I Keep Telling You Dick Durbin Rules...

Raw Story is reporting that Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) is circulating the following letter, appealing to other Senators to join him in demanding an investigation into Jeff Gannon:

Dear Mr. President,

At a press conference in the White House on January 26, you stated that “there needs to be a nice, independent relationship between the White House and the press.” In that same press conference, you called on a reporter then known as Jeff Gannon, who worked for an organization called Talon News.

Since that time, the public has learned that the real name of that reporter is James Dale Guckert, not Jeff Gannon, and that he had regular access to the White House press facilities for more than a year. We have also learned that the questions he posed at White House press briefings and the stories he filed for Talon News frequently mirrored Republican Party talking points, that Talon News is a news organization in name only and that it has apparently close connections to the Republican party.

Given the unprecedented level of security in Washington since 9/11, it is troubling that that a non-journalist using a false name and working for a sham news organization could have gained regular access to the White House for such an extended period of time.

Another reason the Gannon/Guckert affair is disturbing is because of what we have recently learned about apparent efforts by some in your Administration to try to “buy” favorable news coverage. These other efforts include paying news personalities Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher large sums of money to promote your Administration’s education and marriage initiatives, and using tax payer dollars to produce video news releases promoting the new prescription drug benefit for Medicare beneficiaries and other policies the Administration regards as accomplishments. A recent report by the General Accountability Office called such video news releases illegal uses of public funds. More recently, we have heard troubling reports that Social Security Administration officials may be using public funds and pressuring public employees to promote your goal of privatizing Social

As you know, concerns that government officials may be trying to deceive the public by manipulating the media can be extremely corrosive to public trust. For that reason, we respectfully request that you order an immediate and thorough investigation into the Gannon/Guckert matter. How is it possible that a man using a fake name, with dubious journalism credentials, was able to clear the White House’s extensive security screening process and gain such close access to you and your staff for such an extended period of time? Have there been other, similar breaches of security and journalism standards?

We appreciate your prompt attention to this important matter. We urge you to order a full inquiry so that the American people know the facts.

I rule.

This is excellent news. The pressure is on. Now contact your senators and make sure they keep it on!

Here are my letters:

Dear Senator Bayh:

First of all I would like to thank you for all the great work you have done on behalf of Hoosiers. As a liberal constituent, you have made me proud, especially lately.

I respectfully request that you support Senator Dick Durbin's request for an investigation into Jeff Gannon, namely how he was able to continually obtain a daily pass for over two years without submitting to the rigorous background checks normally required of those in his position.

I have become increasingly alarmed at this administration's willingness to use the media as their personal propaganda tool, and I truly hope you will tenaciously pursue the truth behind this issue. Either we have had an egregious security breach,
or this was another example of the administration's willingness to subvert the role of the media.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts. I am glad to call you my Senator, sir.

Dear Senator Lugar:

I am a Democratic constituent from the state of Indiana, and although you and I disagree on some policy issues, I have always found you to be a good man and believed you have the best interests of Indiana and the United States at heart.

With this in mind, I respectfully request that you support any request for an investigation into Jeff Gannon, namely how he was able to continually obtain a daily pass for over two years without submitting to the rigorous background checks normally required of those in his position. I do not believe that this is a partisan issue, but instead an issue that should concern us all. Whether there has been an egregious security breach, or whether someone in the administration has acted unethically, we need to get to the bottom of what went wrong.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts, sir.

(Writing about this topic sure is tricky when I am forced to sound respectful and avoid profanity.)

Feel free to steal them wholesale if you’re feeling lazy.

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