The press are still trying to rehabilitate disgraced former Democratic Rep. Katie Hill of California, who resigned from Congress in 2019 to avoid an ethics investigation into her sexual abuse of a female campaign staffer.
Hill, who may have also misappropriated campaign funds to continue paying said campaign staffer for nearly a year after the election, and who also awarded an unusually large bonus to a male legislative aide with whom she was also reportedly romantically involved, has spent the years following her resignation shopping a story of martyrdom and perseverance to corporate newsrooms. Like a textbook narcissist and abuser, she maintains she is the real victim. Hill claims she is the wronged party; she claims her malfeasance is defensible; she claims she is still standing, despite society’s efforts to destroy her.
Amazingly, the press have been all-too-eager to promote Hill’s self-serving rehabilitation narrative, which is amusing considering her narrative is predicated on the belief the world is against her.
Vanity Fair, for example, has published a noxious puff piece, one of many such pieces published since Hill’s resignation, revealing she is having a baby with Alex Thomas, the former Playboy correspondent who spearheaded a hilariously failed one-man campaign in 2019 to prove the former congresswoman was the victim of a baseless, shadowy Republican hit job.
“I’m hungry for a Pulitzer,” the now-self-described novelist boasted shortly after news of Hill’s sexual misconduct broke. “Let’s chase the f***ing rabbit.”
Thomas uncovered no such GOP-led conspiracy. He was awarded no Pulitzer. Oh, also, Thomas failed to disclose his romantic relationship with Hill during the period in which he tried, and failed, to exonerate her. The two had been romantically involved for about four months when news broke that Hill allegedly coaxed a campaign staffer into having threesomes with Hill’s then-husband Kenny Heslep.
For the record, Thomas denied as late as February 2020 that he and the disgraced congresswoman were romantically entangled. He maintained they were just friends.
Now Vanity Fair reports Hill and Thomas are expecting a child. Chasing the rabbit, indeed.
“The relationship between Hill and Thomas, a former Playboy reporter turned novelist, was something of a sideshow to the broader scandal,” Vanity Fair reports. “Specifically, Hill’s relationship with a campaign staffer. But for Hill’s opponents, it was further ammo.”
The “relationship” with a campaign staffer, by the way, left the young aide in a state the victim describes as a “mess.”
In fact, an alleged former Katie Hill staffer in October 2020 laid into the one-time lawmaker, laying waste to the ex-congresswoman’s supposed victimhood.
“Katie Hill is not a hero for women,” the supposed former staffer tweeted from Hill’s congressional Twitter account. “Katie took advantage of her subordinates. She caused immense harm to the people who worked for her, many of whom were young women just beginning their careers in politics.”
Despite all of this, Hill, the woman who fled Congress before an ethics committee could investigate her abuse of a campaign aide eight years her junior, abuse the former congresswoman admits to, maintains she is the victim of a hypocritical, patriarchal society. This, of course, is bullshit. No male lawmaker alive today would enjoy similarly deferential news coverage. Hill skipped out on Congress after even her Democratic colleagues agreed she had crossed several lines. Since then, Hill has enjoyed literally years of glowing press, one sympathetic profile after another.
The great irony is: Being a woman is precisely why an otherwise unforgiving news media have been so eager to downplay, excuse, and even ignore Hill’s admitted misconduct (it’s probably worth mentioning that every pro-Hill glow-up published in the years following her resignation have been written by women. Make of this what you will). Victim of the patriarchy, indeed.
No, really, ask yourself this: If a male lawmaker had done what Hill did, would we be reading articles like the one published in Vanity Fair and elsewhere?
If a male lawmaker admitted to coaxing a young female campaign staffer into a “throuple” relationship with his spouse, resigned, and then shopped his comeback story to the press, would reporters oblige? If this same lawmaker were also accused of financially rewarding a legislative aide with whom he was reportedly having an affair, would we be reading about his inspiring redemption arc?
If this same lawmaker later fathered a child with the deeply unethical reporter who peddled disinformation to cast doubt on said lawmaker’s admitted sexual misconduct, would we have soft-glow photo shoots such as the one published this week in Vanity Fair?
I think you know the answer.