Talon News, the website at the center of a scandal linking one of its reporters to the White House, has temporarily shut down its online operations, while explicit Internet domain names allegedly used by its reporter are now up for sale.
A statement posted on TalonNews.com reads:
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.
Company spokeswoman Jennifer Ohman told the Houston Chronicle that the site’s founder, Bobby Eberle, “can only take so much of a beating” over its political slant, as Eberle also runs GOPUSA.com, which looks “to spread the conservative message throughout America,” according to its mission statement.
The scandal, known as GannonGuckertGate, involves Jeff Gannon – by daylight a credentialed “reporter” covering the White House for both the Talon and GOPUSA.com websites, while allegedly moonlighting as a $200-an-hour male escort and purveyor of explicit websites like HotMilitaryStud.com and MilitaryEscorts.com.
It turns out Jeff Gannon was a pseudonym and alter ego for Jim Guckert, the name under which Gannon allegedly posed for pictures on those sites and advertised his services. He resigned his position with Talon and GOPUSA.com following the disclosures by bloggers.
Although HotMilitaryStud.com and MilitaryEscorts.com – websites suggestive of homosexual pornography – are no longer online, their domain names are now up for sale.
“This is the site you’ve been hearing about,” says the ads for both sites which are listed in the “Adult/Porn” category.
The asking price for HotMilitaryStud.com is $15,000, while MilitaryEscorts.com is asking $7,500. Traffic figures claim more than 66,000 and 24,000 unique visitors to the pages, respectively. No previous offers had been made for either as of press time.