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Talon News

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Talon News, although it once described itself as "a news company which covers political, national, and world news," saying that it "focuses on those stories often overlooked by other media outlets," was exposed as a "sham" news organization with fake White House "correspondent" "Jeff Gannon" who apparently obtained access for nearly two years on day press passes to the White House and White House press briefings through Talon's close affiliation with the conservative organization GOPUSA, a right-wing site owned by Texas-based Republican activist Bobby Eberle, and is guilty of plagiarism.

Note: The Talon News URL http://www.talonnews.com is no longer active and cited links may not work.


Fake News

The Raw Story reported February 24, 2005, that another blogger, "Ron Brynaert, author of the progressive WhyAreWeBackInIraq weblog, found at least two instances in which Talon news correspondent Leslie Wetzel copied verbatim or near-verbatim content from articles written by Fox News and the Associated Press." See "Another Talon News 'reporter' found plagiarizing mainstream press."

It now appears that "No News is Talon News." In a February 23, 2005, update, Blue Meme reported "Still not a byte changed since last Thursday... It is as if Dan Rather stepped down, and CBS News went dark."

The Talon News web site once stated:

"The recent public focus on Talon News, while much of it malicious, has indeed brought some constructive elements to the surface. It has also brought many kind messages of support, and for that we are extremely grateful.
"In order to better serve those readers across the country who enjoy Talon News content and look forward to receiving it each day, we feel compelled to reevaluate operations in order to provide the highest quality, most professional product possible.
"Thus, Talon News will be offline while we redesign the web site, perform a top-to-bottom review of staff and volunteer contributors, and address future operational procedures.
"We look forward to bringing an even better product to our readers in the future."

John Byrne's The Raw Story, which was hot on the trail of the Talon News-"Jeff Gannon" story, announced February 22, 2005, that "Talon News appears to have plagiarized content from Fox News, others."

See:

However, this can also readily be seen in copy attributed to Gannon -- and perhaps others who were allegedly "writing" for Talon -- in the links to articles published with the Talon News byline in the Hawaii Reporter.

The Hawaii Reporter.com web site shows the Talon News byline beginning September 12, 2003, following the absence of any media feed for the Hawaii Reporter during the month of August. Until that time, the predominant byline had been that of UPI. After Talon News first appeared in September 2003, it dominated daily news postings. See the listing of "correspondents" whose names accompany the Talon News byline below.

Stories were allegedly "filed" from numerous locations, as would be the custom of correspondents on location, to include Washington; Sacramento; Los Angeles; Nashville; Wilmington, DE, New York; Pyongyang, North Korea; Montgomery, AL; and Bangkok, Thailand.

The last filing for Hawaii Reporter under the name "Jeff Gannon" was February 8, 2005. As of February 23, 2005, only two more items from Talon News were posted: one on February 9 and the other February 17. No other media feed has been posted to the web site.

Background

Early February 2005, Media Matters for America revealed that for over a year James Guckert alias Jeff Gannon posed as a "journalist for Talon News" at the White House press conferences. Guckert was best known to ask softball questions or to ask questions within the White House's agenda.

James Foser posed the question January 28, 2005, "What is Talon News, and why does it have press credentials?":

"Talon News, a conservative company whose Washington bureau chief and White House correspondent Jeff Gannon is well-known for asking loaded pro-Republican questions at White House press briefings, appears to be more a political organization than a media outlet.
"Media Matters for America recently highlighted three Gannon articles that were little more than reprints of Republican and Bush administration releases; Media Matters has also noted Gannon's role as White House press secretary Scott McClellan's lifeline and Talon editor in chief Bobby Eberle's partisan political activities. A more in-depth look at Talon, Gannon, and Eberle casts additional doubt on Talon's claim to be a media outlet and raises questions about whether Gannon should be a credentialed member of the White House press corps.
"Eberle is also, as Media Matters has previously noted, president and CEO of GOPUSA, a "conservative news, information, and design company dedicated to promoting conservative ideals." Though Eberle has claimed on the September 13, 2004, edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country that GOPUSA and Talon News are separate companies, they overlap heavily.
"Talon News apparently consists of little more than Eberle, Gannon, and a few volunteers, and is virtually indistinguishable from GOPUSA.com."

Websites That Syndicated Talon's Content

Personnel

Talon News "Byline" Hawaii Reporter: Correspondents

Other Talon News Contributors

Contact

Website: http://www.talonnews.com (inactive)
Website owner: Endeavor Media Group, LLC, Houston TX

Who Is: Talon News

A September 25, 2004 WHOIS record for www.talonnews.com:

Domain: talonnews.com
Cache Date: 2004-09-25
Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS, LLC.

Registrant: Eberle, Bobby (ISYFUGKQUD)

2620 Sunday House Dr.
Pearland, TX 77584 US

Domain Name: TALONNEWS.COM

Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
Eberle, Bobby (24065026I)
2620 Sunday House Dr.
Pearland, TX 77584 US
281-412-2184 fax: 999 999 9999

Record expires on 29-Mar-2006.
Record created on 29-Mar-2003.

Domain servers in listed order:

NS1.DATAPIPE.NET 64.27.65.13
NS2.DATAPIPE.NET 64.27.64.76

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