeder which I've been blogging about. No problem, it was easy enough to replace the links with caches. So there. The other big change at Talon News concerns the bylines. Of the four "articles" that appear on the Website today, two carry Bobby's name as the author while the other two are nameless. I wonder if Steve Roeder's voice went silent as well. We'll see.
Steve Roeder, a "correspondent" for the bogus Talon News, "wrote" an article entitled "Heinz Kerry Says Laura Bush Never Had 'Real Job'" on October 21, 2004 (cache link). Fortunately for Mr. Roeder, Fox News posted a story on this the day before (link), that ran without a byline, but with the following note: "The Associated Press contributed to this report." Yet for some reason, Mr. Roeder's story doesn't mention the contributions from the Fox News Website nor from this Reuters story: link to cache.Roeder: "Laura Bush taught in public schools in Texas from 1968 to 1973, then earned a master's degree in library sciences and worked for the following four years as a school librarian. In 1977, she married George W. Bush."
Fox News: "Laura Bush taught in public schools in Texas from 1968 to 1973, then got her library sciences master's degree and worked as a school librarian until 1977, the year she married George W. Bush."Roeder: "Heinz Kerry, a philanthropist and heiress to the Heinz ketchup fortune valued in excess of $500 million..."
Reuters: "Heinz Kerry, a philanthropist and heiress to a Heinz ketchup fortune of more than $500 million..."Roeder: "In the newspaper interview, Heinz Kerry, 66, said she sees her age as a benefit."
Fox News: "In the newspaper interview, Heinz Kerry said she sees her age as a benefit — she is 66."Roeder: "Heinz Kerry drew the ire of the Republicans when USA Today asked her how she would be different from Mrs. Bush if John Kerry won the November 2 election..."
Reuters: "Asked how she would be different from Mrs. Bush if John Kerry won the November 2 election, Heinz Kerry told USA Today..."Roeder: "Earlier Wednesday, prior to Heinz Kerry's apology, Hughes criticized Heinz Kerry's remarks as "indicative of an unfortunate mind-set that seeks to divide women based on who works at home and who works outside the home."
Fox News: "Prior to Heinz Kerry's apology, Karen Hughes, an adviser to President Bush, criticized Heinz Kerry's remarks as "indicative of an unfortunate mindset that seeks to divide women based on who works at home and who works outside the home."On December 17, 2004, Mr. Roeder "wrote" a story (link) about Bush's diabolical plans for Social Security which is nearly verbatim to comments made at Press Secretary Scott McClennan's briefing the day before (link):
Roeder: "As the current Social Security system stands, without significant changes, younger workers will face massive tax increases or massive benefit cuts."McClennan: "If we do nothing, John, our younger workers will face massive tax increases or massive benefit cuts. That's under the current system."
Roeder: "The Social Security trustees state that the system goes insolvent in 2042. In 2018, the annual spending on Social Security will exceed the system's tax revenue."McClennan: "The Social Security trustees state that it goes insolvent in 2042...the annual spending on Social Security will exceed the system's tax revenue in 2018."
Roeder: "Democratic congressional leaders recently issued a statement saying that they're asking President Bush to come forward with a Social Security proposal that does not reduce Social Security funding, harm the middle class, or cut guaranteed benefits."Question for McClennan: "Scott, the Democratic congressional leaders issued a statement today, saying that they're asking the President to come forward with a Social Security proposal that does not reduce Social Security funding, harm the middle class or cut guaranteed benefits."
Roeder: "However, the guarantee or expectation of a certain amount in retirement benefits is an empty promise, as younger workers will not have the benefits that they are owed under the current, unsustainable Social Security system."McClennan: "There are no guaranteed benefits right now. That's an empty promise. Younger workers will not have the benefits that they are owed under the current Social Security system. The current Social Security system is unsustainable."
Roeder: "Many experts say addressing and fixing the sustainability of Social Security will involve either a tax increase, raising the retirement age, cutting benefits, or means testing."Question for McClennan: "...which a lot of experts are saying would have to involve either a tax increase, raising the retirement age, cutting benefits or means testing."
Roeder: "Addressing the long-term sustainability of Social Security and other long-term debts would be viewed favorably by the financial markets."McClennan: "And as I pointed out last week, I believe, markets will look favorably on a plan that addresses the long-term sustainability of Social Security."
Roeder: "All three approaches vary in the amount that would be contributed from payroll taxes. Because of the higher rate of return that a younger worker might have, their benefits either would be reduced, or they might have to retire at a higher age. There would be a reduction of benefits as an offset to the higher rate of return."Question for McClennan: "Well, my question then is, I believe all three approaches -- even though they vary in the amount that would be contributed from payroll taxes do say that because of the higher rate of return that a younger worker might have, the price they would have to pay for that higher return is that their benefits either would be reduced, or they might have to retire at a higher age, but that there would be a reduction of benefits as an offset to the higher rate of return."
On January 31, 2005 Mr. Roeder's "Iraqi Voters Turn Out in Droves" (link) is a combination of nearly identical quotes from Bush's radio address which was broadcast two days earlier (link), and an article that ran on UN.org the day before (link): Roeder: "On Sunday, the world witnessed crucial milestones in the advancement of freedom and the war on terror. Despite intimidating threats, Iraqis made their way to polling centers in droves throughout their nation to choose from more than 100 different slates with 19,000 candidates competing for seats in the Transitional National Assembly, the country's 18 provincial councils, and the Kurdistan National Assembly." Bush: "Tomorrow the world will witness a turning point in the history of Iraq, a milestone in the advance of freedom, and a crucial advance in the war on terror. The Iraqi people will make their way to polling centers across their nation. On the national ballot alone, voters will choose from nearly 19,000 candidates competing for seats in the Transitional National Assembly, in the country's 18 provincial councils, and in the Kurdistan National Assembly."
Roeder: "Overseen by the Independent Election Commission of Iraq, the first genuine, nationwide election in generations was deemed a major success."Bush: "This historic event will be overseen by the Independent Election Commission of Iraq, and will mark the first genuine, nationwide elections in generations."
Roeder: "United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan lauded the bravery of the large numbers of Iraqis who exercised their right to vote, as well as those who supported the process."UN.org: "Mr. Annan lauded the bravery of the large numbers of Iraqis who exercised their right to vote despite significant attempts at violent disruption, as well as those who supported the process."
Roeder: "Annan also congratulated the U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) staff who, with other international electoral experts, worked to support the election."UN.org: "He also congratulated the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) staff who, with other international electoral experts, worked to support the election."
