Washington Post hit for asking if Katie Hill saga would have happened to a man

The Washington Post was hit this week for questioning whether the Katie Hill saga would have happened to a man, after many critics pointed out that it has.

The freshman Democrat from California announced her resignation this past weekend after denying she had an inappropriate relationship with a congressional staffer, which had prompted a House Ethics investigation. She also admitted she had an "inappropriate" relationship with a campaign staffer, after a series of leaks showing intimate texts and purported nude photos.

In a piece from the Post's female-driven publication "The Lily," staff writer Caroline Kitchener sat down with lawyer Carrie Goldberg and posed the following: "If Hill was a middle-aged man — and not the woman behind 'the most millennial campaign ever' — would she still be in Congress?"

"She is building her reputation. Because she is young — and young-looking — she is having to earn her place. She is already coming from a deficit, having to overcompensate, fighting against preconceived opinions of her being too inexperienced to handle the job," Goldberg told Kitchener. "So certainly this would have a bigger impact on someone of her demographic than a middle-aged white man."

Goldberg added, "Katie Hill was taken down by three things: an abusive ex, a misogynist far-right media apparatus, and a society that was gleeful about sexually humiliating a young woman in power. None of those elements would be here if it were a male victim. It is because she is female that this happened."


The Post shared the piece on its Twitter page, tweeting "Revenge porn drove Katie Hill out of Congress. Would that have happened to a man?"

Many critics had a quick response, pointing to Republican ex-Reps. Joe Barton of Texas and Chris Lee of New York.

Critics argued that Rep. Katie Hill wasn't alone -- similar controversies pushed out Reps. Chris Lee, left, and Joe Barton. (AP/Montage)

Critics argued that Rep. Katie Hill wasn't alone -- similar controversies pushed out Reps. Chris Lee, left, and Joe Barton. (AP/Montage)

"Isn't this exactly what happened to middle-aged Rep. Joe Barton just two years ago? In a story largely broken by the Washington Post!" RealClearInvestigations senior writer Mark Hemingway reacted.

In 2017, Barton announced he would not seek reelection as a Texas congressman after a nude photo and lewd text messages he had sent to women amid his divorce had surfaced.

"While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women," Barton said in a statement at the time. "Each was consensual. Those relationships have ended."

He continued, "I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down."


Back in 2011, Lee resigned as a New York congressman after flirtatious emails and a bare-chested selfie emerged from an extramarital affair that spawned from Craigslist.