Scandals in Alternate Universes

February 10, 2005

Scandals in Alternate Universes Pt. 3

Jeff Gannon has been forced into retirement from his job as Republican media plant by pesky liberal blogging nutjobs like Daily Kos and Media Matters. Can't they leave these guys alone? If a born-again Christian wants to run an escort service at, while simultaneously keeping his day job as GOP stooge, well then this is America, land of opportunity! I say let him.

As you may know Gannon was a "reporter" for "Talon," a Republican advocacy group thinly disguised as a news organization, and was given not only White House Press credentials (where his questions and reports were often taken verbatim from GOP talking points) but apparently access to classified documents.

Coming so soon after Armstrong Williams - the columnist and TV host paid by the administration to say nice things about the Bush education policy - one could almost detect a disturbing pattern without trying too hard.

That is, you could detect a pattern if you lived in that ALTERNATIVE universe where a Democrat is president. In that parallel, BIZARRO universe, the political party that has control of all three branches of government conspiring to misinform citizens is a pretty big deal. It's raised questions about government and the media, and the electorate are FURIOUS. The parallel Rush Limbaugh is like a dog with a bone on this story! I wish you could see him! And their Lileks and Instapundit can't get enough of it! It looks like the end of the parallel president's career.

In our universe, though? Not really a big deal. Our Lileks, for instance, is talking today about Gnat cheating at UNO. And that's about it.

And the news of the day? I’m sure there’s some. Somewhere. Here, it snowed.

Yep. Not even on the radar. Seems the only way the president in THIS universe is going to get a dent in his armor would be if someone actually walked in on him doing Cheney from behind. But he'd REALLY have to look like he was enjoying it. And he'd also have to be burning a Bible with his right hand, and signing legislation to ban assault weapons with his left*.

And even then they'd probably still find a way to link it to Clinton.

UPDATE: You can read some of Gannon's writing samples at This Modern World. With such complete mastery of the written word, is it any wonder that he was credentialled?

*Not to create disturbing visuals, but you will also note this means he's not even giving Cheney the courtesy of a reach-around.
Posted by Chris on 02/10/05

No props to Casey Hayes for the "reach-around" requirement as being not only prudent, but courteous?

I'm offended.

Kinda like the writing credit that I DID NOT GET for "The Goat Song Project."

(No... I haven't forgotten)

Posted by: Brian at February 10, 2005 10:02 AM

I was thinking Lee Ermey as the Sargeant in "Full Metal Jacket." Maybe Casey ought to be giving a shout-out to HIM.


Posted by: Chris at February 10, 2005 10:08 AM

Sometimes Lileks reminds me of John Williams scores. Your emotional reaction is no longer at your own command. The words tell you exactly how you are to feel, whether you want to or not.

In the tales of Gnat we're just all supposed to shake our heads with a sad, soft smile and say "you know, the problems of this world don't mean a hill of beans to this innocent child"...cue John Williams, huge sweeping crane shot...roll credits.

"The world was overtaken by giant banana slugs today, with venom so poisonous that you're only alive long enough to watch your skin melt like water...but as for me and my child? Well, we went down to the general store and played go fish...I don't know...that's just the sort of people we are."

Posted by: friend jessica at February 10, 2005 12:25 PM

It's sad to me how much you hate poor Gnat. Is it her fault that her dad's a loonie?

Posted by: Chris at February 10, 2005 12:32 PM

you know me and my aversion to children.

Posted by: friend jessica at February 10, 2005 12:41 PM

OH. I see what you're doing here. You're turning my words around on me.

ALL I was trying to say is that I understand your position, but I also remember a time when you and I scrambled to go to the lileks site every day. REMEMBER FOR GOD'S SAKE?

Posted by: friend jessica at February 10, 2005 12:42 PM

December 28, 2004

Scandals in Alternate Universes, Pt. 2

Over at Daily Kos we have some statements from Great Leader - one from 2001, and for comparison another from 2002:

"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." - G.W. Bush, 9/13/01

"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority." - G.W. Bush, 3/13/02

Now of course there's nothing wrong with this in our world, but as a point of interest, in that parallel universe where a Dem was in office on 9/11, the principal architect of the attacks remaining at large for years became quite a scandal and dogged the President every day.

Their Rush Limbaugh began each and every program with a reminder that the Democratic president had still failed to capture the killer of more than 3000 Americans, for instance.

The Republicans of that universe erected giant bulletin boards with electronic counters keeping track of the days that their parallel bin Laden remained at large, a stark reminder of their president's failure to capture him. (Today, there as here, will be day 1202, for instance.)

And when the Democratic president tried to turn that parallel America's attention to another middle eastern despot, who, while awful in his own right, could not be linked to the attacks, the papers and pundits quickly dubbed it Osamagate.

Posted by Chris on 12/28/04

Kerry brought up these quotes during (I believe) the second of the three debates he won. The president responded by saying something like "I guess that's one of those 'exaggerations'".

In that brief moment Bush was able to indicate another word he doesn't know the meaning of, sink to sarcasm and distance himself from truth, reality and responsibility. That's multi-tasking. That's why he deserved our votes!

Posted by: isaac at December 30, 2004 8:42 AM

Hey Isaac! happy holidays fellow reader.

Posted by: friend jessica at December 30, 2004 9:01 AM

December 27, 2004

Scandals in Alternate Universes, Pt. 1

Bob Novak, Star Journalist! From Washington Monthly:

On July 6, 2003, a retired American ambassador named Joseph Wilson published an op-ed in The New York Times disputing the administration's claim that Iraq had attempted to purchase concentrated uranium oxide, or “yellowcake,” from Niger—a crucial piece of evidence in the president's case that Iraq represented an urgent threat to U.S. security. Wilson had previously traveled to Niger at the behest of the CIA to investigate the allegations and he reported back that it was highly unlikely that any such sale had taken place. Nonetheless, President Bush's State of the Union address one year later cited the alleged uranium purchase as proof of Iraq's capability to produce “weapons of mass destruction.” Wilson's disclosure, then, was a major embarrassment to the White House—and someone there decided to do something about it.

Several phone conversations later, Novak wrote the following sentences for his syndicated column for July 14: “Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me his wife suggested sending Wilson to Niger to investigate the Italian report. The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him.” This would have been little more than your standard-issue leak but for one small fact: It's a federal crime for a government official (say, Novak's source) to knowingly disclose to the public the name of an undercover CIA agent. And while it was not illegal for Novak to publish Plame's name, it was ethically questionable.

Alternate Reality Note: In the parallel universe where the identity of an active undercover CIA agent was leaked by a Democratic White House, this is referred to as "Plamegate." Oh, and by the way, it cost the guy the re-election.

Posted by Chris on 12/27/04