Gannon reverses course, quits as Talon News “reporter”

Talon News Washington bureau chief and White House correspondent Jeff Gannon's decision “to return to private life” "[b]ecause of the attention being paid" to him represents a departure from his recent public statements indicating that he was grateful for the media attention and that he would continue as a conservative journalist.

Gannon had previously posted a statement on his website in response to Media Matters for America's January 27 item noting that he has copied Bush administration and Republican National Committee (RNC) documents and releases in his “news reports” verbatim and without attribution. At the end, he wrote: “And by the way, thanks for all your hard work. My phone has been ringing all day with interview requests.”

Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz noted in his February 7 “Media Notes” column:

“I am admittedly a conservative journalist, and that point of view is not represented in the briefing room at all,” says Gannon, who also hosts an online radio show for the Rightalk network. Other White House reporters “come from a decidedly liberal perspective, certainly left of center. ... Call me partisan, fine, but don't let my colleagues off the hook. They're partisan too, but they don't admit it.”

Gannon, who was turned down for a congressional press pass, says he's been stalked and threatened by some “nuts” on the left. “I'm a pioneer,” he says. “Guys on the front lines, they get shot at, and hey, I'm willing to take it.”

On February 8, Gannon posted the following statement on his personal website:

Because of the attention being paid to me I find it is no longer possible to effectively be a reporter for Talon News. “White House Briefing” columnist Dan Froomkin wrote in his February 9 column that Timothy Karr's mediacitizen weblog has some background on why Gannon may have reversed course.