The Hill SO SORRY For Putting John Solomon’s Ukraine Lies In Wrong Section Of Newspaper, We Good?
HOORAY! HOORAY! The Hill's review of its disgraced hack "opinion columnist" John Solomon is here! Hooray! After three months of soul-searching about Solomon's fruitful collaboration into investigating the Bidens with Rudy Giuliani, Devin Nunes's guy, the chucklefucks, and the firm of Hairball and Hairball, Esquires to the Stars and Also John Solomon; and into how much Solomon lied about working with Giuliani; and into how much Solomon didn't disclose citing his own attorneys and misdirected his editors on who exactly Lev Parnas was; and into his "smear campaign" of Marie Yovanovitch on Rudy Giuliani's, the chucklefucks', the hairballs', the corrupt prosecutors', and Ukrainian billionaire Dmytro Firtash's behalf, the Hill has a very solemn promise to make.
It will try really hard in future not to blur the line between "news" and "opinion," which was obviously their only problem.
So, we good?
First, the Hill spends many thousands of words ruing the fact that John Solomon acted like a "news" writer instead of an "opinion" writer, since his bosses gave him a fancy new title in 2018 after all his new Hill coworkers were like, "Seriously this is some bullshit!"
Here is a January 2018 Erik Wemple column citing all Solomon's wack rightwing reporting — you know, as of then. There was Uranium One, some debunked Lisa Page and Peter Strzok lovers' texts that will never ever ever be actually debunked because facts don't matter, some other shit, all bringing shame and ignominy upon their august journal. Luckily they had all the clicks in the world with which to soothe their troubled consciences, since Solomon's shit got RT'd by Trump and Hannity on the regular.
Somehow, changing the label on his work to "opinion" instead of "news" in May 2018 was supposed to kosher it all up. Which is a weird pivot, one I haven't heard in (math!) 29 years of news and opinion writing: If we put him in the "opinion" section, he can collude with Giuliani and Nunes's boy?
BUT, BUT, BUT! argues the Hill, after the gazillion-word 'splainer on how disinformation is totes cool if you call it "opinion," it turns out Solomon lied to his own editors, too, while carrying water for a lot of different yet dovetailing agendas, from corrupt prosecutors who wanted to get rid of the American ambassador to Ukraine to his own lawyers who were also the lawyers for a Ukrainian oligarch who wanted to get right with the DOJ by offering up Joe Biden on a silver salver. A lot :(
Let's do some blockquote bullet points, all copy-and-pasted from the Hill! (We added the bullet points though, because otherwise it's a lot of John Solomon's lies to keep straight.)
- In certain columns, Solomon failed to identify important details about key Ukrainian sources, including the fact that they had been indicted or were under investigation. In other cases, the sources were his own attorneys.
- Giuliani has indicated he was a key source of information for Solomon on Ukraine, telling The New York Times in November 2019 that he turned over information about the Bidens earlier in the year to Solomon. "I really turned my stuff over to John Solomon," Giuliani said. The former New York City mayor later told The New Yorker he encouraged Solomon to highlight information on the Bidens and Yovanovitch, stating, "I said, 'John, let's make this as prominent as possible,' " adding, "'I'll go on TV. You go on TV. You do columns.' "
- Solomon has said the notion of Giuliani being a principal source for his Ukraine columns is a "bogus narrative." In November 2019, Solomon said Giuliani was "never an on-the-record, off-the-record or on-background source for any of those stories."
- Since the publication of Solomon's columns, Parnas delivered Ukraine-related communications to Congress that show repeated contact among Parnas, Giuliani, Solomon, and Victoria Toensing of the Washington law firm of diGenova & Toensing, among others.
- In one exchange released by the House Intelligence Committee, an aide to House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who frequently brings up alleged Ukrainian election interference, asks Parnas, "Any documents for us or are you going to keep working through Solomon?"
- Solomon has denied any coordinated effort with Giuliani, Parnas or others, insisting that he was merely dealing with those individuals in the course of reporting for his columns, and he has called Parnas a "facilitator" who helped him in setting up interviews with Ukrainian officials, including Lutsenko and Shokin.
- Joseph diGenova and Toensing are attorneys who have long represented Solomon. In an article that ran in October 2019, diGenova stated that Solomon has been a client of his firm "for a very long time." Aside from Solomon, diGenova and Toensing had other clients with interest in Ukraine. According to Bloomberg, diGenova and Toensing were paid $1 million by a Ukrainian oligarch, Dmitry Firtash, to find negative information on the Bidens. Firtash is fighting extradition to the U.S. on conspiracy charges, and the effort was designed to help win Giuliani's help in the case, Bloomberg reported. They have also met with Lutsenko, according to The New York Times.
- In his Sept. 26 column, Solomon links to a Sept. 4, 2019, affidavit by Shokin that was made at the request of lawyers representing Firtash. According to media reports, diGenova and Toensing represented Firtash at that time. Solomon also wrote about "Firtash's U.S. legal team" in a July 22, 2019, column and links back to that column in an Aug. 7, 2019, column. According to a July 2019 press account, Firtash cut ties with his prior counsel on July 20 and decided to be represented by diGenova and Toensing. Solomon did not disclose that diGenova and Toensing represented him at the time of this column. In addition, Solomon wrote several news articles for The Hill in 2017 that quoted Toensing but did not disclose that she was his attorney. Toensing and diGenova also appeared on Hill.TV at the time that Solomon was both their client and running the show.
- In November 2019, Solomon said that diGenova and Toensing were his longtime lawyers during an appearance on Fox News. 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 and then said he would look into it and that if he did write about her, he should disclose the relationship.
- In October 2019, Parnas and an associate were arrested on an indictment charging federal campaign finance violations. Parnas and the associate allegedly donated money to the 2018 campaign of then-U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), whose letter accusing Yovanovitch of being disloyal to Trump was cited in a Solomon column. Following his arrest, Parnas told various media that he met repeatedly with figures involved in the Ukraine investigation, including Solomon. The Hill has reached out to Parnas's legal counsel but has not received a response.
I bet we could get Joseph Bondy on the phone for you in like five minutes, The Hill. That guy LOVES EARNED MEDIA!!!! He could probably tell you what Solomon liked to order at all those breakfast and lunch meetings with Rudy, Vicky, Joe, Lev, Igor, and sometimes Devin's pal Derek in the back room of the Trump hotel in DC where they plotted their campaign to use your very serious media outlet to help Donald Trump get re-elected by baselessly smearing his opponent. That is, unless your exhaustive review is complete and you've put this whole unpleasant episode behind you already.
In conclusion, the Hill promises to "examine" putting its ethics guidelines in a binder, as opposed to writing them in invisible ink on the wall of the mens room, we guess. And they pinky swear to tell the cable nets when they've labeled someone a "journalist" instead of an "opinion writer." That way, the public will know who has a special license to spread debunked bullshit, and who is a bigboy journalist what has a responsibility to tell the truth. Which is not a definition of "opinion writer" I've ever heard. I thought it just meant we were allowed to call people pigfucks. The more you know!
Mr. Solomon now works at Fox News, the end.
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