Friday, February 25, 2005

No, Markos, You Are Wrong!

My "buddy" Markos chimed in on the "we get letters" thread at Atrios the other day in regards to me: ron not roy. Before ridiculously claiming that he didn't like to take credit for anything, Markos...again...showed that while he may own one of the best blogs on the Internet (thanks to the thousands of people who create thousands of diaries every week...many of which, unfortunately, disappear into the void if they go against the grain or are misunderstood), it's not because of anything he ever wrote or reported. You'd think he'd know how to google, at least.

Kos wrote "Last time I checked, the "congressional action" didn't have anything to do with plagarism."

But as John Byrne at The Raw Story reported (Democrats in House leading push for Gannon inquiry not surprised by Talon plagiarism) a couple of days ago:

"In an email Tuesday evening, Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.) called Jeff Gannon a “stenographer for White House press releases,” and another reporter’s apparent plagiarism “cutting and pasting” reporting.

“These new revelations continue to call into question the journalistic credentials of Talon News, and ‘Jeff Gannon,’” Rep. Conyers wrote.

“We already know Gannon was a stenographer for White House press releases, and now we know Steve Roeder’s ‘reporting’ consisted of cutting and pasting from the Fox News website,” Conyers added. “Was Talon News really a not so slickly designed conveyer belt for White House propaganda?”"

If you don't believe me, Markos, and you don't believe John...why don't you go check out Congressman John Conyers' blog for yourself: My Favorite Congressman.

Congressman Conyers wrote (and I hope he doesn't mind if I reprint his post in full...but I have raved about him a lot at this blog because of his courage regarding what happened in Ohio):

Blogging Made Easy Talon News Style

By Talon News standards, the following will all be original reporting.

A ‘reporter’ from Talon News, the conservative outlet which employed disgraced correspondent Jeff Gannon, appears to have repeatedly plagiarized content from other mainstream media publications, including Reuters, the New York Times, and Fox News (thank you, Raw Story, for making this post so simple).

As a matter of professional ethics, I believe that journalists should distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context. Journalists should never plagiarize (it must be a coincidence that the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics agrees with me).

The plagiarism story is particularly ironic, given that Jeff Gannon is contemplating "suing liberal interest groups, bloggers, and others," for what he termed "political assassination." He is presumably pondering some sort of libel action, or perhaps he harbors some vague hope of proving invasion of privacy. This would, of course, require that what’s been said about him isn’t true (though he hasn’t denied it), and was maliciously published or broadcast by people who knew it wasn’t true or made no effort to confirm or refute it (Keith Olbermann can be very helpful with legal analysis).

Deception and confusion appear to be the running themes of Gannon-gate. During the February 10 White House briefing, Press Secretary Scott McClellan stated that Jeff Gannon, " anyone else, showed that he was representing a news organization that published regularly" in order to receive his day pass to press briefings. It has now been confirmed that Jeff Gannon was in the White House briefing room, actively participating in these briefings, as early as February 28, 2003 a full month before Talon News even existed (an interesting fact…it’s good thing Congresswoman Slaughter and the Stakeholder caught it).

In other news, Jeff Gannon was cited by the Washington Post as having the only access to an internal CIA memo that named Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as a covert CIA agent. Gannon, in a question posed to Wilson in an October 2003 interview, referred to the memo (to which no other news outlet had access, according to the Post). Gannon subsequently has been subpoenaed by the federal grand jury looking into the Plame outing (reporting has gotten easier since I found Daily Kos).

Maybe we should give Gannon and his friends at Talon News some credit. Being a reporter can be easy. Finding good sources to steal from is hard.



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