Ex-Mediaite reporter Tommy Christopher‘s mug is going to be surfacing more and more around This Town in the coming weeks. But the question remains: Can this White House correspondent figure out uptight suited up Washington attire?
As was reported yesterday just after the ass crack of dawn, Christopher has been hired on by the liberal startup The Daily Banter. And yesterday, on his first official day on the new job, he made a quick run to the White House, at which point he tweeted a picture of his thighs draped in denim. Not the usual White House reportorial attire, but he just may give President Obama‘s mom jeans a run for their money.
— Tommy Christopher (@tommyxtopher) March 31, 2014
As Tommy explained to The Mirror, “The jeans are just part of an epically bad first day for me. It’s a 3 and a half hour drive from Jersey, so I usually wear comfortable clothes, then change into a suit when I get here. But I was running late, so I only had time to get the top half of my suit on. They frown on changing your pants in the 7-Eleven parking lot.”
He was also in a bind about a computer: “I noticed I’d come all the way here without my laptop or video camera. Luckily, I have great friends in this town, and quickly secured a loaner.”
On The Daily Banter site, founder Ben Cohn candidly explains why they hired him. “To say this is big news for the Banter would be a gross understatement,” he wrote. “It’s huge. Tommy’s body of work speaks for itself. While he was the top draw at Mediaite (by a considerable margin) the long time White House correspondent is a no-nonsense, rabble-rouser with the rare ability to write hard-hitting stories in a compelling way and that’s why we hired him.”
They point to a quote on Tommy’s personal website that might give you a sense of what’s to come. “Dont’ be a fuck. I get to be a because because it’s my blog. If you want to be a fuck, do it on your own blog. That’s what the First Amendment is for.” Writes Cohn, “Now Tommy is going to be a fuck on our blog. And we’re damn excited about it.”
Asked about the editorial freedom of his new gig, Tommy stressed the “extraordinary freedom” he had at Mediaite. But the chains are now officially off. He told Politico that he did not enjoy “complete freedom” at Mediaite.
“I expect I’ll be writing on a similar mix as I did at Mediaite, but with more emphasis on politics and policy, less on media,” he said in an email. “I’ll also be in DC more frequently than I have been, which will give me the chance to do more reporting. To be clear, I had extraordinary freedom at Mediaite, relatively speaking, which is one of the reasons I stayed there as long as I did. It’s very important to me. That was probably the deciding factor for me to go with The Daily Banter, because the site will offer me even greater freedom.”
Christopher, who will be in town all week, is expected to meet up with his new colleagues for drinks Wednesday night.