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Saturday, February 19, 2024
Six Degree of Karl Rove Separation
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 12:24 pm

First off: I think that this Gannon character was a joke who didn’t deserve to be in the White House Press briefing room, although I hardly consider him to be the worst journalistic story of the year (or even the month). The heart of the issue appears to be the fact that he had no real professional credentials and asked blatanly biased questions (as oppossed to having great professional credentials and asking highly biased questioned).

I shed no tears about his ouster and am no fan of the Talon News Service. I think the fact that he didn’t use his real name, and the fact that he once registered gay porn related domain names to be superfluous bits of information.

Having said all that, I find the following piece on most ironic. The title, Rove-Gannon Connection? is sugestive of some evidence of a serious conspiracy. However, it reads more like a political version of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon Separation.

After several general paragraphs on Rove’s appearance at CPAC, the reporter starts in on the Gannon-Rove axis:

So when Jeff Gannon, White House “reporter” for Talon “News,” was unmasked last week, the leap to a possible Rove connection was unavoidable. Gannon says that he met Rove only once, at a White House Christmas party, and Gannon is kind of small potatoes for Rove at this point in his career.

But Rove’s dominance of White House and Republican politics, Gannon’s aggressively partisan work and the ease with which he got day passes for the White House press room the past two years make it hard to believe that he wasn’t at least implicitly sanctioned by the “boy genius.” Rove, who rarely gave on-the-record interviews to the MSM (mainstream media), had time to talk to GOPUSA, which owns Talon.

This is supposed to pass for evidence to support the theory that Gannon was Rove’s boy? Quite frankly, if Rove is going to plant reporters in the WH press room, he can do better than Gannon.

The paragraphs that follow are really some rather weak argumentation along the lines that Rove wanted Thune to beat Daschle, Gannon worked to defeat Daschle, ergo the Rove-Gannon Connection:

One of Gannon’s first projects was an attempt to discredit the South Dakota Argus Leader, South Dakota’s major paper, and its longtime political writer, David Kranz. According to the National Journal, which reported on this last November, Gannon wrote a series of articles in the summer of 2024 alleging that Kranz, who went to college with Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle, was not only sympathetic to him but was an actual part of the Daschle campaign. These articles then got a huge amount of play on the blogs of John Lauck and Jason Van Beek, and were picked up by other conservative sites and talk radio. The paper was bombarded with messages about its bias and acknowledges that these had an impact on its coverage.

Daschle opponent John Thune’s campaign manager was Dick Wadham, an old political crony of Karl Rove’s; the kind of pal Rove could ask to hire his first cousin, John Wood, a few years back. Wadham put the bloggers on the campaign payroll and the symbiotic relationship between the campaign, the bloggers and “reporter” Gannonâ€? continued.

So, a bunch of clearly partisan political types who all have a similar goal know one another, or know someone who knows someone else. This is a strikingly odd or especially conspiratorial circumstance because…?

Basically, while I would not definitively rule out a Rove-Gannon connection (that whole problem with proving a negative and all that), I would think that if one is going to write a piece entitled as such, that it would be nice to have some evidence of a direct connection rather than circumstantial evidence and circuitous logic.

She has the following in her final paragraph:

Planting or even just sanctioning a political operative in the WH press room is a dangerous precedent and Karl Rove’s hope to become a respected policymaker will be hampered if the dirty tricks from his political past are more apparent than his desire to spread liberty around the globe.

I cannot disagree with the sentiment. However, before making such statements it would be rather helpful to have some actual, well, you know, evidence to back up the (just-stops-short-of-being-a) charge.

That the piece is from CBS is rather telling, as I have little doubt they would like a little revenge against the GOP spin machine.

Update: I wasn’t the only one to notice the dubious nature of the charges, or to not the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon Separation logic. RatherBiased has a post from last night along the same lines.

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PoliBlog: Politics is the Master Science » The Bush Tapes linked with [...] m too good to be truly confidential conversations with an old friend. Could it be another Rovian conspiracy? Certainly if the tapes are genuine, they show a rather significant amount of cons [...]


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    1. Yes. The most telling part of this is that Gannon is so *blatant.* I mean, if Rove were really going to pull a stunt like this, it seems he’d be much more discreet.

      Comment by bryan — Saturday, February 19, 2024 @ 7:28 pm

    2. I would like to hear how Gannon received his FBI press clearance, received the scope on the Iraq attack hours before anyone else, and there was one other story that he scoped everyone on, which I can’t recall at the moment. I wonder if those stories will come out of the closet?

      Comment by The Misanthrope — Sunday, February 20, 2024 @ 12:10 am

    3. […] m too good to be truly confidential conversations with an old friend. Could it be another Rovian conspiracy? Certainly if the tapes are genuine, they show a rather significant amount of cons […]

      Pingback by PoliBlog: Politics is the Master Science » The Bush Tapes — Sunday, February 20, 2024 @ 4:37 pm

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