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Posts Tagged ‘John Solomon’

TWT’s Liberal Roots May be Showing

With heavy changes underway at TWT and today’s announcement that John Solomon‘s full power at the paper will be restored, it’s a valuable exercise to review how things were before when, say, Solomon was previously in charge.

In one memory, Solomon and President Tom McDevitt sat at a fold-up table in the lobby trying to sell President Obama-headlined T-shirts and Obama commemorative coffee-table books. Not exactly TWT‘s market, but hey, what the hell? It’s a free country.

From a TWT insider: “This raises the question, ‘What is the Washington Times?’ TWT’s brand has always been as a conservative alternative to the Post, but Solomon is not and never has been a conservative, having worked at the liberal Post, a liberal wire service and the George Soros-funded Center for Public Integrity. He persecuted conservatives last time he was editor of the paper and pushed a hard pro-Obama line, which went so far as to fill the walls of the building with framed copies of A1 cover pages promoting the liberal president. Looks like the Moonies bought the same snake oil that failed to solve their problems before.”

By the way, this is the FIFTH change of editor in five years.

See the T-shirt they sold…

Read more

With TWT’s Executive Editor Out, Will John Solomon Finally Make The Masthead?

Back in January, after 25 members of TWT newsroom got laid off, John Solomon was named to the elusive role of Chief Digital Officer with Ian Bishop as his deputy in the position of Digital Editor. Bishop made the masthead. Solomon did not. What made matters even more peculiar, is that when Solomon made media appearances, on WTOP for example, they said he was from Washington Guardian, his other news outlet. No mention of TWT.

Even in May of 2013, TWT gave him a bizarre tagline that made no mention of TWT except to say he was a former executive editor there. Was he or wasn’t he working there? His daily doings always appeared to be mired in mystery, even to those on the inside.

Still, now Solomon is getting another boost. Today Larry Beasley, whose contract as President and CEO has been upped until the end of 2015, is promoting him again. At least it sure looks like a promotion — time will tell if they see fit to put him on the masthead. This time, he’s “Editor and Vice President for Content and Business Development.” What this all means is anyone’s guess, as was Solomon’s previous position at TWT. As hilariously explained by Beasley in a statement, this means Solomon is in charge of editorial and business and advertising, because those parts of a newspaper are always supposed to be smushed together as one. No conflict there.

What’s even weirder is that Beasley appears to have no recollection of Solomon’s brusque departure from TWT four years ago as Executive Editor and speaks about his time there as a fairytale dream (all together now: raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…) Most former employees in high editorial posts say he was pushed out, forced to resign. He always insists otherwise.

Just as you think Beasley’s statement will end there, with four graphs and five bullet points inflating Solomon to be the best journalist who ever roamed the Earth (seriously), Beasley casually mentions that Executive Editor David Jackson is gone. HUH? “As part of the recent moves, we’ve said goodbye to some of colleagues, including our Executive Editor David Jackson,” he wrote three graphs from the bottom of the release, one of which throws in yet another compliment for Solomon. “We appreciate the effort he gave us and wish him well in his next endeavor.”

Bye bye Jackson!

See the release with our boldings… Read more

TWT’s John Solomon Has Bizarre Tagline

Strange times at TWT. On the front of the Commentary section Tuesday was a column by John Solomon on the AP scandal. Solomon is allegedly chief digital officer, a brand new position that was created especially for him at the start of 2013. But he’s not on the masthead. And then there’s that funky ID tagline included in his Tuesday column. It mentions his former employment as editor, but not that he currently works there. Also unmentioned is his affiliation with Washington Guardian, where he is president and executive editor.

It’s a real head scratcher. His ID tagline in TWT reads: “John Solomon, a veteran Washington journalist, is the former executive editor of The Washington Times and onetime deputy Washington bureau chief of The Associated Press.”

Here’s another chunk of weirdness: Solomon’s deputy, Ian Bishop, is on the masthead as digital editor. But not him?

Seems Solomon’s current affiliation should be disclosed. Why wouldn’t it be? Read more

TWT Execs Want To Train You to Kill

Here’s a fun one.

This morning, TWT Chief Digital Officer (whatever that is) John Solomon‘s company, Packard Media Group, LLC, which powers TWT Editorial Page Editor Wes Pruden‘s site, Pruden & Politics, sent an advertising email to Pruden’s mailing list.

Subject line: Vicious SEAL Team hand-to-hand secrets — cancelled.

This is apparently the last “heads up” Pruden’s listees and a handful of “other Tea Party members” will receive about a video that is about to be permanently canceled. “I’m not screwing around here,” warns Bob Pierce, President of FightForce/TRS, who sounds rather violent himself.It’s the SAME set of wicked ‘end-it-now’ tricks used by likes of our U.S. Navy SEALS and Israeli Special Forces.

