Fair-minded conservatives were aghast in President George W. Bush's second term when the left-wing character assassination machine went into high gear to destroy Jeff Gannon.
Gannon, also known as James Dale Guckert, asked questions that annoyed liberals because they were based on a right-wing political perspective.
Liberals were outraged. How dare the White House allow a conservative in who didn't constantly bash President Bush. The nerve!
Partisan, ideologically-driven people shouldn't be allowed into White House press briefings, they howled in unison.
Gannon had skeletons in his past, which sent the left into deepening shades of delight. Even though the left prides itself on being gay-friendly, the fact that Gannon's indiscretions were related to his homosexuality only egged on the vicious hypocrites, feeding their schadenfreude.
Now comes the revelation that at least one partisan ideologically-driven leftist is being welcomed to White House media events.
That person is Faiz Shakir of John Podesta's propaganda factory, the allegedly nonpartisan Center for American Progress (CAP). Podesta, you may remember, helped run the Obama transition and was Chief of Staff in Bill Clinton's White House. To be precise, Shakir is research director for The Progress Report and ThinkProgress.org at CAP. (link to official CAP bio)
Look at an article prepared by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a nonprofit 501(c)(4) lobbying organization, that appeared today at the Huffington Post website. The bottom paragraph states that Shakir participated in President Obama's prime-time conference March 24:
EXPANDING THE MEDIA UNIVERSE: As with his first press conference, Obama went out of his way to take questions from news outlets beyond the major newspapers and television networks. Though he began with the tradition of taking the first question from the AP, followed by the three major networks, Obama also took questions from outlets such as the Spanish-language network Univision, the military's Stars and Stripes newspaper, Agence France-Presse, and Ebony magazine. As Politico's Michael Calderone noted, "Obama skipped over the nation's top newspapers" as "there were no questions from the NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal or USA Today." "The president covered a range of topics, including his commitment to addressing the economic crisis, by calling on a wide range of outlets -- including some that rarely, if ever, are given the opportunity to pose a question at a presidential news conference," White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest told the AP. As with his first prime time presser, Obama also opened up the conference to new media, admitting more online reporters, including The Progress Report's Faiz Shakir, who had polled his audience for suggestions of questions" [emphasis added]
It's worth noting that when Shakir appeared on MSNBC on March 18 he was introduced as a "Democratic strategist." He did not object to the characterization.
So, a partisan, ideologically-driven individual from an organization that is aggressively promoting the Obama agenda was granted media credentials for the White House.
Will there be Gannon-era howls of outrage from the left over this?
Don't count on it.
(slightly modified from crosspost at American Spectator)