Jeff Gannon strikes back

Bob Novak invoked an old Jeff Gannon story in an effort to smear Joe Wilson and defend his own "integrity." Now Gannon is leaping to his own defense.

By Tim Grieve
August 2, 2005 11:36PM (UTC)
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Well, all we can say is, we're honored. War Room gets cited in all sorts of tony neighborhoods, but today might be a first -- a shout-out from our old friend Jeff Gannon.

As we noted earlier today, Robert Parry has taken apart Bob Novak's new smear of Joseph Wilson -- and he found Gannon lurking inside. Novak says that even John Kerry's campaign was so unhappy with Joseph Wilson's mendacity that it "discarded" him a year ago. Parry traces that tale back to a report Gannon filed for the now-MIA Talon News back in July 2004. In that piece, our intrepid reporter noticed that the Kerry campaign's Web site no longer featured references to Wilson and concluded for himself -- with, it appears, no reporting at all -- that it was "likely" that the campaign had decided to "quietly break official contact with someone who proved to be a loose cannon."


Responding to our post earlier today, Gannon says his story about Kerry and Wilson was "rock solid" and that "Wilson was dumped -- hard." Not so, says Peter Daou, who ran Kerry's Web site and says the Wilson references were deleted as part of a larger redesign. And not so, says David Wade, who was Kerry's campaign spokesman. Wade told us earlier today that Wilson drew standing-room-only crowds as a surrogate for Kerry, and that the claim that he was somehow "discarded" by the campaign is "a classic Novakian regurgitation of only-on-Newsmax misinformation."

And indeed, a little Google searching of our own suggests that Wade is right: In October 2004, just weeks before the election, it appears that Wilson was still on the road for the Democratic nominee, headlining a fundraiser for the Kerry-Edwards campaign in Arizona.

That doesn't sound like the work of someone who was "dumped -- hard," Jeff. But as for the "rock solid" part -- well, we suppose you're the expert on that.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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