The reporter who published nude photos of Democratic Representative Katie Hill worked for a Republican candidate who opposed Hill, and has urged support for Republican candidates to win Hill's seat, Politico reports.
Jennifer Van Laar, a deputy managing editor at RedState, published barely censored nude photos of Hill without her consent on the conservative blog as well as on Daily Mail, alleging that Hill previously had relationships with staffers.
Van Laar justified her decition to publish the nude photo of Hill by writing in her piece that when affairs invovle members of a workplace and "that workplace is the United States Congress, the public should know about them as they determine that elected official’s fitness to serve.”
Well, this changes the game. I've known Steve Knight since early 2014 and worked on his 1st campaign. He and Lily stood by me when most in CAGOP did not. He has integrity, cares about the individual, and is a policy wonk. I'd be #TeamKnight again in a heartbeat. #CA25 #KatieHill https://t.co/utz234oiwx— Jennifer Van Laar (@jenvanlaar) October 28, 2019
While Van Laar's political views — which align with those of the RedState staff as well as the blog's owner, Salem Media Group, according to Politico — are not secret, her involvment in the scandal does raise eyebrows. As writer Michael Calderone put it, "Van Laar’s shift from reporting on Hill, and publishing what some have deemed 'revenge porn,' to promoting Republicans for Hill’s old job is a blurring of roles that would be unacceptable in mainstream newsrooms."
California’s 25th congressional district looks like it’s for the taking 🇺🇸— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) October 18, 2019
In her farewell speech on Thursday, Hill blasted the "misogynistic culture that gleefully consumed my naked pictures, capitalized on my sexuality and enabled my abusive ex to continue that abuse, this time with the entire country watching."
Hill has said that the leaked photos came from her estranged husband.
"I am leaving now because of a double standard," she said. "I am leaving because I no longer want to be used as a bargaining chip. I'm leaving because I didn't want to be peddled by papers and blogs and websites used by shameless operatives for the dirtiest gutter politics I've ever seen, and the right-wing media to drive clicks and expand their audience by distributing intimate photographs of me taken without my knowledge — let alone my consent — for the sexual entertainment of millions."