Over the last 20 years, I’ve worked as a senior editor and columnist at the Intercept, the Huffington Post and the Washington Post with a consistent focus on holding power accountable in Washington – which often includes exposing the credulous groupthink of the elite Washington media.
After serving as a senior producer, then Metro Editor, then Editor of the Washington Post web site, I spent six years writing the daily “White House Watch” column for the Post, giving voice to a critique of George W. Bush and his imperial presidency that a supine press corps largely chose to ignore. My final column, “White House Watched,” sums that up pretty well.
At the Huffington Post, I served as Washington bureau chief and senior writer. I wrote about ways the Obama administration was failing to live up to its promise and was continuing the Bush executive-power grab. And I scolded the media for turning a blind eye to the GOP’s crazy rightward lurch.
See, for instance:
- The Idealists
- The Dark Side Of The Obama White House
- Rahm Emanuel: Obama’s Chief of Sabotage
- How the Mainstream Press Bungled the Single Biggest Story of the 2012 Campaign
Throughout that period, I also wrote for NiemanWatchdog.org, a journalism watchdog website, and Nieman Reports, both out of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard:
- How the press can prevent another Iraq
- A refresher on how the press failed the people
- The Big Chill: The Obama administration is operating amid unprecedented secrecy—while attacking journalists trying to tell the public what they need to know
Then I helped Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill establish The Intercept, where I wrote and served as Washington Editor:
- The Computers Are Listening
- Henry Kissinger’s War Crimes Are Central to the Divide Between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders
- Welcome to the United States of Emergency
Before relaunching White House Watch, I free-lanced a bit:
- Trump’s World of Luxury Real Estate Is Fueled By Money-Laundering
- Mueller’s Big Reveal Is Coming, and it Could Be Huge
- Congress Should Be Concerned That Brett Kavanaugh Wants to Further Restrict Its Power
- How the Los Angeles Times could beat the New York Times in Washington: By covering politics with a View From California instead of Nowhere
I began my career as a daily newspaper reporter in 1986, covering local news for the Winston-Salem Journal, then the Miami Herald, and then the Orange County Register. In 1995, I was awarded a Michigan Journalism Fellowship (now the Knight-Wallace Fellowship). My first web journalism job was as Editor of New Media for Education Week.
I grew up in Washington, D.C., and went to Yale where I worked at the Yale Daily News. I’ve taught online journalism at the Poynter Institute and the American University Graduate School of Communication.
A Formative Moment
The response from readers and colleagues when Post editors fired me and killed the “White House Watch” column in June 2009 was overwhelming and tremendously gratifying.
Thousands of amazing comments were posted by readers after the Post’s then-ombudsman broke the news — “nearly all of them expressing outrage,”
as he put it. My announcement and my final column also prompted strong reader response. (The reaction was reminiscent of December 2005, when then-Post ombudsman Deborah Howell wrote that I was too opinionated. My response and an explanation from then-political editor John Harris elicited nearly 2,000 expressions of support from readers.)
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called me “someone who was right when the serious people were wrong.” Glenn Greenwald, then a columnist at Salon, wrote “Froomkin is everything that a political journalist is supposed to be – and everything that most of them are not.”
Steve Benen, then at the Washington Monthly, wrote that “Froomkin was one of the media’s most important critics of the Bush White House, and conservative bashing notwithstanding, was poised to be just as valuable holding the Obama White House accountable for its decisions.” The Atlantic’s James Fallows called the Post’s decision “insane.”
Charles Kaiser, then with the Sidney Hillman Foundation, wrote “Froomkin is a superb reporter, who consistently covers stories that his own newspaper–and the rest of the national press–routinely ignore.” And Andrew Sullivan, then at the Atlantic, wrote that “Froomkin has been a hero in exposing the torture regime of Bush and Cheney” and “had the feel of someone saying what he believed, without wondering what others thought. This violates Beltway convention.”
I’ve done lots of interesting things since leaving White House Watch, but I don’t think any connected with readers in the same way. Every day when I sat down to write, I felt a sense of mission. Is it any wonder, now that Trump is president, we’re living through a dystopian nightmare, and the need for clarity and sustained outrage is greater than ever before, that I feel compelled to try it again?