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John Solomon

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  • Howard Kurtz incorrectly corrects reader

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Howard Kurtz, the nation's most prominent media critic, rebukes a reader for being "a little outdated" in mentioning the Washington Times' tendency to use scare-quotes when writing about gay marriage:

    re: "The Times says it will still do straight journalism": Does the Washington Times still put quotes around the word "marriage" when referring to legally binding marriages between members of the same sex? Because, if so, it never practiced "straight journalism."

    Howard Kurtz: You're a little outdated. When John Solomon was editor, he banned some of those loaded phrases, such as homosexual marriage instead of gay marriage. Of course, he quit during the big management shakeup six weeks ago, and no replacement has been named. The managing editors, including Jeff Birnbaum, who like Solomon came from The Post, have also stepped down. So it remains to be seen who will be leading the paper.

    But Howard Kurtz, the nation's most prominent media critic, is the one who is a little out-dated. Despite Solomon's edict, the Times has continued to use scare quotes, as Media Matters has documented.

  • So, I guess TheProgressives.com isn't going to happen?

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    TPM reported a few days ago that the Washington Times has pulled the plug on TheConservatives.com, the right-wing paper's laughably redundant effort to highlight conservative opinion:

    Brian Faughnan, editor of the site, tells us the Times has officially canceled the project.

    The site, rolled out in September, is no longer loading. Its Facebook page stopped updating the morning of Dec 23, as did the site's Twitter feed ("House Blue Dog: We'll Cave on Health Care, Too #tcot #right").

    Amid the disintegration of the conservative daily paper, Times management said in a Dec. 2 press release that TheConservatives.com would actually be an area of focus and growth as part of a new online strategy. But the site was conspicuously absent from a news release yesterday on the latest staff departures and the Times' future.

    When the Times launched TheConservatives.com back in September, it seemed to undermine claims -- by Howard Kurtz, among others -- that the paper had become more "balanced" since John Solomon took over. For his part, Solomon insisted that the Times was considering following up with a similar site for progressives.

    I didn't buy it:

    Oh, they're being "considered"? That's just super.

    If I was trying overcome my newspaper's well-established history of acting as little more than a mouthpiece for the conservative movement, I probably wouldn't start by launching a web site called TheConservatives.com and promising that later, some day, if there's time, we'll think about adding a site for progressives.

    Neither did Eric Boehlert:

    Just give the WashTimes a few more weeks and they'll launch its new hub of the progressive movement, TheLiberals.com. And no doubt it will be a joint venture with Center for American Progress, right? It will be the awesome-est tool ever to reinvent the left, right?

    Well, actually that kind of site is merely being considered, if you want to get technical about it. But no doubt the Rev. Moon, the self-proclaimed sun of God and WashTimes owner, wants badly to become a major player in the progressive world.

    Right?

    Still, a month later, Solomon insisted that launch of TheProgressives.com was imminent, though the paper apparently didn't own the domain name:

    "There'll be a site called www.TheProgressives.com as well," said Solomon. "We'll have it up and running in 2-3 weeks."

    According to the domain registration directory WhoIs.com, the domain name was purchased by Domain Asset Holdings of Maryland on January 25, and it is up for sale. TheConservatives.com is owned by The Washington Times. Solomon did not answer a follow-up e-mail about the new site.

    But TheProgressives.com never did launch, shocking exactly nobody.

    The lesson in all of this is not a new one, but it is worth repeating: When right-wing news organizations like The Washington Times insist that they care about balance, they're lying.

  • TPM: Washington Times editor-in-chief Solomon resigns

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From a November 12 TPM Media post:

    Here's the one-line statement that Don Meyer, a spokesman for the Washington Times and a partner at Rubin Meyer Communications, emailed TPM moments ago.

    Effective November 6, 2009, John Solomon has resigned his position as the Executive Editor of The Washington Times.

    When the PR firm issued the release, TPM phoned top newsroom staffers -- who weren't aware of the resignation.

  • Thank goodness Howard Kurtz is on the job

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz, Monday:

    Howard Kurtz: The Washington Times is far more balanced since John Solomon took over last year. (Solomon came from The Post, as did its new White House correspondent, Matthew Mosk, and a top editor, Jeff Birnbaum.) In its previous two decades, the Times front-page often resembled a right-wing bulletin board, and its previous editor told me he regarded it as a conservative newspaper.

    The Washington Times, today:

    The Washington Times has launched TheConservatives.com, a Web site with technology that allows activists to talk up to ideological and party leaders and interact in innovative ways.

    TheConservatives.com - a joint online media venture from The Washington Times and the Heritage Foundation - is a tool to "reinvent the right" and help move the public discourse.

    "TheConservatives.com creates a cutting-edge new marriage between the social publishing world of bloggers and the social networking world of Twitter, YouTube and the like," said John Solomon, executive editor and vice president for content of The Times. "Most opinion sites today enable thought-leaders to talk down to the masses, but TheConservatives.com empowers users to change the direction of that dialogue, allowing the Joe the Plumbers of the world to speak up to major thinkers, like Newt Gingrich."

    UPDATE: I should have included this, from the Washington Times article: "Mr. Solomon said similar Web sites that would appeal to progressive and moderate online readers are being considered."

    Oh, they're being "considered"? That's just super.

    If I was trying overcome my newspaper's well-established history of acting as little more than a mouthpiece for the conservative movement, I probably wouldn't start by launching a web site called TheConservatives.com and promising that later, some day, if there's time, we'll think about adding a site for progressives.

  • Well, we know where the Washington Times stands on Sotomayor

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Look what just arrived in my email inbox (click to enlarge):

    And down at the bottom:

    So much for John Solomon's promise that the Washington Times would not waver from a "neutral, civil voice":

    That means producing original reporting on government and political accountability, national security, politics, culture, faith, technology, family, international affairs and other issues of keen interest to our readership without wavering from a neutral, civil voice. All of our journalism will seek to be fair, balanced, accurate and precise.

  • Wash. Post's Solomon ignored Planned Parenthood support for Obama's abortion votes

    ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

    In an article on "what you might not know about" Sen. Barack Obama, The Washington Post's John Solomon wrote that, as a state senator, Obama "declined to take a position" on parental notification legislation, "voting 'present' instead of 'yes' or 'no.' " Solomon continued: "But five years earlier, he had filled out an issues questionnaire ... opposing such notifications." But Obama's "present" votes were reportedly part of a strategy he had worked out with the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council, which opposed the measures.

  • Wash. Post's Solomon ignored facts in reporting distribution of Obama's Hopefund contributions

    ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

    In claiming that Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign "helped recommend several of the donations his political action committee made in recent months to politicians in key primary states," The Washington Post's John Solomon wrote that "nearly three-quarters of the money the PAC has given out since this summer" was given to candidates in "states with primary dates through mid-February." Solomon failed to note that most states -- 31 of 50 -- plus the District of Columbia will hold their Democratic presidential primaries or caucuses on or before February 12. Further, the former Federal Election Commission chief counsel whom Solomon depicted as questioning the legality of Obama's PAC contributions has since said his quote was taken "out of context."

  • Wash. Post's Solomon blamed editor for deletion about GOP fundraiser

    ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    During a washingtonpost.com discussion, when John Solomon was asked why a recent article he co-wrote on fundraisers did not mention Alan B. Fabian -- Mitt Romney's recently indicted former national finance co-chairman -- he did not mention Fabian but claimed that the article included a passage on Robert Lichfield, another Romney fundraiser facing several lawsuits, but that "it was edited out," adding that this "sometimes happens ... to make room for late-breaking news."