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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

JimmyJeff: gay softball player

I thought only lesbians played softball

Gannon/Guckert played for local softball team

By Marco C. Baker
PGN Editorial Assistant
© 2005 Philadelphia Gay News

An Washington, D.C. writer who sparked recent controversy involving the White House and the journalists who cover it, once played for a local gay softball team.

Like others in the White House press corps, Jeff Gannon had daily access to media briefings. But his questioning of President Bush and press secretary Scott McClellan was criticized as soft by veteran reporters, who also complained that Gannon's queries were really meant to squelch Bush's critics.

But in the mid-1980s, Gannon was known as James Dale Guckert, a Wilmington, Del., resident and member of the gay City of Brotherly Love Softball League. He played for Woody's Bar and Restaurant's team.

Gannon, a correspondent for Web sites GOPUSA and Talon News, sparked controversy by the questions he asked, which were seen as biased. Internet "bloggers" began investigating him. With popular blogs such as joined by conventional news media, Gannon's past was exposed, revealing that he once worked as an gay escort.

Woody's owner Bill Wood confirmed Gannon once played for his bar's softball team.

"Yeah that's J.D.," Wood said immediately after being shown a photo of Gannon.

Hanging in his popular South 13th Street establishment is a large portrait of the old team. Gannon is one of 15 players wearing white uniforms trimmed in green and yellow.

Wood turned to the portrait to easily point out Gannon, last row, third from right.

He wasn't a very good player, he remembered, adding Gannon was one of those "thick upper-body types."

Wood didn't recognize the discredited reporter from TV news, he said, adding that he mostly knew about the story from liberal talk-radio network Air America.

He also recalled that "J.D." drank beer and ate sandwiches at his bar "all the time."

Furthermore, Wood remembered Gannon lived Delaware, that he was not one of his team's three non-gay players, and vaguely recollected him dating other men. He could not recall whether Gannon had a steady romantic partner or a particular interest in politics.

Wonkette pointed this out.

Gee, I guess he really likes guys. Softball?

So here's a good question: was his entire GOP Warrior for Jesus and the Corps an act? Was he really just going along because it was the hustle that paid the best money? And how did no one in DC not know the guy was, well, gay?

posted by Steve @ 10:40:00 AM

10:40:00 AM

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