CAMPAIGN CONFIDENTIAL

By E.J. Kessler

Published February 18, 2005, issue of February 18, 2005.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Gannon Fire: The conservative Web site linked to the latest White House propaganda scandal was touched by an earlier controversy: In 2003 it frequently published a columnist accused by critics of trafficking in antisemitism.

The Web site, GOPUSA, is the main outlet for Talon News Service, which until recently employed the disgraced White House reporter who called himself Jeff Gannon. The site used to provide a forum for the self-described “old right” columnist who publishes under the pseudonym “Sartre.”

“Gannon” resigned after bloggers disclosed that he was reporting from the White House under an alias. His real name is James D. Guckert. He piqued interest after he was called on to ask an unusually friendly leading question at a presidential news conference. Critics said he was not a legitimate journalist but rather a “ringer” let into the pressroom to provide cover for the administration.

The White House has been under fire recently for secretly paying a number of columnists to disseminate its views, despite laws against covert government propaganda. GOPUSA and Talon were founded and are owned by Bobby Eberle, a Texas Republican activist. Guckert told Editor & Publisher magazine that he was given no special consideration by the White House press office, though commentators noted that he had been credentialed under his real name and addressed by his pseudonym by White House press secretary Scott McClellan, suggesting McClellan was aware of his ruse.

In November 2003, as Hungarian-born Jewish financier George Soros emerged as a leading funder of Democratic efforts to unseat President Bush, GOPUSA published a Sartre column titled “Satan Lives in George Soros.”

“The fiction which is interdependency has a prolocutor in the congregation of Moloch,” Sartre wrote in the column. “His name is George Soros. No other single person represents the symbol and the substance of Globalism more than this Hungarian-born descendant of Shylock. He is the embodiment of the Merchant from Venice…. If Soros is correct when he says a ‘supremacist ideology’ guides the White House, what would you call the practices of the archfiend of Free Enterprise? The Soros deception would make Shylock proud…. [I]t’s not about anti-Semitism! [Then-Malaysian Prime Minister] Mahathir Mohammad was just stating the truth.”

Salon.com commentator Joe Conason wrote of the Sartre column: “[T]he proprietors of GOPUSA have some explaining to do. The only reasonable assumption is that they endorsed the vile gutter bigotry that suffuses this piece from the first paragraph….”

Asked to comment about the 2003 controversy, GOPUSA spokeswoman Jennifer Ohman wrote in an e-mail: “The column… was posted in November 2003 but was not reviewed as closely as it should have been. As soon as GOPUSA realized it contained language which was deemed offensive, the column was removed, and an apology was posted in its place. Shortly thereafter, GOPUSA discontinued carrying columns by that writer.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.