Roeder: "Sunday's balloting is the latest step in Iraq's journey to permanent democracy and freedom. Those elected to the transitional 275-member National Assembly will help appoint a new government to represent the diversity of the Iraqi people. This assembly will also be charged with drafting a permanent constitution that will be put to a referendum of the Iraqi people this fall. If approved, a new nationwide election will follow in December that will choose a new government under this constitution."Bush: "Tomorrow's vote will be the latest step in Iraq's journey to permanent democracy and freedom. Those elected to the transitional National Assembly will help appoint a new government that will fully and fairly represent the diversity of the Iraqi people. This assembly will also be charged with drafting a permanent constitution that will be put to a vote of the Iraqi people this fall. If approved, a new nationwide election will follow in December that will choose a new government under this constitution."
Roeder: "With past actions of assassination, brutal violence, and calculated intimidation..."Bush: "In the face of assassination, brutal violence and calculated intimidation..."
Just like Jeff Gannon, Mr. Roeder's journalism roots seem to be shrouded in mystery. But - unlike Mr. Gannon - there doesn't seem to be any trace of his biographical background or a picture to show what he looks like. Perhaps - like Mr. Gannon - Steve Roeder writes using an alias. Of course, there's always the possibility that Steve Roeder doesn't exist at all, since there is no trace of any original writing by the "man" either.
February 10, 2005: Terri Hillhouse: Op-Ed Editor for GOPUSA
Terri Hillhouse, a member of the Board of Directors for GOPUSA (bio), serves as the Op-Ed editor and Forum Administrator for the Website, Vice President of Operations, and has written a number of articles for Talon News. The multi-tasking political activist, also belongs to the "Colorado Federation of Republican Women, her county Republican organization, The Christian Coalition, and Concerned Women of America" and has helped "to build Internet communities, ranging from very large community sites to several conservative political sites."
Terri Hillhouse - along with other GOPUSA contributors such as Vincent Fiore, Paul Weyrich and Chris Adamo - freelances as a columnist for Renew America, a grass-roots organization that supports the ideals of the "unequivocal pro-life, pro-family" super conservative Alan Keyes (link). What is Renew America all about? "To achieve our mission, we intend to fully utilize all available alternative media, as well as build a well-organized network (both electronic and conventional) of dedicated grassroots citizens in every part of our nation." (link)
I wonder what Terri Hillhouse might have to say about the sordid details of the Jeff Gannon scandal (Tas breaks it down). In June of 2004, Terri penned an editorial at RenewAmerica.us attacking Illinois Senatorial candidate Jack Ryan right after allegations of sexual deviancy hit the papers (which came from unsealed divorce court testimony by his ex-wife, former Trekkie actress Jeri Ryan; more sordid details at Wikipedia). Terri observed (link): "It does no good for the young politically inclined conservative to say, 'What I do is my private business.' It is not. Not anymore. Young Republicans have a well earned reputation for sexual peccadillos. How many of these young people are throwing away tomorrow's political career for a few hours of fun and games today?" Shortly afterward, Jack Ryan bowed out of the race, allowing perennial losing candidate Alan Keyes to stage dive his way into the contest, and helped pave the way for Barack Obama's record landslide victory
I'm eagerly awaiting an editorial by Terri Hillhouse which will address Jeff Gannon's peccadillos, but I won't hold my breath.
Terri Hillhouse is no wingnut; she possesses great character. In response to an article written by a pacifist whose house had been robbed but was relieved to have been unarmed because she could have killed the intruders, Terri Hillhouse wrote this charming letter to the editor: "Would it have been all right if these men had not only raped and killed you but also raped and killed your 9 month old baby? Do you have enough gumption in your liberal soul to have protected your innocent child? No, I don't think so. You would both have just gone on to liberal heaven in loving peace while your attackers went down the street to attack another woman." As I mentioned: charming.
What would Terri Hillhouse have to say about the subject of government propaganda being used on American citizens? Maybe something like what she wrote in an e-mail to MSN in relation to the controversy involving the Bush Administration's use of fake news video reports (link): "Did you ever miss the boat! Yes, broadcast and print news sources are in trouble but it's not because of the White House. It's because of sleazy stories like this one. Instead of acknowledging the lack of honesty in the way news stories are selected and reported you chose to hang your premise on a video ad by the White House. You and others like you are the problem. We have learned that mainstream media is untrustworthy and so we have turned to the Internet where a wide variety of sources are available. You and yours are quickly being replaced and not a moment too soon."
Come on, Terri, who else are you working for?
February 11,2005: Alan Keyes & Talon News
Yesterday, I blogged about some ties between Talon News (GOPUSA) and Renew America - a Website devoted to the "ideals" of black conservative Alan Keyes. But there's a much larger relationship that I haven't gotten into yet.
Bruce Eberle, a relative of Talon News/GOPUSA head honcho Bobby Eberle (many blogs are reporting that Bruce and Bobby are brothers...but I can't confirm that...and a commenter on my haloscan claims otherwise...I can confirm that Bruce wrote that Bobby is "of what you might call the "Texas branch" of the Eberle clan" here), has been one of the nation's largest fundraisers for conservatives over the last thirty years. According to the Website of Eberle Communications Group, the family of companies - which include Omega List Company and Bruce W. Eberle & Associates - have raised over 500 million dollars through postal and e-mail solicitations.
Bruce Eberle also is behind Millions of Americans, a Website devoted to Conservative grassroots activism. Millions of Americans grew out of Election Integrity 2000, which was quickly started in November of 2000 during the Florida recount. In March of 2004, GOPUSA and Millions For America officially merged, and Bruce let Bobby take over the reins for both sites (cache link).
Bruce Eberle and Alan Keyes have known each other since 1967, when they met at a convention held by Young Americans For Freedom (YAF), "the principal outreach organization of the Conservative Movement." In 1996, Bruce W. Eberle and Associates acted as fundraisers for the Alan Keyes for President campaign (cache link).
GOPUSA started a petition in August of 2004 to encourage Alan Keyes to run for the Senate in Illinois against Barack Obama (link), although only 3340 people signed it.
February 11,2005: GOPUSA & Talon News: Explained
Why does Talon News exist? There's certainly enough legitimate conservative media entities in the mainstream media which do a fine job of regurgitating the Bush Administration's propaganda with few objections and hardly any criticism. Why hire unqualified journalists who resort to copy-and-pasting and out-and-out plagiarism?
Because it's not really about that. Talon News and GOPUSA exist not to serve as an alternative to the mainstream media and to promote only "good news." The brainchild of the two Eberles, Bobby and Bruce, was created in a computer lab with "polling wizard" software in order to activate the conservative base and make a whole lot of money for conservative pundits.
Sheldon Rampton, the research director for the Center for Media & Democracy, and the designer and overseer for Disinfopedia, wrote an article that fully gets to the heart of what Talon News/GOPUSA is all about. Only, that article was written three years ago. Less than two weeks ago, Mr. Rampton wrote a follow-up analysis called "Cash for Commentary" is Business as Usual as a response to the recent payola scandals involving Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher and Michael McManus: link.
