When RedState’s Jennifer Van Laar originally broke the story that Katie Hill was involved in an inappropriate relationship with a congressional staffer and was in a “throuple” with her now-ex-husband and campaign staffer, there were several people in the media who attacked RedState and Van Laar for publishing censored photos from Hill’s relationship.
Few voices were as loud, however, as Playboy columnist Alex Thomas, who spent a lot of time tweeting and writing about the scandal, and in particular accused Van Laar of working with the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), who Thomas claimed had been shopping Hill’s photos around.
The NRCC denied the charge in the strongest of terms, but Thomas wouldn’t back down. His own “story” on the scandal revealed “multiple sources” backing the claims up.
But, ultimately, he would walk those claims back, as detailed in this post at our sister site Twitchy.
Now, you’d be hard-pressed to find evidence at all that Thomas wrote about the issue. A search of his Twitter account for the keywords “Katie Hill” turns up nothing. The same can be said of tweets mentioning the NRCC and tweets mentioning RedState.
If you’d like to figure out why Thomas might scrub his Twitter account, the site Page Six can fill you in.
Beltway babble has been rumbling for some time that Hill — the California congresswoman who resigned in October when her “throuple” relationship with a younger female campaign staffer and her now-estranged husband spectacularly exploded — is dating . . . who else . . . a Playboy writer.
And Page Six is told that the rumors seemed to be confirmed when Hill, 32, surprised the political journo set by showing up to a Manhattan book party this week with the alleged Bunny beau, Alex Thomas, Playboy’s political correspondent out of DC.
“They arrived together, they were together all night, and they left together,” said a spy at the Upper East Side party for Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng’s book, “Sinking the Swamp.” Said another of Hill and Thomas, “They kept going outside to smoke together.”
So one of two things happened here, and neither scenario is great for Thomas and his integrity as a journalist.
The first scenario is that Thomas, who claims in the Page Six piece that he and Hill are just friends, was reporting on the NRCC angle, pushed that out because his friend gave him the info, was proven wrong about it, and deleted everything without acknowledging that he messed up. The problem is that this is really the best-case scenario for him, as it just shows an error in journalistic judgment.
The second scenario is much worse, and it completely destroys what integrity he might have held as a journalist. Under this scenario, his friendship/relationship with Hill led him to try and run damage control for her. If they are just friends, that’s bad enough, but if he was indeed sleeping with his source on this (and there are rumors in and around the D.C. area dating back to the initial scandal that he was doing that), then he should be done as a journalist because he sold his soul for a lover and tried to provide cover for an actual violation of Congressional ethics (Hill’s involvement with a Congressional staffer).
The fact, then, that he deleted all evidence of his media malpractice only serves to make this worse for him because it shows he knows he screwed up and refuses to apologize for it. He is just content with letting the world pretend it didn’t happen. Except, there are too many outlets (the above-linked Twitchy post and a piece over at Salon) that linked to his tweets, and the links are now broken. The evidence that he made the accusations he made and defended Hill the way he did still exists. There is no escaping it. The Internet is forever, and so is the Wayback Machine.
Here are some of Thomas’s tweets regarding Hill, RedState, and the NRCC:
He was even soliciting “dirt.”
So while Hill can continue to play the victim, it now appears she was doing what she did while also using her relationship with a D.C.-area journalist for damage control, and this journalist either did it willingly or was manipulated by her into doing it. Neither of those bodes well for him.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece was edited post-publication to add screenshots from Thomas’ Twitter account.)