Reporter Who Published Nude Photo Of Rep. Katie Hill Promotes GOP Replacements
The RedState writer who published a nude photo of Rep. Katie Hill alongside her story about the Democratic congresswoman’s alleged affairs is also promoting Republican candidates running to replace Hill, who has officially resigned.
According to Politico, Jennifer Van Laar, a deputy managing editor at the conservative publication RedState, tweeted on October 27: “If you want to help us flip @KatieHill4CA's former #CA25 seat BACK to RED, please learn more about @MikeGarcia2020 and contribute to his campaign at http://ElectMikeGarcia.com!”
Later, Van Laar tweeted of former Rep. Steve Knight: “He has integrity, cares about the individual, and is a policy wonk. I'd be #TeamKnight again in a heartbeat.”
Politico noted that Van Laar has worked in Republican politics and RedState itself is an openly conservative publication, but what is unique about the situation Van Laar finds herself in is the blurring of the line between journalist and GOP operative.
Hill admitted last week that she had engaged in an “inappropriate” relationship with a female campaign staffer — a relationship that also included her estranged ex-husband, Kenny Heslep.
Heslep has accused Hill of having another affair, this one excluding him, with her legislative director, Graham Kelly; however, the congresswoman denies the allegation.
Another RedState writer, Miranda Morales, reported Heslep’s accusation regarding Kelly on October 10. A little more than a week later, Politico noted, Van Laar published her story revealing the nude photograph.
The story immediately led to accusations of propagating “revenge porn,” which Van Laar adamantly denies.
In the aftermath, Hill opted to resign so that “the good people who supported me will no longer be subjected to the pain inflicted by my abusive husband and the brutality of hateful political operatives who seem to happily provide a platform to a monster who is driving a smear campaign built around cyber exploitation.”
Lawfare managing editor Quinta Jurecic wrote that Van Laar’s use of the photo appears to represent “the first instance in which a politically aligned publication — or, indeed, any publication — has released nonconsensual pornography depicting a politician of the opposing party affiliation,” adding that this “is an ugly line to have crossed.”
Hill said she contacted the Capitol Police to investigate how “intimate photos of me and another individual were published by Republican operatives on the internet without my consent.”