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Jonathan Wachtel is the new director of communications and spokesman for Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations. Wachtel will be working with Haley and the rest of the US mission on its policy issues, among other activities.
That includes social media outreach. Haley’s Twitter page, where she has posted news on her work at the UN in less than two months on the job as well as her taste in music and photos of her dog, is a holdover from her time as governor of South Carolina.
Wachtel will replace Kurtis Cooper, who worked for Samantha Power, the previous American ambassador to the UN.
Most recently, Wachtel was a journalist and producer for Fox News for more than 19 years, where he was based in New York and at the UN, so he was with Fox from the early years of the network. He covered domestic and international news for several platforms, including TV, radio and website. At the UN, he reported on the Security Council and General Assembly, peacekeeping operations and humanitarian relief efforts and other UN entities.
His LinkedIn page said he coordinated coverage of the wars in Afghanistan, the Middle East, the Caucasus and Sudan, the Haiti earthquake, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the World Trade Center attack, among other events. He also spent a decade based in London and in Moscow with ABC News as well as with Worldwide Television News.
Wachtel has a master’s degree in management of public and nonprofit organizations from New York University and a B.A. in literature from the University of California, Berkeley. Besides English, he is fluent in Russian. That skill could be useful in Haley’s developing relationship with her Russian peer on the UN Security Council.
Russia has yet to name a new ambassador to the UN after Vitaly Churkin, its ambassador, died on Feb. 20. His cause of death is still being determined as the New York City Chief Medical Examiner conducts tests to pronounce officially. The results could take several weeks.
In a recent mapping analysis of the right-wing media ecosystem, published in the Columbia Journalism Review, it showed that Breitbart has become the center of that environment, surrounded by Fox News, the Daily Caller, the Gateway Pundit, the Washington Examiner, Infowars, Conservative Treehouse and Truthfeed.
The analysis said that Breitbart has striven to crowd out Fox News as the main voice of conservative news, noting that in early 2016, “the five most-widely shared stories in which Breitbart refers to Fox are stories aimed to delegitimize Fox as the central arbiter of conservative news, tying it to immigration, terrorism and Muslims, and corruption.”