I'm not going to paraphrase anything from that article tonight. Mr. Rampton deserves the credit for exposing the Eberle masterplan, so check it out then come back and scroll down (no cheating, peeps, if you read Mr. Rampton's article before you scroll down, the Eberle scam will be completely clear to you...though you might also want to read the last post I wrote about last year's change of ownership of the Millions of Americans Website).
Tomorrow night I'll spell it out more clearly so that it makes more sense.
"How do you recruit these proven activists? By creating an activation Web site, not an informational Web site ... a site that exists solely to create activists." -- grassroots PR guru Jack Bonner (from Sheldon Rampton's 3-year-old article - Digital Telemarketing: Old Hacks Learn New Tricks: cache link).
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February 16,2005: Bobby Eberle Rewrites Reuters For Freepers
Too bad Bobby Eberle doesn't have Jeff Gannon around anymore in the GOPUSA "newsroom." The majority of the "articles" that have appeared at Talon News (only the first few lines appear there...if you want to "read more"...you're redirected to GOPUSA.com where the stories are actually located) since Jeff quit shilling bear Bobby's name as the "writer."
Bobby's latest top story - "Bush Sends Judicial Nominees Back To Senate" (link) - might read a little familiar to Thomas Ferraro, a scribe for the Reuters news service ("Bush Renominates 20 Failed Judicial Nominees" boston.com) . You see, the Talon News style of journalism consists of plagiarizing from the work of real journalists and mixing it up with exact quotes from administration speeches and official government press releases. Bobby steals lines and quotes from the mainstream media, removing any "liberal" slant, and sends it out to his Websites and subscribers so that they can read only "good news":
Bobby Eberle - "President George W. Bush figuratively threw down the gauntlet to Senate Democrats on Monday by resubmitting the names of 20 judicial nominees to the Senate Judiciary Committee."
Thomas Ferraro - "President Bush set up a showdown with Senate Democrats on Monday by renominating 20 failed judicial nominees, many of whom had been denounced by critics as "right-wing extremists.""
Bobby Eberle - "New Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is on record as being willing to take a stand against controversial nominees and said in a statement on Monday, "The president is at it again with the extremist judges.""
Thomas Ferraro - "Reid, in a statement of his own, said, "The president is at it again with the extremist judges.""
Bobby Eberle - "Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) expressed his support for the nominees on Monday saying he is "pleased that the president has renominated these excellent women and men to serve on the federal bench." Frist expressed hope that Democrats will work with him to "get up-or-down votes on each nominee.""
Thomas Ferraro - "In a statement on Monday, Frist said, "I'm pleased that the president has renominated these excellent women and men ... I'm hopeful that Democrats will work with me to get up-or-down votes on each nominee." "
Bobby Eberle - "Frist is thought to be considering forcing a rule change if Democrats insist on continuing to obstruct judicial nominations this session."
Thomas Ferraro - "Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, has threatened to change the Senate's rules to prevent any more procedural hurdles known as filibusters against judicial nominees."
Bobby Eberle - ""The American people sent a strong message on November 2 against the obstructionist tactics that, unfortunately, we saw all too often in the past four years," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)."
Thomas Ferraro - "Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said, "The American people sent a strong message on November 2 against the obstructionist tactics that, unfortunately, we saw all too often in the past four years.""
Bobby Eberle - "A simple majority of 51 votes is needed to the change the rules while 60 is necessary to end a filibuster..."
Thomas Ferraro - "A simple majority of 51 votes would be needed in the 100-member Senate to change the rules and end filibusters."
Not satisfied with just re-using words from Reuters, the second page of Bobby's cut-and-paste-job is just about completely lifted from the last few paragraphs of an article by the Associated Press (Jesse J. Holland "Bush Sends Senate 20 Judicial Nominees" cache link). Bobby does mention the A.P. as a source for the Ted Kennedy quotes (ummm I don't think there's any chance that Teddy would be taking calls from Talon News), but it might have been a little smarter to at least switch the order of the list of judicial nominees that the A.P. provided (yes, the nominees are listed in alphabetical order by state, but the courts are also listed in the same order).
Where did Bobby first read the Reuters article and why did he decide to "re-write" it?
Perhaps he saw this thread at the Free Republic Website yesterday: cache link. It was listed as a "Reuter's Bias Alert."
A freeper using the handle "GW and Twins Pawpaw" noted, "Senator Harry better watch out. He might get Daschled next time.."
Bobby Eberle's "article" included this line: "Then Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle led the Democratic minority in blocking some high-profile nominations in the last congressional session, a role that some say led to his defeat last fall at the hands of new Republican Sen. John Thune."
Some say, indeed.
February 16, 2005: Newsmax & GOPUSA
A few days ago I mentioned the Millions of Americans website, formerly owned by Bruce Eberle but now owned by Bobby Eberle, who is, at best, a distant relation (I still can't confirm whether or not any money changed hands in the transaction). As one of its services, MOA charged conservative Websites a fee to send out e-mails to all of it's subscribers (many of the subscribers were unaware of this) and promote it.
If you went to the MOA Website a year ago, you would have seen this (archive.org link) wonderful offer:
291,000 Conservative opt-in email names
Millions of Americans is one of the premier conservative websites, started by conservative activists for conservative activists; MOA represents a one-stop source for conservative news, information, online petitions, polls, and more. Most recently 67,000 brand new MOA activists have signed a petition to Congress to introduce a constitutional amendment to protect the Pledge of Allegiance, as well as opted in to receive email on furthering the conservative cause. Other issues these activists have gotten behind are: During the presidential election standoff 335,000 signed petitions to Florida election officials urging certification for Bush When that was accomplished 282,000 signed a petition urging Al Gore to concede Later 275,000 signed a petition to hasten confirmation of John Ashcroft as Attorney General
Get these conservative activists behind your cause today
Many top conservative organizations have already used this list, call for additional usage or any other information. For a sample MOA email go to omegalist.com and click on ‘Sample MOA email.’
