John Solomon Silenced after Washington Post Attacks
The Hill’s John Solomon has been silenced after a coordinated effort by the Washington Post and The Hill staffers upset with his reporting and appearances on the Hannity program on the Fox News Channel. It has been two weeks since Solomon had a byline at The Hill, his last being January 8. He has not tweeted since January 11.
Solomon had been churning out exposés for the Hill on the corrupt FBI investigation into President Donald Trump. Those articles were usually accompanied by appearances on the Hannity TV show or other Fox News Channel programs. Solomon is absent from reporting even as as explosive reports on the investigation that he’s been reporting on keep coming.
John Solomon, image via Twitter avatar.
The Post’s Erik Wemple, in a January 17 article labeled “Opinion”, reported that The Hill reporters complained to management about Solomon, “Staffers at The Hill press management about the work of John Solomon
A group of newsroom staffers at The Hill have complained to management about stories written by John Solomon, the publication’s executive vice president of digital video. The complaints were launched in December when Solomon and reporter Alison Spann broke a story under this headline: “Exclusive: Prominent lawyer sought donor cash for two Trump accusers.”
The gist of Solomon and Spann’s story: Prominent California lawyer Lisa Bloom worked to secure payments for women who “made or considered making sexual misconduct allegations against Donald Trump during the final months of the 2016 presidential race.” The story cited “documents and interviews,” plus the on-the-record explanations by Bloom herself.
…For months, reporters at the publication have whispered sour somethings among themselves about the trail of Solomon investigations that have appeared under The Hill’s banner. It veers rightward.
…Last summer, for instance, Solomon announced that he was jumping from Circa, a general news site owned by the conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group, to The Hill. “The Hill’s spectacular rise as the leading outlet for political news coverage speaks to a far-reaching vision for digitally-powered growth,” Solomon said in a statement. “Joining The Hill team at this time, when the outlet is seeing just the first fruits of that vision, is an incredibly exciting opportunity. I’m looking forward to working with some of today’s most talented journalists to create a new political genre for the mobile generation, providing unmatched, non-partisan political news and bipartisan shows in the digital formats they love.”
Employees at The Hill would take issue with the “non-partisan” promise. According to sources consulted by this blog, there’s frustration that Solomon appears so tight with Hannity, the prime-time Trump apologist who has admitted straight-up that he’s no journalist. Over the past three months, Solomon has turned in a dozen or so appearances on “Hannity.” The TV hits may be good for traffic at TheHill.com, though the implications for up-and-coming journalists at the publication are less salutary: Their employer comes off as a propaganda mill.”
The Post article selectively attacks Solomon’s reporting, citing in one instance a Jnauary 14 attack piece by the Huffington Post.
John Solomon wrote a story that served up a ready made narrative to the conservative media, and earned him a guest spot on Hannity. You may find it very hard to believe he omitted these facts innocently. https://t.co/pkcTH6HVoY
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) January 15, 2018
Wemple followed up with another hit piece on Solomon on January 19, “Sources: The Hill’s John Solomon offered money to Bill Clinton for an interview series“
John Solomon, the executive vice president of digital video at The Hill, approached the office of former president Bill Clinton in August with a proposal to conduct paid interviews as part of a new video series for the publication, according to three informed sources. Clinton’s office declined to participate.
Securing the former president’s cooperation appears to have been among Solomon’s first ideas when he arrived at The Hill in July. Prior to that position, he’d worked as the chief operating officer at Circa, the general news website of the right-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group. At other stops along his peripatetic career path, Solomon has sought to play a dual role of investigative reporter-cum-digital evangelist, not always with glimmering results.
The particulars of Solomon’s pitch to Team Clinton, say the sources, plotted an expansive tour through contemporary American politics. The former president would sit with an interviewer — one agreed upon by both parties — and opine on the topics of the day, including the economy, foreign policy, the environment and more. Six hours of interviews would be spread out over a 12-week series.
A model for the series, in Solomon’s view, was the David Frost-Richard Nixon interviews from 1977. Those sessions broke all sorts of news, in large part because the disgraced Nixon apologized to the American people for his misdeeds. They also served as a model for Solomon & Co. for another reason: Nixon was paid $600,000, plus a share of the profits for his troubles. Per The Hill’s proposal, Clinton would receive a portion of the proceeds, a sum that would amount to “big money,” said one source, referring to The Hill’s offer. Another source said The Hill spoke of compensation in the seven-figure range.
According to a source, The Hill was open to making the payments either directly to Clinton or to the Clinton Global Initiative, a project of the Clinton Foundation. A review of The Hill’s proposal confirmed that account. Neither Solomon nor James A. Finkelstein, the chairman of The Hill, responded to multiple requests for comment.
…Since joining The Hill, Solomon has participated in numerous segments on the Fox News program “Hannity,” frequently blasting the Clintons. On Jan. 4, he wrote a piece under the headline, “FBI launches new Clinton Foundation investigation.” That night, Fox News host Sean Hannity feasted on the story: “Our top story tonight — Fox News alert — The Hill’s John Solomon out with a huge development as it relates to the FBI that is now launching a new investigation into the Clinton Foundation and whether the foundation engaged in any pay-to-play or other illegal activities while Hillary Clinton was the secretary of state.”
As noted, Solomon and The Hill management did not comment to the Post for their hit pieces. However, the articles appear to have silenced Solomon.
Solomon’s last tweet was January 11 about an article by former co-reporter Sara Carter.
— John Solomon (@jsolomonReports) January 11, 2018
Before that Solomon had tweeted several of his January articles for The Hill, “FBI agents’ text messages spur congressional probe into possible news leaks”, “Comey’s original Clinton memo released, cites possible violations” and “Congressional investigators find irregularities in FBI’s handling of Clinton email case”
Solomon’s last article was published January 8.
Congressional investigators find irregularities in FBI's handling of Clinton email case https://t.co/RxwXcBwUYA
— John Solomon (@jsolomonReports) January 3, 2018
Comey’s original Clinton memo released, cites possible violations https://t.co/e3G4wT1V15
— John Solomon (@jsolomonReports) January 5, 2018
FBI agents' text messages spur congressional probe into possible news leaks https://t.co/MbcLrIREjj
— John Solomon (@jsolomonReports) January 8, 2018
Two January articles were not tweeted by Solomon, “FBI launches new Clinton Foundation investigation“, published January 4, and “Justice Dept to offer House key documents in Russia probe“, published January 3.
Solomon does have other two week gaps in published articles at The Hill, most recently over the Christmas holidays. But he started the New Year with a bang and has since gone silent as fellow The Hill staffers stabbed him in the back to management and The Post even as the corrupt FBI-Trump investigation keeps being exposed in Watergate-level reports.