After a public dustup on FishbowlDC yesterday, The Daily Caller‘s TV reporter Jeff Poor is going after the real identity of Mediaite‘s White House Correspondent Tommy Christopher. Guess that’s what happens when you call a media reporter like Poor a “homophobic piece of shit” as Christopher did yesterday.
But it isn’t all about revenge. There are also the facts. “Tommy Christopher” (pictured at left) is not “Christopher’s” real name, but a pen name he created to match that of his son who wanted to be an actor. Another reason Christopher created the name was for safety — apparently the reporter gets death threats. A third reason he created the name: Another writer already had the real one.
The story by Poor (pictured at right) reports that Christopher must sign into the White House by his real name. It also calls on readers to take guesses on what Christopher’s real name is. Poor said he wasn’t aware that Christopher wrote under a pen name until he was tipped off yesterday. “If ‘Tommy’ really wants to be play in the big leagues as a Washington, D.C. journalist, he ought to man-up and start using his real name, or go back to selling men’s suits,” Poor told FBDC this morning.
Christopher said he wasn’t contacted by Poor for the story. Mediaite‘s new spectacularly named Senior Editor Ferdinando Di Fino (a.k.a. “Nando”) is quoted extensively in the piece. We’ve reached out to both for comment. Di Fino replied, “The only thing I’m angered by in this entire affair is having to comment on these Tommy name stories that keep popping up. I’m trying to edit a site, write stories, manage a staff, send out tweets, pull videos, scour C-SPAN for penis mentions, and it’s a constant barrage about what I consider to be some trivial bullshit.” See more after the jump…
Read Poor’s story here.
We posed three poignant questions to “Christopher” on the matter, one involving a strong possibility of his real name…
What is your reaction to Poor’s story? Are you upset? I’m amazed that my name is front-page news at The Daily Caller. It’s more than a little bit creepy, and I struggle to see the news value, but the story itself is no big deal. It was pretty scummy of him to target a private citizen (my girlfriend) for harassment, and scummy of Tucker Carlson to allow that. It was just as scummy when another blogger did that to Poor’s niece. [Editor's note: Tommy's girlfriend, Diana, jumped into the fray yesterday on her own volition on Twitter. It is his assessment that Poor "targeted" her but that is not exactly true.]
Why do you want to keep your real name a secret? Well, Tommy Christopher is my “real” name, it’s my legally registered DBA. But my other real name isn’t a secret, either. Every journalist I know (and that’s a lot) either knows it, or could easily know it, by glancing at the press card I wear around my neck constantly, or by checking the visitor’s logs at the White House, or any of the news outlets I visit. I guess none of them found it newsworthy enough to report, but it’s not a secret.
I chose to use a pen name when I became a professional writer because another writer was already using my name. Tommy Christopher is the only name I’ve ever written under, it’s the only name anyone knows me by. As an added side-benefit, the pen name has afforded my family freedom from the harassment that I take on as a public figure, so, absent some compelling reason to do so, I would rather retain that, and avoid confusion with my (still arguably more famous) namesake.
Is your real name Lee Burl Kuntz? No, it’s Geoff Notsogood. Which, I hope people will realize, is not a reflection on my talent as a writer.
More from Di Fino: “Can I make a plea to anyone reading this considering another Tommy Christopher name post? Please just aggregate these three stories in block quotes, link back to the sites, add your clever zingers to it, and stop asking for comment. If you want to know Tommy’s real last name, and this is some big deal for you, just look at the badge he wears to the White House.”
Colby Hall, Mediaite‘s former Managing Editor who is now at Clear Channel, also went to bat for Christopher, pointing out that Poor has not written any exposé on The Daily Caller‘s “Jim Treacher” who writes under a pen name. But it’s hollow. Treacher has never hidden his real name. Early on we learned it is Sean Medlock. Treacher cracked on Twitter, “Of all the problems with Tommy’s writing, his choice of pen name doesn’t crack the top 10.”