A plant worker checks an elution tank where uranium is stripped from the resin beads that transported it Sept. 7, 2011, at the Uranium One Irigary Plant. (AP Photo/Joshua A. Bickel – Star-Tribune File)
Media critic

Bob Cusack, editor-in-chief of The Hill, wrote on Monday that John Solomon is a new “opinion contributor” for the Capitol Hill publication. “[E]ffective immediately when he writes for us, it will be as an opinion contributor,” noted Cusack in an email to colleagues.

In the past, Solomon has worked on news/investigative pieces for The Hill’s site — frequently collaborating with Alison Spann — on the Clinton Foundation, the Russia investigation and adjacent topics. Colleagues at The Hill complained to management over Solomon stories that they thought lacked context and rigor. A Jan. 8 piece about alleged news leaks to the media, meanwhile, fetched a meticulous dismemberment at the hands of the Huffington Post. And as this blog has argued, the October 2017 Solomon-Spann collaboration on the Uranium One-Clinton Foundation nexus was a rickety, flimsy mess of innuendo and insufficient connections.

Top officials at The Hill — Cusack and Chairman James A. Finkelstein — didn’t respond to a question about how Solomon’s role might be changing. Solomon himself, however, issued this statement:

I requested to make this change because for the longest time I have wanted to write a column on accountability issues in Washington, much in the spirit of the late columnist Jack Anderson. After 32 years in the business of breaking news at AP, Washington Post, Newsweek, Washington Times, Circa and the Hill, I’ve craved the opportunity to spend more time helping people understand the underlying issues uncovered by accountability journalism.

The column format affords me the chance to bring analysis to the table under a wonderfully neutral brand like The Hill. Bob was kind enough to oblige. That said, this is not some sort of coming out party where I suddenly develop a liberal or conservative opinion. Rather, it is designed to allow me to analyze the facts my reporting has uncovered and help readers try to understand the complexities of Washington’s accountability issues. As I have been my whole career, I will continue to be an equal opportunist in looking at all sides of the issues and talking to both sides of the political aisle.

Asked whether he’d continue to write investigative pieces, Solomon replied: “Stay tuned.”

Solomon will remain executive vice president of digital video, an area of some activity at The Hill. This week, staffers will tour The Hill’s new TV studio, a place that’ll be populated by what Solomon terms an “all-star production team” as well as anchors Krystal Ball, Buck Sexton, Jamal Simmons, Joe Concha and Monica Crowley. Already an opinion contributor to The Hill’s website, Crowley was busted for plagiarizing parts of her PhD dissertation when she was under consideration to work on Trump’s National Security Council. The memo from The Hill announcing new hires casts Crowley as follows: “Monica is one of America’s most influential [conservative thought] leaders whose career started as an adviser to Richard Nixon in the early 1990’s and grew to some of the largest media platforms on television. Over the past decade and a half, Monica was a regular with Fox News and MSNBC as well as a columnist for The Hill, The New York Post, The Washington Times and NPR. She also authored the post-2016 election book, ‘What the (Bleep) Just Happened?'”