Royalty Rate $30/M with a $500 minimum order 20% commission to recognized brokers & agencies
Clicking on the link for sample MOA email back then (archive.org link) would lead you to this:
Our friends at Newsmax have pulled of a coup and signed up Bill O'Reilly as a regular columnist for their monthly magazine. For those of you who have not seen O'Reilly on Fox News, he's one of the best journalists in America. I love to watch him when he traps liberals like Dan Rather in his "no spin zone." If you want to join the 160,000 Americans who are already Newsmax readers, see below. At MillionsofAmericans we are currently going through some changes. In the coming months we will again be needing you to take action to help the cause. In the meantime, check out the offer from Newsmax. For Integrity, Bruce Eberle -----Original Message----- From: NewsMax.com Sent: Monday, June 11, 2001 3:07 PM To: Bruce Eberle Subject: Bill O'Reilly to be NewsMax Magazine Regular Important News from NewsMax.com Bill O'Reilly to be NewsMax Magazine Regular NewsMax is glad to announce that Bill O'Reilly's column will appear each month in NewsMax's monthly magazine. O'Reilly is the star of Fox News Channel's top-rated "O'Reilly Factor." The best-selling author was also voted by NewsMax readers as "the most trusted journalist in America" for the year 2000. NewsMax magazine is the print version of NewsMax.com and is mailed each month to more than 160,000 readers. You know NewsMax is America's #1 online source for news the liberal media just won't report -- and became famous breaking story after story during the Election Crisis when Al Gore tried to steal the election. NewsMax is edited by Christopher Ruddy, who broke the Vince Foster story wide-open and was named the #1 press enemy of the Clinton White House by the Washington Post. Now NewsMax has a special report on what Hillary Clinton is doing to prepare to run for President in 2004. The press won't report it, but it's all true! To get this valuable report free and a special offer for NewsMax magazine: http://www.newsmaxstore.com/nm_mag_hillary_sp/index.cfm?refid=2 Special Offer Bill O'Reilly joins an impressive lineup that appear in NewsMax magazine, including David Limbaugh and Paul Craig Roberts. NewsMax magazine also gives exclusive hard-hitting investigative reports. In the June edition, the magazine's cover story focuses on Alan Greenspan and why the Fed chief is on the outs with the new Bush administration. NewsMax has a special offer to Web readers: you can get a free four-month subscription to the magazine plus a Special Report on Hillary Clinton's presidential plans -- a $40 value --by signing up today. To take advantage of this offer, click here: http://www.newsmaxstore.com/nm_mag_hillary_sp/index.cfm?refid=2 Don't miss the NewsMax magazine! It also has exclusive insight from NewsMax regulars Christopher Ruddy, John LeBoutillier, Carl Limbacher, Dan Frisa, Mike Savage, Barry Farber and many others. For more details or to get this free offer, click here now: http://www.newsmaxstore.com/nm_mag_hillary_sp/index.cfm?refid=2 Special OfferFebruary 16, 2005: Krempasky Schools The Left On GOPUSA (part 1) This is an interview compiled from a series of e-mails I exchanged with Mike Krempasky (the man behind such blogs as the right-leaning Red State.org, the now defunct anti-Dean DeanforAmerica.biz, and the notorious Rathergate.com...a few weeks ago Krempasky joined the staff of the now irrelevant Easongate.com...sigh...and all we have is Jeff Gannon, the Conservative Guy, to show for our side, while - say - Judith Miller gets to keep doing what she does better than anyone: shill and lie) , this past Sunday, February 13th, in regards to a post I wrote which tied him with GOPUSA.com. Instead of reformatting or revising it, I've decided to post the gist of the e-mails as they were written, mostly minus the boring, repetitive or off-topic parts. I've also removed some parts of a short discussion about a link that I had to delete from my blog due to privacy reasons. The only thing I added were proper salutations so that it's easier to read. Aside from assisting the left-leaning grassroots blog investigation of the Eberles, Talon News and GOPUSA, I hope this dialogue also shows that two bloggers with completely opposite political leanings can get together - once in a while - without trying to strangle one another or defame the other's mother. Once in a while, at least. This post is not meant to endorse a future world where left and right bloggers behave like phoney-baloney pundits on make-believe talk shows who smile, play nice, issue carefully composed sound bites, and dance jigs for the viewing audience; the blogs would suck in that world. But, you know, us bloggers - and our readers that leave or don't leave comments - could gain an awful lot of...I don't know...something if we could somehow team-up against the...I don't know...mainstream media: our mutual...I don't know...something. (Oh. I'd like to add that I'm not directly responsible for the title of this post; blame that on the Manchurian Moleman) Dear Ron, "Bobby and Bruce aren't related (at least not close enough to merit mention). When GOPUSA purchased MillionsOfAmericans.com, it was a happy coincidence that they shared the last name - that's why Bruce introduced Bobby with the phrase (this is from memory, so forgive me if it's not precise), "you might say he's part of the Texas clan of Eberles." Much as I might say there's a West Virginia clan of Krempaskys (I think there might actually, be - but I've no idea how far removed they are)." Yes, GOPUSA ran (with no pay, btw) an op-ed I wrote (btw, I'd like to hear your thoughts about that piece, I didn't think it was all that ideological), and Bobby Eberle wrote an article about the Rathergate effort. I'm not terribly sure if that's nefarious. For what it's worth, I remembered the op-ed after the original Gannon post and mentioned it in the comments of that thread. Oh - and on the DU flowchart, I'm afraid it's awfully flawed. I've tried to correct it several times, but to no avail. 1) I worked for Morton Blackwell until late summer, 2003 - NOT 2002. 2) I attended the Florida Recount, but was never in Miami-Dade (where the so-called "riot" happened) - I was in Broward County with a brief stop in West Palm Beach. The wierd connection between myself and Roger Stone is fiction - I've never met him - not once. Some over eager googler at DU screwed up and found this page (The Agitator) - and conflated the quote, "I'm currently using Roger Stone's email system" - which is clearly by someone else, with my name in Radley's blogroll. Very strange indeed. I met Bobby Eberle for the first time this summer at the National Republican Convention in New York City. I think I met Bruce Eberle two or three years ago, have probably seen him four or five times at various functions, etc. since then and I once had a buddy that worked at his company. I highly doubt Bruce would recognize me from Adam. p.s. I would be curious to know what the link you had to take down was. No worries, just curious. Dear Mike, Thanks for writing me. Since you read enough of my blog (gotta love those site counters) to see that I don't demonize all Republicans (like many other lib bloggers do)...I gotta run right now...but I'll respond later to everything you brought up...but here's a few answers and questions: I removed the link because...number one...i was stupid....and number two...i didn't realize your phone number and other personal data were listed...and I would never do that to anyone (even ricky vandal)...i'd post work phone numbers if the post depended it...such as the office phone number for a politician or a journalist...but no matter how much I detest someone (and from what I've read of your work...you seem to be not half bad...though we probably don't agree on much of anything). I've been blogging about right-leaning bloggers who put up fraudulent websites...so that's what ive been looking into on your end. But earlier I found caches of your discontinued dean blog...and it really isn't the same kind of animal as the others...once a person got to the blog...it was kind of obvious that it wasn't pro-dean As far as your relationship with Bruce Eberle....since I know what he does...or at least i have an idea of what he does...perhaps you can explain why he was promoting your anti-dean blog. And another question...since you seem to be forthright... did your dean blog (or any other blog you 've written at) use "polling wizard" software? Peace Ron Brynaert ps - I'm not like Daniel Okrent...I don't post letters without getting permission...although sometimes i might put something in my blog from an email without revealing who sent it. Are you giving me permission to write about this correspondence? You have my permission to do whatever you like with what I write you. Dear Ron, You should generally feel comfortable to