Monday, February 14, 2005


I want to repeat something I posted a little while back.

Q: How do you eat an elephant?

A: One bite at a time.

I bring this up in light of the latest twists and turns of the Jeff Gannon/James Guckert story. John Arevosis is out with his scoop on Gannon/Guckert's background (WARNING: not a work friendly link) and it looks like he has the goods on everyone's favorite right-wing press plant. I applaud John's diligence in pursuing this story (even if I did express some reservations about the way he hyped it (reservations I still have btw)). But I would urge those who are following this story not to pursue the leads too eagerly. If they do they may find themselves taking a bigger bite than they can swallow.

For example, I just heard a contributor to Raw Story, in an appearance on the Ed Schultz show, pass on the rumor that one member of the White House Press team has a gay past and thus may have had something more than a professional relationship with Guckert.. That's a pretty big bite to swallow in addition to the current bite that Arevoris has given us to chew on. It may be true, but if so then it should be the next bite taken, after the Guckert bite is swallowed down (an unfortunate image given the turn this story has taken).

If I can be allowed to mix my metaphors, I'd also point out that it is bad military strategy to attack deep into enemy territory without first securing the perimeter.

This is one area where a professional news organization has an advantage over bloggers: the good ones have an editor who can reign in over-eager reporters and make sure they dot all the i's before continuing on to the next part of the story. Bloggers behave more like sharks in a feeding frenzy, pursuing the scent of blood even to their own destruction.

Don't let this story bite us in the ass.


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