The National Press Club is striking back over the growing controversy over their biased GannonGuckert panel they're holding next week. And others are striking back at the Press Club. It's an MSM catfight out there.
As you may recall, the Press Club is holding a panel to talk about the GannonGuckert issue, journalistic credentialing, and the larger issue of blogs vs. mainstream journalism. On that panel, at this point, will be sitting GannonGuckert, sex gossip comedienne Wonkette, DC gossip blogger Garrett Graff (who was the first blogger to get access to the White House briefing room), and John Stanton of Congress Daily.
The left-wing blogosphere is, rightfully, upset that, as usual, the mainstream media wants to hold a panel on political blogging and doesn't invite any political bloggers. Rather, they invite gossip blogs. No that there's anything wrong with gossip blogs - I love Wonkette, and am having breakfast with Garrett next week. But they're gossip blogs. For a panel on gossip journalism, having them represent the entire field would make sense. But...
For a panel discussing the GannonGuckert case and the difference between serious political blogging and serious political mainstream journalism, it might be nice to have some serious political bloggers on the panel - not to mention, a blogger who actually was key to the GannonGuckert expose (be that Media Matters, Kos, Atrios, World O Crap, AMERICAblog, whatever). And what about Editor & Publisher or Salon.com, two of the ONLY mainstream media outlets that fairly and continually covered this story? Why aren't THEY the MSM media rep on this panel?
Anyway, the Press Club folks are getting snippy now. From Poynter:
From JONATHAN D. SALANT, vice president, National Press Club: Regarding Joe Strupp's story about Jeff Gannon: Is Editor and Publisher suggesting that every time the National Press Club gets a newsworthy figure to appear on one of our panels, we consider that person a journalist? Is E&P suggesting that we should not invite controversial figures to appear at the Club and be questioned by reporters? How else should we read Strupp's story? Funny, I don't recall E&P questioning whether inviting a politician to an NPC luncheon means we endorse his or her views. People get invited to speak at the Club, whether a luncheon, a newsmaker event or a forum, because they are newsworthy. Also: Considering the event has been on the Press Club home page for weeks, how can some blogger "first report" the event, as Strupp wrote. Or does E&P now define a scoop as being able to read a publicly available announcement on a journalism organization's home page?But now it gets good. Editor & Publisher editor Greg Mitchell responds:
Topic: Letters Sent to RomeneskoThen the E&P reporter who wrote the story responds as well:
Date/Time: 3/29/2005 11:40:27 AM
Title: Would female hookers get a press club invite?
Posted By: Jim Romenesko
From GREG MITCHELL, editor, Editor and Publisher: Jonathan Salant asks [below]: "How else to interpret Strupp's article on Gannon?" How's this: Should a non-journalist who has worked as a male escort be invited to speak on a journalism panel at the National Press Club?
Salant would have us believe that Gannon is merely giving a press conference at the club as a "newsworthy" figure, you know, the usual politician or policy maker or author. But actually, he is on a panel discussing journalism and blogging issues. And this "newsworthy" figure has apparently worked as a prostitute, and not just the journalistic variety. Asked on numerous occasions about this, Gannon has refused to confirm or deny. Most mainstream journalists, especially of the conservative variety, continue to treat Gannon as merely an "odd" fellow who posted a few dirty pictures on the Web and asked the president a harmless softball question. I seriously doubt that, if he was a she, Gannon would be treated this way -- or get invited to speak at the Press Club on a journalism panel. Salant should supply any examples of (known) hookers who have previously appeared as speakers at the Press Club, especially as part of journalism panels.
From JOE STRUPP, Editor and Publisher: I'm a bit surprised at Mr. Salant's angry reaction to my article about the National Press Club inviting Jeff Gannon to speak on a panel about journalism and blogging.Then there's this FABULOUS response from Paul Lukasiak:
I don't know how much fairer or more accurate the story could have been. It included comment from several press club officials, including the organizer of the panel, and Gannon himself, with just one quote from a critic of the decision.
Among the e-mails I have received are several from people who believed we were not tough enough on the club. Perhaps Salant is getting as much negative feedback as we are?
Guckert is not being invited (as are Ed Gramlich, Jane Fonda, and Alice Roosevelt) to answer questions from the press about themselves. Guckert is being presented as an either a journalist or a blogger (and perhaps Mr. Salant could enlighten us as to which category he feels Guckert belongs) who will discuss "whether there is a difference between" bloggers and journalists.
Guckert is not an expert on either blogging or journalism, or the interaction between the two. Guckert is, however, a sex worker who has consistently lied to the journalistic community in the past.