Bloggers have set the internet on fire this week with reports regarding the former White House reporter Jeff Gannon and the possibility that he is actually famed right-wing columnist Ann Coulter. Speculation has reached such proportions that a heavily financed Leftwing website has offered a $10,000 reward for any proof that these two "individuals" have been seen at the same place, at the same time.
"The resemblance is striking!" commented an anonymous Washington insider. "Put him in a blonde wig and heels and he looks like the cover of Time magazine."
This rumor is just the latest chapter in the ongoing "Gannongate" scandal. It began when Jeff Gannon asked President Bush a factually incorrect question at a press conference. Soon, bloggers discovered that "Jeff Gannon" was actually "Jim Guckert," an apparent Republican agent. Then, it was revealed that Jim Guckert was also "Bulldog," a male prostitute.
With so many personas already established, many have been quick to buy into the idea of one more. A self-proclaimed, un-licensed psychologist told me that cases like this are actually quite common. "Each persona often represents a certain part of their personality or it can be them acting out a fantasy," she told me. "So you end up with a straight, Republican journalist on Monday, a hot, gay military stud on Tuesday, and a Bordeaux drinking, Nicorette chewing cross-dresser on Wednesday.
Many websites have speculated that the absence of the "Ann Gannon" story from the MSM (main stream media) proves that there is some insidious conspiracy. "You just have to wonder what they're hiding," commented one, "because you've like heard nothing about this. Nothing! Not on Fox, not in the Weekly Standard, not even on Rush's show."
And there has been complete silence from Coulter and Gannon themselves. Neither were contacted for this story and neither responded. And without hard facts or quotes, the bloggers can only boost their theories with comparisons of the two. Usually, this results in name calling, but there have been some weird similarities pointed out.
Most of these could be attributed to most of the Right-wing pundits: they both claim to be Christian but then lie like Satan, they both have to make up quotes to prove that Liberals are evil, and they are both distractions from what really matters in America.
But the bizarre coincidences don't end there.
Both of them recently attacked veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas. Coulter (in defense of Gannon, ironically) called her "that old Arab." Gannon also blasted Thomas online. Strangely though, it was Gannon who posted an unflattering and possibly doctored photo of her on his website. But it is Coulter who is famously obsessed with doctored photos and who recently had to pull a doctored photo of Hillary Clinton from her site after a legal threat. She had posted it as revenge for what she felt was a vindictive distorted photo of her on the cover of a major magazine. Could her/his rage be spilling over to her/his other persona's web page?
I spoke with a self-proclaimed, un-licensed expert on Journalism and asked if she would compare their writings. What she found is that they could easily have been written by the same person. "Both of their work displays a tendency to replace fact finding with a paranoia of the Liberal Establishment. They seem to assume that their readers are either too dumb or too lazy to catch their gross distortions and seem either unable or unwilling to write a well-researched piece."
Another dramatic similarity between them is their apparent contradictive lifestyles. Gannon is a Gay Conservative and Coulter is a Liberal-hating Deadhead. But it is Coulter's hippy past that has sparked some of the more far-out theories. One website claimed that the CIA kidnapped Coulter while she was riding her bicycle to a Grateful Dead show. They replaced her with Gannon, who traded Dead tours for book tours. "I mean come on!" exclaimed "Dark Star," a self-proclaimed, un-licensed Deadhead. "Nobody could go to 67 Dead shows and then write the stuff she does."
There is even a rumor that the prototype of the Talking Ann Coulter Doll originally said "how are you going to work with people who seem to be divorced from reality" before someone caught the mistake.
Rumors continue to pervade the net and even talk radio. One famed host claimed that only a DNA test will clear up the controversy for good. But it is unlikely that either Gannon or Coulter will submit to such a test. But despite the absence of proof, many are completely convinced. "I've heard her talk," commented one on the radio, "and she sounds like a man."