The Misadventures of Ginni Thomas, Action Journalist

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 22 2011 10:38 AM

The Misadventures of Ginni Thomas, Action Journalist

Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has joined The Daily Caller . She will be, according to publisher Neil Patel, "a special correspondent to interview both established and emerging leaders about the serious questions facing our country." And she joins with a jab at the media:

It is a privilege to join such a fast-growing platform with a capable, fun-loving team who are filling a niche that the dinosaur media has underserved.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

Advertisement

The media has failed to print interviews with "established and emerging leaders"? If she says so. There haven't been many media interviews with Thomas, but that's because she prefers to ignore requests then snipe from some safe vantage point about how unfair they are to her. Her last public interaction with the Caller was a December 2010 interview in which she claimed she was staying with her nebulous Tea Party group Liberty Central, right before she left it to start a consulting firm. Spin a media outlet; get a job with the media outlet. That's good work.

This is, by my count, the third job for Thomas since she emerged as a would-be Tea Party activist.

January 2010: Thomas launches Liberty Central, Inc., with seed money from a few anonymous donors.

March 2010: After a soft launch that didn't draw much scrutiny, Thomas wins the attention of the Los Angeles Times , which gets the first of many legal pundits and law professors to jaw about the ethical problems that come when the spouse of a Supreme Court justice enters politics.

October 2010: Thomas calls Anita Hill , the woman who accused her husband of sexual harassment during his nomination hearings, and asks if she'd apologize.

November 2010: The Washington Post reports that Thomas will leave Liberty Central as Gary Aldrich steps in to the organization. The organization pushes back on the report, but it's true.

December 2010: Thomas pushes back on the Post report with an interview in The Daily Caller . Reporter Alex Pappas (who's moved on to the Examiner ) gets a rare interview with Thomas (and Aldrich), in which she explains that she's not quitting.

Thomas now says the story was "premature" and "inaccurate," because no deal had been inked yet, and the story seemed to suggest she was cutting ties with the group all together.

Thomas elaborated: "They had me gone from Liberty Central. So to paraphrase Mark Twain, news of my demise has been greatly exaggerated."

February 2011: It turns out that Thomas did leave Liberty Central to start Liberty Consulting , a lobbying firm (although not registered as such) that promises to connect the Tea Party to Congress.

Liberty Consulting offers advice for short or long term projects and bringing resources to bear for impact — whether it includes a short term bill-reading project, assistance on congressional oversight efforts or an effective coalition for impact. Additionally, Liberty Consulting offers advice on optimizing political investments for charitable giving in the non-profit world or political causes. 

March 22, 2011: Thomas joins the Caller; Liberty Consulting's web site is inactive. There is no evidence that Liberty Consulting actually did work for any clients.

I'll leave it to someone else to muse about the media ethics on display here. I don't see any problem with, say, the Caller reporting stories about the Supreme Court while Thomas is on staff. Her husband's on the court; she isn't. I'm just amazed that conservatives are willing to keep on doling out welfare for Thomas to do... whatever it is she says she's doing at this point.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
History
Sept. 29 2014 11:45 PM The Self-Made Man The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 30 2014 6:00 AM Drive-By Bounty Prudie advises a woman whose boyfriend demands she flash truckers on the highway.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:36 AM Almost Humane What sci-fi can teach us about our treatment of prisoners of war.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath The Methane Lakes of Titan?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.