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 Slate political reporter. 

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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 Slate political reporter. 

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