Forget the belts. Or long hours of practice — busy soliders don’t have time for all that, he says. The video, which costs only a $7.95 shipping fee, promises to teach you to control and dominate any violent situation you might find yourself in with anyone of any size. After just one watch!

Purchase the video and Pierce claims you will learn the following:

1. How to properly use your knee cap (to inflict maximum damage)

2. The punishing “nose bridge” (inflicts mind-numbing pain)

3. The thumb rake (blinding)

4. The Israeli Special Forces bone crusher (can shatter specific delicate bones)

The testimonials are fabulous. Read more

Incest Desk: TWT Op-ed Editor Promotes Outside Media Site of TWT’s Head of Digital

Plump the pillows and freshen the fine linens. This one’s a real incestuous mess.

Sure, Wes Pruden, TWT‘s newly rehired opinion editor owes a fair amount of good will to TWT‘s newly reinstalled “Chief Digital Officer” John Solomon for supporting his syndicated column and helping to secure his return to the publication.

But at the expense of TWT?

In a move that boggles the mind and perplexes the soul, Pruden is promoting Solomon’s other journalistic venture, The Washington Guardian, while both men are working full-time at TWT. Although TWT and the Washington Guardian are presumably separate entities,  TWT occasionally prints Guardian stories. Guardian reporters have even worked out of TWT‘s snaky office building off New York Avenue. In a letter sent by email on January 10, Pruden urged friends to support The Guardian, describing it as “A news outlet keeping them honest in Washington.” Where’s CNN’s Anderson Cooper when we need him? It’s not as if  The Guardian is new, but Pruden presents it as if it is.

Our favorite incestuous line: Pruden writes, “As a bonus, I’ve arranged for Pruden & Politics followers to get a daily newsletter from the Washington Guardian with its top stories.” Whoa! What? What about TWT‘s top stories? Has he forgotten he works there now?

We reached out to Pruden on the matter and received no response.

See the letter…

Read more

TWT’s Solomon Wins FBDC Truthiness Award

If “John Solomon Sour Grapes Syndrome” were in the DSM as a psychological disorder, it might be described like this: The affliction occurs when you try to bullshit or smear a reporter so much that you no longer grasp fact from fiction.

John Solomon, the newly reinstalled executive at The Washington Times who left his editorial post in 2009, is plotting an award for yours truly — something along the lines of Poor Journalism Award. “The moron thinks this is very clever without realizing it makes TWT look adolescent,” said a TWT insider familiar with Solomon’s plot to smear FBDC. Solomon, now Chief Digital Officer, was recently discussing the matter with a couple of overpaid suits and apparently has a piece written about my alleged mistakes in reporting on TWT as of late, stories that included writeups on executives monitoring employee phone calls and bulking up security as impending layoffs loomed. So we thought we’d get out in front of him and give him an award first, because he’s that special.

Today we officially bestow on Solomon the FBDC Truthiness Award, given to the Washington, D.C. journalist who has a loose and goofy grasp on the truth.

For example, for months before he was reappointed, Solomon told friends in the industry that he wasn’t coming back to TWT, had no interest in going back to TWT, had too many of his own projects cooking to get involved in “the mess here” and that he was only doing a couple projects for TWT Chairman Tom McDevitt because TWT owed him a lot of money. But once that was paid, he would happily move on and be gone. Oh, really, John? Guess that yarn worked to keep interested parties off your trail for a little until the ink was dry on your new employment agreement.

After we reported on Dec. 17 that Solomon was reviewing all departments to help determine which TWT staffers would be among those given pink slips, he reached out wanting to talk. No matter that none of the executives at TWT have agreed to speak with me for any of my stories, despite reaching out to them repeatedly on basic and more intricate facts, the detail on Solomon was minor. It was, nonetheless, triple-sourced.

On Dec. 19, 2012, Solomon wrote by email, “John Solomon here. Is there a good number and time to reach you at?” We flinched at the poor grammar of a former TWT Executive Editor-turned consultant, but returned his email. On Dec. 20, I wrote, “Got your note. I’m a bit swamped today. But yes, of course, can chat with you after 2. Why don’t you give me your number so I can call you when I’m off deadline?”

After 2 p.m. we had that conversation… Read more

Incest Desk: TWT Publishes D.C. Guardian Story on, Ironically, Reckless Spending

Now that John Solomon is back in command at The Washington Times as head of the digital operation, things are going to be run a little bit differently. For instance, on today’s TWT homepage the lead story could also be a story found on Solomon’s investigative journalism site, The Washington Guardian.

