Hands Off Jeff Gannon (and don’t take it the wrong way)

A group of liberal bloggers has issued an “Open Letter” protesting the inclusion of the infamous Jeff Gannon on a panel at the National Press Club. Now, don’t take it on my word that this crowd is a bunch of clueless whiners. Let them demonstrate it to you in their own inimitably whiny words:

“We, the undersigned bloggers, are very concerned about how liberal political bloggers are being systematically under-represented and belittled in the mainstream media, academic settings and media forums. By being intentionally excluded away from these venues, we are effectively pushed out of the discourse of opinion-leaders. The result is that the conventional wisdom about blogging, politics and journalism, as it concerns liberal blogs, becomes a feedback loop framed by the Conservatives and their media allies.”

“… we are faced with an entirely new situation that is more insult than misrepresentation. The discredited conservative media operative Jeff Gannon, neé Guckert, has been invited to sit on a panel at the prestigious National Press Club to talk about the scandal surrounding his access to the White House and more generally, the similarities and differences between bloggers and journalists. Guckert’s token liberal counterpart will be a gossip blogger and sex comedy blogger. While we have nothing but the greatest respect for Mr. Graff and Ms. Cox we believe that neither represents bloggers who write about hard-nosed politics. And as for Mr. Guckert, he isn’t a blogger, he’s barely a journalist, and not a single political blogger involved with the Gannon/Guckert scandal, or otherwise, has been invited to sit on the panel to counter Mr. Guckert’s arguments.

“Therefore, we the undersigned bloggers, respectfully but firmly insist that a serious political blogger such as John Aravosis, of Americablog.org be included on the panel to fairly and accurately represent our industry and us. Mr. Aravosis has agreed to our request that he serve on the panel as our representative and is available should such an invite be forthcoming.

“This situation is simply unacceptable. We will push back against the growing bias and sloppiness we see in the mainstream media as it concerns serious political blogging. If we do not we will never achieve any semblance of balance in the media. If we do not, we abdicate our ability to tell our own side of the story. If we do not we leave it to others to define us and defame us. “

A more insufferable prissiness would be hard to imagine. These people really take themselves far too seriously — and their only problem is that nobody else does.

And why, pray tell, should Gannon have to sit on the same panel with John Aravosis — because Aravosis is gay? Is that it? Sheesh, talk about oppressive — do we really have to “balance” out a gay conservative with a gay liberal? Does this mean Ann Coulter has to be “balanced” out by the liberal blonde of their choice? What a sad commentary on the “enlightened” liberals of our era, who think in such petty narrow-minded terms.

Speaking of petty and narrow-minded, the blogger known as “Billmon” posts an outburst of sex-phobic babbling that sounds like Jerry Falwell on hallucinogens:

“What’s next? An interactive NPC panel session on masturbation? A guest lecture on bestiality and blogging? A press conference by the North American Man Boy Love Association? No, wait, the House isn’t in session this week.

“I hate to sound like a prude here, but this is one of those moments when I start to think the fundamentalist gizmos might just be right.”

Look, I’m no Jeff Gannon fan, but Billmon is right: he does sound like a prude. And a hateful one at that. The problem with Gannon isn’t that he’s “the world’s only conservative gay prostitute journalist with a blog” — and I can guarantee you that isn’t true — it’s that Gannon was an administration plant, a shill who reported for a partisan front organization disguised (but not very well) as a “news agency.” So Jeff Gannon is a gay conservative — so what? So is Andrew Sullivan. So am I. So are any number of gay people — who, I hate to break it to Billmon, are not uniformly Barney Frank liberals. We are everywhere, bud.

As for the prostitute angle — again, so what? At the age of 43, he’s charging a thousand bucks a session — and getting it. The problem with most people, however, is that they can’t even give it away. And that, I’ll bet, is the case with the liberal blogger-geeks and policy wonks who signed that ridiculous “Open Letter.”

UPDATE: Talk about “homophobia” — a word I hate, but this time it fits — this just about says it all.