msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 2/25/2005 10:44:47 AM ET 2005-02-25T15:44:47

The conservative online news outlet that employed a reporter who used a false name while covering the White House has shut down.

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The publicist for Talon News says it has temporarily gone offline because the founder “can only take so much of a beating” over its political slant.

The agency came under fire after a question at a White House news conference from its Washington correspondent James Guckert, who wrote under the name Jeff Gannon.

Speaking of Democrats, he asked President Bush how he would work “with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality.”

Other reporters later found out that Guckert was credentialed under the name Gannon and that White House procedures did not require more thorough background checks.

Guckert later resigned, blaming left-wing Internet columnists for his demise.

The publicist said that while the controversy drew many people to the site, “the attention by and large was negative.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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