Meet our award-winning Executive Editor
Mike Killbreath is a veteran newspaper man who began hosting a radio show in 2009. He currently serves as Executive Editor at The Daily Gazette while hosting "The Morning Gazette Radio Show" on the local radio air waves live every weekday morning from 8 am until 9 am. He will be seen soon on more than 180,000 TV screens and via the digital signal at myCCN.TV with "The Morning Gazette TV Edition" that will air during the hour before taking your calls on the radio show. Mike's background includes winning awards at the state and national levels for investigative reporting, local columns, feature writing, sports writing and sports columns. He has also served as President at the Flint Area Chamber of Commerce since 2011 and has served on its Executive Board since mid-2010.
May 12, 2017
The Daily Gazette
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Posted May 12, 2017
Flint Journal not covering up old columnist's big news arrest; As our old friend Pat Clawson said: 'If it's news, it's news to them!'
Last night's DVR style TV viewing with my wife included watching Wednesday's latest episode of Law & Order SUV, and the show ended with a guilty verdict on a hypnotherapist accused of sexually assaulting a patient.
Another hynotherapist somewhere in America must have inspired the show that must have been a nightmare to watch for our suddenly locally famous hypnotherapist. A jury will need to decide if John Tomlinson is guilty of all the bizarre stuff Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton is accusing the local hynotherapist of doing to women clients. More have now come forward with similar sexual assault allegations since the original arrest on April 17, according to a detective in Grand Blanc Township.
These women went to Tomlinson to try hynotherapy to quit smoking or to lose weight, but now claim he used his magic trance stuff to take advantage of them in sexual ways. It's one of the most bizarre cases I've encountered in all my 40-plus years as a journalist, which begs the question on why the Flint Journal hasn't mentioned that Tomlinson was once one of their featured columnists.
Why is Justin Ryan identified as the former TV 2 weather man when accused of sick stuff, yet nobody in the local Flint area media is identifying Tomlinson as a former Flint Journal columnist when reporting the allegations against him.
Ryan hasn't been on Detroit TV since 2009 when moving to Connecticut where he changed his address again last week. This time, he's hanging out at a state prison there for the next three years or so. His weather man job on a New Haven TV station came to an end when Ryan pleaded guilty to second degree possession of child pornography last week to avoid a jury trial on more serious felony charges.
Besides learning what a sicko Ryan was, there's more we didn't know about him. It turns out his real name is Justin Goldstein. Maybe lucky for him, the confusion means prisoners probably won't be pestering Justin for weather forecasts during his vacation from going into people's living rooms. How icky everybody now feels for ever watching this pervert.
We're not sure yet if the old Flint Journal columnist has a secret name, too.
He checked in under his real name over at Sheriff Bob's Hotel, but Sheriff Pickell has told me these pervert types do use the fake names. He claimed to me a few years ago that one current staff writer at the Flint Journal was investigated by ICE agents from Texas, who linked a computer with his ISP number to a phony name e-mail address used to try setting up encounters with under-aged kids. Sheriff Pickell even went on record to say this character often parked near a schoolyard to watch children play during recess, under the pretense of delivering lunch to his wife.
Before the flood of texts arrives, be assured I'm not revealing who the reporter was because he was never charged with anything. The case ended, according to Sheriff Pickell, when the suspect's lawyer refused to let local deputies take a home computer his wife invited them to pick up for testing.
Just to repeat my old public service warning at the time here, my strong suggestion is to use caution if some guy from the Journal wants to interview your young boy for anything. Maybe it wasn't true, but one must wonder when it came out of the mouth of our county's top law enforcement official. Since no charges were ever filed, it would be unfair to name him although I think that's a stunt some reporters would probably try if it was a similar tale from the sheriff about someone who worked for me.
Trust me on this one.
If my former janitor or lawn maintenance guy got arrested for using hynotherapy to try getting into the pants of ladies, you can rest assured Mike Killbreath and The Morning Gazette Radio Show would be identified as the sicko suspect's former employer.