Today TWT has posted a story headlined, “Pentagon Sponsors Parade Float, football games, while facing budget cuts.” The story says it’s by Phillip Swarts and then the clincher, where he works: Washington Guardian. Sure, we get what they’re saying about the Pentagon spending their money like drunken sailors. Kind of of like TWT hiring a bunch of bloated suits and simultaneously laying off 25 employees.

While TWT has published Washington Guardian stories before, including on Page 1, stories by Guardian reporters tend to make garden variety TWTers nervous… Read more

TWT Head Honchos Struggle to Catch Leakers

Well, this is awkward.

The Washington Times management is putting thumb screws to the staff to get them to rat out the leakers to FishbowlDC. On the table for consideration: calling each staffer in one by one to ask if they have any knowledge of the leaking. As we already know, Chairman Tom McDevitt has been keeping staffers’ phone records under surveillance to see what calls are coming in and going out.

TWT‘s neverending bastion of bloated suits has, so far, refused to speak to FBDC for any of our coverage. One executive reached out but refused to speak on the record — that was more a lecturing kind of phone call. A teachable moment, some might say. “Don’t you just love a media company that has an absolutely strict policy against ever talking to the press ever?” asked a TWT insider.

The past few weeks has seen a rise in stories concerning The Washington Times as some 25 people were laid off on Friday. Last month, Executive Editor David Jackson warned that a restructuring was coming, but he left out key details — such as when and who. So staffers had to endure the holidays agonizing over whether they’d even have a job come the new year. To recap: Three days later, on Monday, TWT threw staff a newsroom party — oh boy! — and fed them sugary snacks (cookies, cakes and pies) to help ease the pain of an unstable newsroom filled with uncertainty. We’re told some remained at their desks out of loyalty to the departed. At the gabfest, they formally announced that John Solomon, the editor that left under angry circumstances in 2009, was returning full-time in addition to a plate-thrower named Ian Bishop (a real journalist with a favorable rep who comes to them by way of the New York Daily News.) Both men are assuming digital roles.

Here’s where things get strange….At the party, CEO Larry Beasley (a.k.a. “Evil Santa”), who drove up from Florida in his honking motorhome to take the job, joked that someone should… Read more

It’s Official: John Solomon Returns to TWT in Digital Role With Ian Bishop as Deputy

This just in…

As we hinted at earlier this morning, TWT has created two new digital positions: Chief Digital Officer and Digital Editor. Those positions will be held by former TWTer and currently a TWT consultant, John Solomon, and Ian Bishop, formerly of the New York Daily News.

As the release states, Solomon was formerly Executive Editor through 2009. But what they don’t say is as important as what they do, such as that he was pushed to resign, and let’s just say it wasn’t so he could spend more time with his family.

Nonetheless, a cheery quote from COO John Martin on his return. “John is a leading media innovator for creating new digital channels to expand the delivery of content and marketing communication. We are fortunate to have him back at The Times to focus on developing new products, new revenue streams, and new partnerships,” said Martin in a release.

In turn, Bishop will be Digital Editor. And in other surprising news, Editor Emeritus Wes Pruden, Editor-in-Chief until 2007, will be returning to oversee a restructuring of the editorial page and Commentary section. He will continue to write his twice-weekly column.

President and CEO Larry Beasley (a.k.a. “Evil Santa”) weighed in on Pruden. “Our readers know Wes for his witty political commentary, but he also has a keen sense of how to lift The Washington Times’ opinion pages to a higher level to provide intellectual leadership on such issues as free enterprise, strong defense, and traditional American values,” said Beasley in the release.

Of course, Beasley never mentions the dirty little secrets behind the real reasons why Pruden was allegedly forced into retirement. They involved allegations of racism and sexism in the organization under his management. For instance, Pruden once wrote in a TWT opinion piece that… Read more

TWT Calls Big Meeting at 2 p.m.

Nothing says we’re not firing you like a piece of pie. In an overly cheery email to staffers, TWT COO John Martin announced that there will be a 2p.m. meeting Monday on the newsroom floor. This meeting comes on the heels of Friday’s death march in which approximately 25 newsroom staffers were called into the auditorium and told that they were being laid off.

There will be cookies and cakes and pies, hurray. “These losers running the show really think desserts will help morale on a sinking ship that just saw a huge number of their colleagues thrown overboard,” a TWT insider told FishbowlDC.

The guess is that the big news will be the resurrection of John Solomon at the publication. When he was executive editor, Solomon liked to call all-staff meetings on the news floor and he’d stand on a desk and bellow out announcements with great histrionics.

Or perhaps the joy and celebratory note is that presumably everyone invited to Monday’s meeting will be keeping their jobs.

See the email from Martin… Read more