publish what I write you, unless of course it's clear I was drunk during the typing. Ah - I remember about Eberle and the Dean site. Funny story - the Dean site was really just a weekend project that I and a friend (who at the time worked for Eberle on the whole MillionsOfAmericans thingy.) As you can tell - it was really, really poorly planned thanks to Howard's screen and subsequent meltdown. Basically my friend got Bruce to send a note to his file to promote it - that's about it. (BTW, Bruce got out of the email activist business when he sold it to Bobby Eberle - Bruce's primary business is direct mail, and he's very good at it) I've never heard of "polling wizard" but if it's a center-right company producing technology, I can probably help you track it down. The Dean blog was powered by a combination of Movable Type and a software called "grasswave." I appreciate the time - and thanks for the "not half bad" comment. Sharp elbows are fine, as long as they can raise a toast just as easily at the end of the day - a lesson lost on the Freepers and the Kossacks both. Dear Mike, (just to warn you...I'm a longwinded mofo...so i hope i don't take too too much of your time) I wrote "not half bad"...but the comment you left on my blog about Alan Keyes was awesome...it really makes me feel (I'm trying to think of a word to use...but all i can think of is -) safer to hear from Republicans that are more free-thinking and able to not act entirely partisan.... it's too bad that you don't use the power you've achieved to speak out more strongly...though I've only spent a little time reading your articles (the picture of the blogosphere taking down cnn was funny...only that power only applies to the right side of the blogosphere...of course...if our side wasn't so petty and more organized and weren't sometimes just as hypocritical as your side (especially with the jeff gannon thing...what Markos wrote about daily kos was pretty fed up...especially when he ignored the story for two weeks until that "storyline" popped up...im gonna blog about that soon... I thought the picture of jeff in his shorts was funny i admit...but many of the blogs went overboard with it...I don't think they meant to be harmful but it doesn't matter...then they had the nerve to criticize the media for focusing on that element...i think since he wrote articles like "john kerry would be the first gay president" his personal sex life is something that's relevant...but not something to harp on...and especially not when all you got is a few domain names and a picture.) not all the kossacks are assholes just the ones who get to write on the front page...soon they'll learn that there are better places to go. One of the most embarrassing byproducts of this story is the congressman and the democrats.com petition asking for an investigation on gay prostitions in the white house....my god...that's a pathetic reach. OKAY...enough with the niceties....chuckle... "basically my friend got Bruce to send a note to his file to promote it" okay...what exactly does the "file" pertain to...some kind of list that went out to donors or to conservatives in general?...all i knew before i wrote you is that bruce sent a letter to rush limbaugh website promoting it (and yes...it was your friend and cohort in dean.biz ...so i guessing that's part of the file...is this the millions for america file then...with the list of all the conservative media entities etc.? (to break in here...i believe in freedom of speech very strongly...but I don't like propaganda or shilling for the government or anything like that...hence part of my beef with markos, jerome armstrong and matt stoller...i don't think bloggers or journalists should be involved with political groups...but this gopusa-talonnews thing is pretty fucking diabolical....it's not a real news site...it plagiarizes from the media and copys and pastes government releases....just yesterday one uncredited article (which im gonna assume is bobby eberle) was just a rewrite of a laura bush speech. Now...Bruce uses polling wizard software to collect information and data from people when they go to websites and fill out petitions or sign up for newsletters or etc so that he can put them on lists which he probably sells and uses for his fundraising purposes....I think this is wrong...too...and I'm sure a lot of free-thinking republicans will agree with that....im not really interested in "stopping it" just exposing it...since I haven't discovered any laws broken yet...unless there are laws about collecting names for fundraising purposes under false pretenses...but hey im a lefty who isn't so wild about George Soros throwing around so much money on our side either... Unlike other blogger who are just talking about jeff gannon...i really don't see much there...i don't think there is an administration-gopusa link as much as there is a gopusa-gop link...sure it's weird how jeff gannon got his daily pass using a phoney name...sure it's obvious that talon news was set up because jeff from gopusa would be too blatant. Strictly speaking...I'm not 100 % convinced that the dean website you set up isn't a part of the eberle plan...because i can't see why else he would push it...and you did have a place for people to register on the site....did you recieve any monies for being on that file...or did you send any lists of people to mfa or the gop or anywhere else? also...why was your dean website set up as a .biz instead of a .com or even a .org? I don't know too much about that...but doesn't .biz indicate business? what business was the website supposed to be? also...as far as i could tell so far the site only lasted two months...did it run longer...and when did you wipe it away from the internet and why? (you might not have been prescient enough to guess that the moderate section of the democratic party would be able to derail dean's campaign...that scream was amplified just like the boos at the oscars when michael moore won for columbine...and it's gotta be the most ridiculous thing to ever take down a candidate as im sure you'd agree...if that happened to george bush you guys would go nuclear..... but back to point..that site would probably come in handy right now wouldn't it...chuckle...i like dean but i'm skeptical about all politicans so well see) Hmmmm...you wrote bruce "sold" the millions for america website to bobby...that's different from what I've learned....where did you learn this...and for how much... and as far as bobby and bruce....are they cousins...what kind of distant relatives...and is don eberle (or eberly) who works for the admin related to either one of them or both? and how do you know their relationship...if you barely know them... also...have you ever had any dealing with renew america? and - off topic - how about Ricky Vandal...I haven't checked your sites to see if you've linked to him...but I'm sure he's asked...because he's been everywhere else and pretty much everywhere else linked to either his i love jenna bush or john kerry new soldier blogs....or are you just that much ethical than the other guys that you looked into him and saw that he was a fruitcake. February 18, 2005: GOPUSA.com Coming Attractions
Later tonight, I'll be posting a story about yet another Talon News "journalist" who is nothing more than a damn, dirty plagiarist. The story will also connect some dots to some of the last few stories I wrote.
I've gotten some wonderful help from a fellow DUer on this story (I couldn't have done it without him...thanks Ryan!). That said....I NEED HELP...if you want to lend a hand to this investigation (which is completely different from the hundreds of other ones going on across the Net...if you've been following it here and there)...please send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll assign you something to work on (I especially need help...compiling examples of plagiarism by Talon News journalists) or if you have ideas of your own...let me know.
Unfortunately, I haven't had time to post part 2 of the interview with Mike Krempasky...but it should be up by late Saturday night or Sunday afternoon.February 18, 2005: Dear Dr. Bobby Eberle, Ph.D.
Are you reading my blog? It sure seems like it.
While all the other bloggers focus on Jeff Gannon (James Guckert), I've been busy proving that the "journalists" who work for Talon News are nothing but plagiarists.
A few days ago, I mentioned that since Gannon left the "news organization" nearly all of the "stories" at Talon News either carried no byline or were "written" by you: "You see, the Talon News style of journalism consists of plagiarizing from the work of real journalists and mixing it up with exact quotes from administration speeches and official government press releases. Bobby steals lines and quotes from the mainstream media, removing any "liberal" slant, and sends it out to his Websites and subscribers so that they can read only "good news."