But forgive the unjournalistic crew (I think I just made up that word, but I like it!) and all the inexperienced kids over at the Journal. I honestly don't think they're trying to hide anything about the embarrassment of once employing a man now accused of such sick criminal acts.
It's simply another case of exactly what my old friend Pat Clawson once said on my radio show about the crowd over at the Journal news room. "Hey, if it's news, it's news to us. The only time we get a big story around here is if we get up early enough to listen to Killbreath's show."
God bless his soul, The late Pat Clawson was an award-winning journalist. He once worked on the top-rated newscast in the St. Louis market, worked as an investigative reporter on the original CNN news team and was also once employed by NBC Radio News. His credentials made it a real compliment when Clawson often sung my praises at public meetings about all the big scoops revealed on my radio show.
Clawson once told a full room of business owners at a Flint Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon, "Hey, Killbreath's radio show probably has more listeners every morning than all the TV newscasts put together. What's funny is that they have news rooms full of reporters, yet Killbreath works with a few kids and regularly delivers most of the big breaking stories first around here. Shame on any of you who spend your advertising dollars with these greedy, profit-driven corporate media giants around here who have destroyed the state of journalism in our country. They've gutted news rooms here the same way it's being done everywhere across America. It makes me sick that the media is no longer providing a watchdog service over our tax dollars."
But back to the former Flint Journal columnist who deserved to have his old writing life mentioned in his old paper's current headlines. This bald-headed ugly guy is accused of using hypnotherapy to put women to sleep and then sexually assaulting them. That's what a Grand Blanc Township detective arrested him for and that's what Prosecutor Leyton says Tomlinson did to clients. News about one coming forward has led to many more, according to Detective Todd Gilbert who put the handcuffs on Tomlinson after hearing one tale about a woman who claims she awakened to find Tomlinson doing unspeakable things to her.
Prosecutor Leyton says the woman used a walker and was in a semi-conscience state when alleging she suddenly realized what Tomlinson was doing and fell off a table while starting to scream. She yelled for someone to call 911, according to Leyton. She and witnesses claim Tomlinson did an old fashioned "exit, stage left."
He wasn't around by the time police came to investigate. They eventually found him, obviously believed the victim with the walker and asked the prosecutor to bring charges.
The only possible response to hearing such a scenario is to simply say, "Wow."
I've never heard about any cases with a suspect accused of a fetish for a lady in a walker. But Mr. Leyton examined the evidence and now wants the 65-year-old former Flint Journal columnist behind bars for the rest of his life on felony counts that so far include first degree sexual conduct, unlawful imprisonment and assault by strangulation. The so far is thrown in there because Detective Gilbert says more victims are lining up to tell tales about the hypnotherapist's behavior.
It seems like big, big news to me. Maybe it's just me, but an old Flint Journal columnist seems more noteworthy than an old TV 2 weather man.
Justin Ryan has been living way out on the east coast for more than a decade, yet Tomlinson lives right here in Genesee County. His home is in Grand Blanc Township where his hypnotherapist office is also located.
Ryan worked way down in Detroit, yet Tomlinson was featured on Page 3 once every week for a long time in the Flint Journal.
In fact, the Flint Journal promoted the poop out of Tomlinson's conservative slant for many months when they first gave him prime real estate space within editions that included many more pages than today. It's my summation that they were trying at the time to offer balance to the liberal leaning gobbly-gook writings of columnist Andrew Heller. The Journal eventually quit publishing the work of both clowns.
It must be noted how Heller was better when he stuck to being a real clown. He started off being downright funny, at least from time to time. Then he decided to start writing about real issues, and he was too liberal and too far left for me. Not a single person I know could stand reading his stuff after the transition from clown to serious issues in the real world. He quit making me laugh.
Tomlinson's wacky writings never allowed most to get past a few paragraphs. He was way, way to the right and was so wacked that local conservatives told me he gave conservatives a bad name by pretending to represent their views. Reading Tomlinson's example of conservative leanings probably tilted many folks to believe Andrew Heller was the more sane of the two featured local columnists in the Journal's once pitiful lineup.
