White House-credentialed fake news reporter "Jeff Gannon" from fake news agency "Talon News" was cited by the Washington Post as having the only access to an internal CIA memo that named Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as a covert CIA agent. Gannon, in a question posed to Wilson in an October 2003 interview, referred to the memo (to which no other news outlet had access, according to the Post). Gannon subsequently has been subpoenaed by the federal grand jury looking into the Plame outing.
These facts have led the Kos community to research the following questions:
1. Who/what is Talon News?
2. Who/what is Jeff Gannon and how did he get credentialed for the White House?
3. How is this "reporter" and "news agency" being used to disseminate information?
4. What exactly is the relationship between all the various outlets/GOP groups/individuals?
5. What does all this information have to do with the Plame leak?
Talon News appears to be a "news agency" in name only, consisting of Editor-in-Chief Bobby Eberle, Jeff Gannon and "volunteer reporters," all based on a web site with no true physical news room or work site. Much of its "news" is distributed through an organization called GOPUSA, of which Eberle is CEO and president. His wife, Kathleen, is treasurer. Both Eberles live in Texas and have been deeply involved in Texas politics - and now national politics - for years. Additionally, Bruce Eberle, owner of Erberle Communications, a fundraising/direct marketing/PR firm with extensive ties to Republican party politics (clients list includes Reagan, Ollie North, Paula Jones), folded his group, Millions of Americans.com, into GOPUSA.
Jeff Gannon's claim to a journalistic background prior to his apparent immaculate conception on the web (first greeting the world, as far as we can tell, in a November 2002 article) was his enrollment in a two-day seminar at the Leadership Institute for Broadcasting Journalism, which appears to be a right-wing pundit training ground, with many of the members of its board of directors active in anti-union, pro-management groups.
So far eager researchers here at Kos have come up with a couple of reasonable names to follow up on: James Patrick McFarland (whose name returned to one of Gannon's addresses) and Jason T. Daniels, who appears to live in Wilmington, DE. Clearly, "J. Daniels," is the vague lead we have to follow up on.
Current List of Assignments:
- Tomatoobserver is researching Time of Grace Ministries
- Mnemosyne is checking and running phone numbers
- conntexdem is researching Bruce Eberle
- baltimoretim is looking into Leadership Institute (diary here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/1/30/193243/265)
- fauxreal and ladydawg are researching morning gaggles here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/1/29/215946/913
- sean mykael is looking into Free Speech Foundation (diary here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/1/30/14024/9923)
- mlk and Marisa are constructing a sort of visual database "family tree" of relations, groups and individuals. This is a big project and someone might want to volunteer on that diary: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/1/30/152558/079. Additionally, Marisa is asking for data entry help.
- spiderleaf is creating a timeline about the CIA memo leak/Novak/who knew what when, references to it in press, etc.
If you run across a piece of significant information with significant data, post it to the most current SusanG meta diary. Chances are, with how convoluted and inter-related everything is, it will affect how someone else is proceeding in their chosen area of research.
Also post needs for specialists or just volunteers there, or just use it to bitch about how bogged down you're getting or how tightly our tin foil hats are fitting or how wonderfully exciting it is to be creating a whole new community journalism together.
Every time a new meta-diary goes up, I'm going to try and post who is officially working on what, with links to the specific diaries. If you've volunteered for a specific project and I don't list you, let me know so I can get it straight in the next diary. Also, if a new specific research diary starts, post it to the meta diary. And every time I am working on creating the body of the next diary, I'll be reading the most current one to get any new research diaries, volunteers or spectacular info everyone needs to be aware of.
What I Need Now
1. A volunteer in the Wilmington, DE, area who can go to an address and tell me specifically what is there.
2. A contact who has information about the 366th Army Division in Fort Hood, TX
Previous Plame Diaries:
Diary I: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/1/28/203014/655
Diary II: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/1/29/152730/137
Diary III: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/1/29/233122/523
Diary IV: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/1/30/9415/11717#300
Diary V: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/1/30/195059/065
Diary I has the initial Media Matters, Atrios and Talon News information that started this off. Diary IV has the best summarized update if you want to get up to speed on what's going on and join the party.