Yesterday, I noticed that none of your Talon News "stories" carried bylines. Today, I noticed that there are no new Talon News "stories."
You might think that any publicity is good publicity but you're going to be in a shitload of trouble when word gets out to Reuters, the Associated Press, Fox News, The New York Times and the rest of the mainstream media that you've been stealing from them "liberally."
One more question, Dr. Bobby.
Did you earn your Ph.D. in mechanical engineering by cheating and copying off of your classmates? Just wondering.February 19, 2005: Bobby Eberle Exploited 9/11
(As per my rights due to the Fair Use Doctrine, I'm going to show more than I normally show from a thread at the Free Republic Website...since most of the Freepers that commented on this disturbing - to say the least (fucking low down, shameful and despicable to say the most) - bit of promotion come off looking pretty well (plus this is how Freepers feel about it: Fair Use Thread)...I hope the only one that will be pissed off is Dr. Bobby Eberle, plagiarist and hirer of plagiarists, a guy who did all he could to go for the gold after one of the worst days in America's history)
One month after September 11, 2001, Bobby Eberle posted an article at his "activist" Website entitled "GOPUSA requests viewer input on eagle photo for possible poster." So far, I haven't been able to turn up a working cache of the posted article but at a quarter after noon on that very same day a Freeper by the name of callisto posted something about it at the Free Republic Website (one month after 9/11) in the News/Current Events section then bumped it to the top (bttp) five times in the next five minutes (my comments appear in paranthesis):
Posted on 10/11/2001 12:14:00 PM PDT by callisto
GOPUSA has this beautiful pic up:
They are taking email responses to let them know what we think of it.
respond to email@example.com
TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events KEYWORDS:
Have a little sympathy.
P.S. - What the heck is that red logo above 'GOPUSA' supposing to represent?? I can't even come up with a guess.
(Note - I originally posted a version of this post on a thread at Democratic Underground started by kohodog (Link), but I decided I should post it here as well especially after reading the post by John Aravosis at Americablog who I've kind of been feuding with - to put it mildly. Anyway, John raises many of the same points that I did...and though I still think he's done a misservice to this story by posting all those photos and making it a big part of his investigation...he does deserve credit for getting the MSM to listen to us bloggers...too bad I can't get the bloggers to listen to me. But...anyway...I'm going to stop dissing John about this. Markos, on the other hand, is still on my shit list...especially because he keeps putting his own sloppy, lazy, and inaccurate posts on the left of his blog instead of the more informed posts of his fellow Kossacks)
Yesterday someone from The New York Times paid a visit to my blog for at least 45 minutes. If it was either Frank Rich (my favorite NY Timeser) or Ralph Blumenthal...judging from both articles in the Sunday Times...I'm not sure Ralph Blumenthal has ever even been on the Internet...much less visited a blog...based on his sloppy, lazy, and inaccurate reporting (Sorry...but you have to register to read these articles: hack Blumenthal and must-read Rich).
This post is about the hack. Mr. Rich hardly ever writes anything that I find fault with. Did I happen to mention that I think Frank Rich is awesome? Oops...did it again.
Blumenthal - "Mr. Eberle said that in the two years that Mr. Guckert worked for him, he had not kept track of his volunteer reporter."
ummm...read the freeper threads, Mr. Blumenthal...Bobby keeps tight tracks of all of his volunteer reporters cause he hypes them up everywhere on the web. There's no way in hell that money never exchanged hands between the two either...(maybe eberle didn't write checks to Mr. GUCKERT but instead gave him cash plundered from baghdad)...
Blumenthal - "Still, he said, the backlash surprised him. "I had no reason to think he was not adhering to professional news standards."
ummmm....professional news standards...bobby's a plagiarizer so is his whole rotten staff...mr. professional news standards Eberle "I don't know if I actually asked about his background and training."
Blumenthal: "Mr. Guckert resigned soon after a news conference when he asked Mr. Bush: "How are you going to work with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?" referring to Senate Democrats. Mr. Eberle said it was not his idea of a proper question. "I would have phrased it differently[.]"
do some research, bloomie.
here...I'll help ya: freeper thread about gannon's question on february 2, 2004 (link: JEFF GANNON (Talon News): Since there have been so many questions about what the President was doing over 30 years ago, what is it that he did after his honorable discharge from the National Guard? Did he make speeches alongside Jane Fonda, denouncing America's racist war in Vietnam? Did he testify before Congress that American troops committed war crimes in Vietnam? And did he throw somebody else's medals at the White House to protest a war America was still fighting? What was he doing after he was honorably discharged?
Later...same thread: Who is this Jeff Gannon guy??? I say he's fired! Ha! Just kidding... Great job Jeff. Bobby Eberle
Blumenthal: "Mr. Eberle also said he had no inkling that Mr. Guckert had created pornographic Web sites or offered himself as a gay escort. Those revelations came in recent accounts in The Washington Post"
um no they didn't bloomie..did you even read those post articles...let alone the blogs that the info came from (not mine...I agree with Frank Rich: "If Mr. Guckert, the author of Talon News exclusives like "Kerry Could Become First Gay President," is yet another link in the boundless network of homophobic Republican closet cases, that's not without interest. But it shouldn't distract from the real question - that is, the real news - of how this fake newsman might be connected to a White House propaganda machine that grows curiouser by the day." I don't care about this aspect of the story...the bigger story is talon news/gopusa.com and its numerous links to the right).
Blumenthal: "Texas Republicans said he was not well known in the party."
ummm...they're lying...that's probably why they spoke off the record...Bobby's been involved and fronted tons of Republican Texan organizations...it was even listed on his bio at his websites..bloomie...he's well well known in the right wing blogosphere...and you've gotta be clueless to think that the party doesn't keep tabs on it's bloggers...just like our party does too
Blumenthal: "Mr. Eberle said he himself got temporary press credentials to attend a White House briefing. "I think I asked a question about a U.N. resolution on Iraq," Mr. Eberle said."
thanks, bloomie, you actually did dig something up new...of course..you useless waste of space...why didn't you take the time to find out what comment that was...im sure hundreds of bloggers are at work at that right now...(I'm about to search myself..won't take long for me...I have a good idea when that question was asked)
I'd like to add one thing...so far...i haven't found any articles in which jeff Gannon plagiarized from the mainstream press...but I've found numerous examples of plagiarism by Bobby Eberle and his other talon writer/volunteers....and here's the 500,000 member question: Why would bobby eberle take control of millions of americans if he wasn't making enough money to pay his "staff"?