Some suggest the usually awful writings of Heller & Tomlinson helped drive the Flint Urinal into the toilet, spiraling into such a terrible state that our community has been left without a daily dose of news to hold in our hands any more. Down to print editions only four days per week and very few pages in any of them, maybe there just wasn't room to add "former Flint Journal columnist" to the stories about the accused sexual predator swinging a watch and asking women to look deeply into his eyes.
But remember, too, that we are talking about a newspaper that made national news when neglecting to tell its readers that two former felons were once running for Flint City Council in 2013.
A front page apology by the newspaper led my old buddy Pat Clawson to launch a national campaign of sorts to trumpet the downfall of journalism in our modern era. He appeared on my radio show on the same morning Eric Mays revealed the Flint Journal got it wrong again on their correction, saying, "Hey Killbreath, let everybody know I had two felony convictions, not one. They need to give me a retraction and give me my due here. I properly earned those felonies by acting a fool in my younger days. It was over a woman both times, so maybe people can forgive me on that. A good-looking woman can you make you crazy until you get a little older and learn how to deal with them."
We pointed out, too, that two other candidates had personal bankruptcy filings that the Flint Journal missed telling its readers about. They got elected with Mays and Wantwaz Davis who served 19 years in prison for murder before running. Davis now spends his nights at the Genesee County Jail after a plea bargain deal being struck following a drunken driving arrest.
In case you don't follow Flint politics, Davis claimed two black guys with guns were in a vehicle chasing him when he crashed into a guardrail in Flint Township. State Police troopers showed up to find him drunk, adamant about not taking a breathalyzer and bent on using his position as a city councilman to earn a "get out of jail free" card. Davis also tried to explain how he wan't drunk AFTER the blood test results came in to reveal he properly belonged in the jail cell that State Troopers led him to after the late night incident last fall.
Davis denied, denied, denied. State Police released some shocking dash cam video and a political career was over if anybody except his current opponent was on the ballot. He's opposed by a guy who rides around town on a bicycle pulling a cart that has a sign promising pot is the key to rebuilding our economy.
The video evidence prompted yours truly to go on the radio a few hours before his pre-trial and demand he stop wasting our tax dollars, man up and take his punishment. He promptly wrote a half illiterate apology to Mothers Against Drunk Driving after my suggestion that the MADD leaders needed to show up at his office and demand he resign if he didn't apologize and plead guilty.
The problem with pleading guilty, however, was that he didn't obey all the terms of bail set forth by Judge Goggins. it seems Councilman Davis smokes the wacky tobacky. His 19 years in prison must have caused a need for medical marijuana, and such a terrible need that he ignored the judge's orders to refrain from using drugs or alcohol.
Okay, and I must admit that I purposely decided to digress into a Wantwaz Davis tale to point out how our county's newspaper of record didn't see fit to support my call for Davis to resign. Isn't it exactly the kind of stand we expect of a newspaper that has our community's best interests at heart?
The editorial board over in Downtown Flint ignored how a black guy made up a story about two black guys chasing him with a gun on the highway. They ignored how he wasted tax dollars by making two State Troops deal with his drunken self, including taking time to get a blood test at a hospital. They ignored how he pressed on with his story on Facebook about how blood alcohol contents being over the legal level don't mean you're drunk.
Maybe he should have trashed the two black guys chasing him with a gun story, and instead used the old white guy hypnotherapy defense.
"It wasn't my fault! A guy out in Grand Blanc made me read one of Andy Heller's old columns," Davis could have spewed, adding: "Then he made me look into his watch, told me I was getting sleepy and pumped me full of alcohol. The next thing I knew, Killbreath's radio show was blaring at the jail and I heard about all the awful behavior I exhibited last night. Go arrest that old white guy in Grand Blanc!"
Now really think about it.
Is that story any more far fetched than the wild tale spun by Councilman Davis?
Mike Killbreath hosts The Morning Gazette Radio Show live weekdays from 8 am until 9 am on CCNRadio.net and hosts The Daily Gazette Sports Weekend Show every Saturday from 10 am until 1 pm.