One of the reasons many conservatives actually bother to read The Hill is because of their “token” conservative writer John Solomon. He just got a slap on the wrist and his bosses made it crystal clear he won’t be allowed to simply say what’s on his mind anymore. Not without serious censorship.
The token conservative who went too far
On Wednesday, the media outlet famous for their coverage of what’s happening in the Capitol, made headlines of their own by releasing the findings of an internal probe. They’ve been digging for a few months now into their “token” conservative. Their investigators wanted to know how John Solomon’s left-leaning editors let him get away with writing something helpful to President Trump. They “were critical of both the work Solomon did while he was at The Hill and the editorial process that allowed the columns to be published.” Patriotic Americans tell them exactly what they can do with their internal probe.
CNN describes John Solomon as, “the former executive at the outlet whose columns pushing right-wing conspiracy theories about Ukraine played a pivotal role in President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry.” They’re upset that he didn’t tell his readers who his attorney’s are. “In some columns, there was context and/or disclosure that should have been included at the time of his writings.” The names should ring a few bells. Joseph DiGenova and Victoria Toensing. Among other interesting clients, they represent William Douglas Campbell, the big whistleblower in the Uranium One case. The one who’s still waiting for a chance to tell his story to Congress.
There was a good reason he didn’t name her as a source for his stories. “Pressed on why he did not disclose in his writings that Toensing was his attorney, Solomon initially denied he had quoted her while she served as his attorney.” He graciously offered to “look into it,” promising “that if he did write about her, he should disclose the relationship,” The Hill’s findings said. The management had a snit anyway. “As part of this review, The Hill is adding disclosures that should have been made at the time of publication.”
Heavy censorship from now on
The Hill is owned by Jimmy Finkelstein. He also “played a key role in the Ukraine scandal.” That got high level management looking real hard about how his name was getting dragged through the muck. Solomon had earned enough serious respect in political circles that the mostly liberal publication let him do his own thing in an opinion column. They certainly couldn’t argue that he wasn’t really good for circulation. The token conservative on the staff brought in big bucks. After all, how much trouble could he get into when everything he wrote was slapped with the dreaded “opinion” label.
His big mistake, it seems, is that his opinions are way too close to the real facts. That makes it “news” which should have been censored by the editors. “While Solomon’s columns on Ukraine were labeled as opinion, they read like news stories.”
From now on, Editor-In-Chief Bob Cusack will have to sign off on every word, with “enhanced editorial authority over all content on The Hill.com.” No more mixing facts and opinions. It gives people the idea that liberals might be guilty of something. “Other action included avoiding the ‘blending of reporting and opinion columns going forward,’ which The Hill noted that Solomon’s work attempted to do.”
What got everyone so angry was the fact that Solomon “helped shape public perception of Joe Biden’s foreign policy dealings in Ukraine, especially among Trump supporters.” How deplorable. His articles “helped trigger the chain of events that led to Trump asking the recently-elected Ukrainian president to probe Biden and his son Hunter.”
Even worse for Democrats, one of their key targets, Lev Parnas, who helped Rudy Giuliani investigate the Bidens, also was talking to Solomon. “The true nature and extent of Parnas’s role in Solomon’s work remain unclear but potentially troubling. While Solomon has insisted that Parnas was simply facilitating contacts or arranging interviews in his native Ukraine, the number of alleged contacts or apparent references to Solomon in emails, text messages and other materials released by Parnas to congressional investigators raises questions about his involvement.”