February 21, 2005: The GOPUSA Subscriber Agreement
This is a hoot: cache link. It's what each and every of the 250,000 - 750,000 subscribers of the many GOPUSA "services" have to agree to, or otherwise "YOU MAY NOT USE THE GOPUSA SITES." (sorry for the caps in this post but i'm trying to respect dr. bobby eberle's wishes since he doesn't like it if you "modify, publish, transmit, display, participate in the transfer or sale, create derivative works, or in any way exploit the content of the GOPUSA Sites or any portion of it" and though I never signed the agreement I'm willing to agree to the not "modify" part so i'll try to make up for it by cutting the caps from my portion of the "content").
so, in case you're still wondering, gopusa = talon news = millions of americans = whatever other website bobby controls:
"The GOPUSA Sites consist of information services and content provided by GOPUSA.com, Inc. ("GOPUSA"), affiliates of GOPUSA, and third parties."
bobby can do whatever he wants with any "content" you add to his websites or e-mail you send him:
"You hereby grant to GOPUSA and its affiliates worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display any message posted in the Community Areas and/or any e-mail sent by you to GOPUSA (in whole or in part) and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed."
you can't sue bobby for lying, whether by accident or on purpose:
"YOU EXPRESSLY AGREE THAT USE OF THE COMMUNITY AREAS AND THE GOPUSA SITES IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK. NEITHER GOPUSA, ITS AFFILIATES NOR ANY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, THIRD PARTY CONTENT PROVIDERS OR LICENSORS WARRANT THAT THE GOPUSA SITES WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR FREE; NOR DO THEY MAKE ANY WARRANTY AS TO THE RESULTS THAT MAY BE OBTAINED FROM USE OF THE GOPUSA SITES OR AS TO THE ACCURACY, RELIABILITY OR CONTENT OF ANY INFORMATION, SERVICE OR PRODUCTS PROVIDED THROUGH THE SITES OR THE COMMUNITY AREAS."
that means jeff gannon too:
"IN NO EVENT WILL GOPUSA OR ANY PERSON OR ENTITY INVOLVED IN CREATING, PRODUCING OR DISTRIBUTING THE GOPUSA SITES BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE ACCESS TO, USE OF, OR INABILITY TO USE THE GOPUSA SITES OR OUT OF THE BREACH OF ANY WARRANTY. YOU HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION 5 SHALL APPLY TO ALL CONTENT ON THE GOPUSA SITES AND/OR THE COMMUNITY AREAS."
but just in case you do:
"GOPUSA'S LIABILITY TO USERS, IF ANY, SHALL IN NO EVENT EXCEED THE TOTAL AMOUNT PAID BY USER TO GOPUSA."
again bobby needs to make sure you know that you can't sue him for lying:
"UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL GOPUSA BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE CAUSED BY YOUR RELIANCE ON INFORMATION OBTAINED THROUGH EITHER THE CONTENT ON THE GOPUSA SITES AND/OR ANY POSTINGS ON THE COMMUNITY AREAS."
even bobby knows his operation employs a bunch of rank amateurs:
"PLEASE SEEK THE ADVICE OF PROFESSIONALS, AS APPROPRIATE, REGARDING THE EVALUATION OF ANY SPECIFIC INFORMATION, OPINION, ADVICE OR OTHER CONTENT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO FINANCIAL, HEALTH, OR LIFESTYLE INFORMATION, OPINION, ADVICE OR OTHER CONTENT."
bobby follows the laws of the state of texas not none of those there laws by any other national or international governing bodies:
"THIS AGREEMENT SHALL BE GOVERNED BY AND CONSTRUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE INTERNAL LAW OF THE STATE OF TEXAS, WITHOUT REGARD ITS CONFLICTS OF LAW PROVISIONS, AND WITHOUT REGARD TO THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE INTERNATIONAL SALE OF GOODS."
that means you gotta come to texas to file any potential lawsuits:
"YOU AGREE TO FILE AND PROSECUTE ANY CAUSE OF ACTION PERTAINING TO OR ARISING FROM THIS AGREEMENT IN ANY COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION IN HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS, OR THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS - HOUSTON DIVISION, AND CONSENT AND SUBMIT TO THE PERSONAL JURISDICTION OF AND VENUE IN SUCH COURT."
if bobby screwed up somewhere on this agreement and "unintentionally" made you agree to something that may be ruled unlawful, that don't mean the rest of agreement don't still stand:
"If any of the terms and conditions of this Agreement are held by any court of competent jurisdiction to contravene, or to be invalid under, the laws of any political body having jurisdiction over this subject matter, that contravention or invalidity shall not invalidate the entire Agreement."
and in that case, aw heck, just forget we ever mentioned it:
"Instead, this Agreement shall be construed as if it did not contain the particular provision or provisions held to be invalid, the rights and obligations of the parties shall be construed and enforced accordingly, and this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect."
someday soon, bobby:
"GOPUSA shall have the right to terminate this Agreement and/or cease operations at any time."
February 22, 2005: Where Did Jeff Gannon Get His Questions From?
So who fed the conservative guy his questions? I mean he works for an organization that isn't noted for it's originality. They steal their stories from real news organizations (Example 1, Example 2, Example 3) and from Bush Administration and GOP press releases. So who told Jeff Gannon what to say each time he was picked to ask a question at various White House Press Briefings?
Sorry to disappoint so many people on the left. But the answer is simple. Jeff Gannon stole his questions from the same places he stole his stories. From real news organizations and from Bush Administration and GOP press releases.
One sterling example:
On February 9th, 2005, a member at Daily Kos named Bolson posted a diary entitled, "Jeff Gannon's slanted questions" (link) which included this transcript from a White House Press Briefing which he cleverly found by doing a search at whitehouse.com for the word "jeff" (whitehouse.gov):
Jeff: "On Tuesday, the American Enterprise Institute held a media event where a video of Saddam's atrocities was shown. The tape showed fingers being cut off, tongues being cut out, and beheadings. None of the networks showed the tape. And few media outlets even mentioned it. Did anyone in this administration ask that these images not be showed to the American people?"
McClellan: "No, Jeff. But it is important to remind people of the atrocities that Saddam Hussein's regime committed. Saddam Hussein was a brutal oppressive dictator who carried out atrocities over a period of years against his own people and against his neighbors. And it's important that the public --"
Jeff: "Well, how do you explain a virtual media blackout on these horrendous acts, when every single day there are pictures about what American soldiers have done in Iraq when these things are far worse? How is there any explanation for that? Is there somebody in the administration that doesn't want the American people to see that?"
McClellan: "I think you're going to see the Iraqi people hold Saddam Hussein accountable for the atrocities that he committed. We will be turning him over to the Iraqi people to face a tribunal by the Iraqis for the atrocities that you mentioned. And I don't think the Iraqi people will ever let people forget those atrocities. It's important to remember that this was a regime that had mass graves, torture rooms, and rape rooms, and engaged in the kinds of atrocities that no one should stand for."
Jeff: "There is visual physical evidence out there. Why is not being put out there for Americans to see and make their own judgment against?"
McClellan: "Yes, I think I've expressed it from our standpoint. If you're talking about it from the media standpoint, I'll leave it to the media to address those issues?"
