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Conservative Reporter Resigns Amid Controversy

A reporter for the conservative news site TalonNews.com resigns. The reporter, who went by the pseudonym Jeff Gannon, drew critical attention at President Bush's Jan. 26 press conference when he referred in a question to Democrats "who seem to have divorced themselves from reality" on the issue of retooling Social Security.

Liberal bloggers have disclosed that Gannon, who has little previous journalism experience, was easily granted a coveted White House press pass -- even though he did not work for a traditional or established news organization. He also routinely asked "softball" questions at press conferences. There are also allegations that Gannon is linked to Web sites with homoerotic themes.

Gannon spoke with NPR's David Folkenflik the day before he resigned. He says he is open about his conservative point of view, but that he is just as valid a journalist as other reporters in the White House press corps.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

David Folkenflik was described by Geraldo Rivera of Fox News as "a really weak-kneed, backstabbing, sweaty-palmed reporter." Others have been kinder. The Columbia Journalism Review, for example, once gave him a "laurel" for reporting that immediately led the U.S. military to institute safety measures for journalists in Baghdad.