Tuesday, March 29, 2005



Now that I, too, am a professional whore, I can see that the sharp distinction I used to draw between the working press and the shoe scrapings of the PR industry was simply a vanity of vanities -- a product of my youthful arrogance and the gnawing fear that I, too, might someday end up like the withered fossils I used to see lining the press club bar rail every Friday night. (That much, at least, I got right.) And whatever real distinction there may have once been between journalism and flackery has long since been swept away by the howling, gibbering tsunami of the cable news channels, leaving only a few dazed refugees clinging to the treetops in the print press. And pretty soon they'll be gone, too.

My point, to the extent I have one, is that Gannon/Guckert is going to fit in very well on that NPC panel -- as long, that is, as he's there to represent the professional journalists, not the bloggers. When it comes to blogging, Jim/Jeff doesn't have much to offer other than his cloddish prose and half-congealed "thoughts," which consist almost entirely of recycled Fox News talking points -- recycled in the same sense that cow shit is recycled grass. To be sure, this does put Bulldog squarely in the top IQ quintile among conservative bloggers. But if the press club wanted an authentic representative of the rant and rave right, it should have invited Powerline or Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler or even the gang at Little Green Footballs, who I'm sure would have been happy to attend if they could have brought their flaming crosses along.

No, Guckert is on the panel for the same reason Wonkette is: anal sex. Jeff gets paid to give it and Anna Marie gets paid to talk about it, and the "bottoms" at the National Press Club get paid to . . . well, you know. How anal sex got to be THE ticket to blogging fame and fortune (instead of a giant bottle of Astroglide) I don't fully understand, but I wish somebody had told me when I started out, because I would have bought a copy of this book instead of wasting all my time on those dull reads about Iraq, terrorism, the global economy and so on. Or, more likely still, I would never have taken up blogging in the first place, since when it comes to anal sex, there's no way a rank amateur like myself can compete with the pros.

But Anna Marie, at least, can write -- a good three or four paragraphs worth when she really gets going. Guckert, on the other hand, needs to get it through his head that his most valuable job skills are on the other end of his torso. And if he's counting on getting by on his notoriety as the world's only conservative gay prostitute journalist with a blog, he'd better watch out -- that's a niche market that could easily be overrun by competitors. For all Jeff knows, Wonkette's owner may already be trolling the second and third-tier talk show hosts, looking for prospects. Some of the guys in the RNC press office might decide to get in on the action, too. After all, when it comes to blogging -- not to mention anal sex -- the barriers to entry are relatively low. There's always a prettier face . . . or whatever . . . willing to take on the established brand names.

Seriously, though, the fact that we're all talking about this ridiculous panel session only shows that Bill Bennett didn't know the half of it when he wrote The Death of Outrage. The idea that a guy who posted naked pictures of himself pissing on the Internet -- and became famous for it -- would be invited to get up in front of an audience at the National Press Club to discuss journalism and blogging with a woman who has made anal sex her signature riff . . . well, The Death of Shame, Intelligence, Good Taste and Sanity makes a better title.