So. Where exactly did Jeff Gannon get the far-out (cuckooznest) idea that a Bush Administration official was to blame for the suppression of the Saddam atrocity video?
Would you believe...Richard Perle - the ex-chairman of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee and one of the founders of the Project For A New American Century?
This link is to a transcript of the American Enterprise Institute press conference where the video was shown:
Mr. Perle: "When the question of highlighting what you're about to see has been tossed around, we've heard the view expressed, including by some faint hearts in the administration, that this will be misinterpreted as an effort to obscure what happened in the Abu Ghraib prison when some people departed from all of the rules and customs of the United States in the humiliation of prisoners with which we are all familiar."
I'll wager a guess that one of those "faint hearts" that Mr. Perle is alluding to belonged to a man who once commmanded the military forces in this country unlike anyone else from the neoconservative chickenhawk brigade.
Later, in the press conference Mr. Perle's "faint hearts" were raised by an uncited reporter from Al Jazeera:
Al Jazeera: "My question is for Mr. Perle. You have said that this will be translated by the faint of heart in the administration as a cover-up on Abu Ghraib prison. Who are those people in the administration that were against this, and what's your view on the memos that we have seen in the press in the past two days?
Duck, duck, duck, then goose the Media:
Perle: I don't know enough about the memos to comment on them, and I don't want to say who's faint-hearted within the administration, but it seems to me that what we have seen today should be seen generally. And unless I'm mistaken, none of our networks has seen fit to cover it."
The rest of the question was pretty much derived from this June 16, 2004 article by Deborah Orin, a consummate liar (but at least not a plagiarist) for The New York Post: "Reporting For The Enemy; Media Won't Show Saddam's Evil" (cache link). (Ms. Orin lies in this particular article when she claims that "only four or five reporters showed up for the screening" when the transcript clearly shows at least nine or ten attended):
Orin: "They told of savage scenes of decapitation, fingers chopped off one by one, tongues hacked out with a razor blade...But these awful images didn't show up on American TV news."
Give Orin credit for being more lurid with her imagery. She was also more direct with her feelings on what other news should actually be suppressed:
Orin: "But every TV network has endlessly shown photos of the humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. troops at Abu Ghraib. Why?"
Orin also provided an answer. An answer supplied by Mr. Perle's co-host from that same night, AEI scholar Michael Ledeen, "Because most [journalists] want Bush to lose[.]"
It's nice to see that Jeff Gannon had the decency to at least tone down his question.
Orin didn't ignore Perle's faint-hearted slurs: "It's not just journalists. The Pentagon has lots of Saddam atrocity footage - but is loathe to release it, possibly for fear it would be taken as a crude attempt to blunt criticism of Abu Ghraib."
The next day Jeff filed his story: White House Suggests Media Explain Cover Up of Saddam Atrocity Video By Jeff Gannon, Talon News, June 18, 2004 (I couldn't find a Talon News or GOPUSA link, but aside from this post at Free Republic and this at the GOPUSA sister site Men's News Daily, i also found this Cukooznest cache link):
"White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan denied that the White House had a role in keeping a gruesome video of atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein's regime from the media. When asked by Talon News on Thursday to explain the virtual news blackout of the horrific images of Iraqis being beheaded, tongues being cut out, and fingers being chopped off, McClellan said that he'd "leave it to the media to address those issues.""
Perhaps to return the favor, Jeff Gannon did credit Orin in his piece: "Deborah Orin, Washington Bureau Chief for the New York Post, reported that the New York Times has written 177 stories on Abu Ghraib -- over 40 of them on the front page, but have yet to write a single story about the victims who participated in the AEI event."
But wait one second. Does this Gannon "exclusive" actually contain some real live proof that Talon News may have once actually partaked in some actual journalism?
"Veronique Rodman, a spokesman for AEI, told Talon News that the event was lightly attended, despite their usual process that directly contacts over 40 assignment desks of national news organizations. Rodman did not recall exactly which news agencies sent reporters at the time of the interview, but did mention that Al Jazeera sent a cameraman."
Come on, Jeff, you probably never called on a source anytime during your entire incarnation as a "newsman." That's why there isn't even a direct quote from Mrs. Peter W. Rodman (somewhat off-topic: Rodman "has served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs since July 16, 2001" cache link). You knew about the Al Jazeera reporter because it was in the same transcipt that you used for your "research."
I'll give you some credit for the remainder of your article, Jeff. You didn't hide the fact, this time, that you took the words straight from a press release from a Republican Congressman.
Yeah, Jeff, a helluva journalist you were.
February 22, 2005: Jeff Gannon's "Internal Government Memo" Lie
A reader named Margaret e-mailed me a very significant example of out-and-out plagiarism from a real live news organization that may have serious ramifications for ex-"journalist" Jeff Gannon.
No. You can't go to jail for committing the crime of plagiarism. But, in this case, you might be committing a major crime if you lie about it.
During Jeff's interview with Joe Wilson (the former U.S. diplomat whose wife was outed as a CIA operative by conservative writer Robert Novak, a possibly illegal action which is believed to have been prompted by the White House in order to get back at an editorial Mr. Wilson wrote for The New York Times), Mr. Gannon took one of his questions directly from a Wall Street Journal article written by David S. Cloud (WSJ cache and MND link , and in case the latter link disappears here's a cache snapshot taken by Light In The Darkness) and, yes, if it's that internal memo question:
Gannon: "An internal government memo prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel details a meeting in early 2002 where your wife, a member of the agency for clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested that you could be sent to investigate the reports. Do you dispute that?"
Cloud: "An internal government memo addresses some of the mysteries at the center of the White House leak investigation and could help investigators in the search for who disclosed the identity of a Central Intelligence Agency operative, according to two people familiar with the memo. The memo, prepared by U.S. intelligence personnel, details a meeting in early 2002 where CIA officer Valerie Plame...a member of the agency's clandestine service working on Iraqi weapons issues, suggested at the meeting that her husband...could be sent to Niger to investigate the reports."
Many of us bloggers have wondered why Jeff Gannon danced around the issue of whether or not he had somehow seen an "internal government memo" in an argument about why he was subpoenaed at the Free Republic Website (Justin Raimando even mentioned the WSJ article in this article on Gannon but he didn't quite add it all together) and, after resigning from GOPUSA, in an interview with Editor and Publisher: "I am not going to speak to that. It goes to something of a nature I do not want to discuss."
Jeff's "nature" is that, aside from anything else, he is a plagiarist and he couldn't very well come out and cop to that and admit that he never saw shit.
So if Jeff Gannon really told the FBI agents who came to question him about his perceived involvement in the Plame affair that he couldn't reveal his sources, he committed the serious crime of lying to federal agents since he had no sources, not one. And I'm not a lawyer (nor do I play one on this blog) but I think Jeff might also be committing the crime of impeding a federal investigation.
Will there be futher repercussions? We'll see.