• The New Spokesman for Nikki Haley, US Envoy to the UN, Comes From Fox News

    by  • March 5, 2017 • GOINGS-ON, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    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.

    Jonathan Wachtel, formerly a journalist with Fox News.

    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.”

     

    Dulcie Leimbach

    About

    Dulcie Leimbach is a fellow of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at the Graduate Center of CUNY. She is the founder of PassBlue, for which she edits and writes, covering primarily the United Nations, West Africa, peacekeeping operations and women's issues. For PassBlue and other publications, she has reported from New York and overseas in West Africa (Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal) as well as from Europe (Scotland, Vienna, Budapest and The Hague).

    Previously, she was an editor for the Coalition for the UN Convention Against Corruption; from 2008 to 2011, she was the publications director of the United Nations Association of the USA, where she edited its flagship magazine, The InterDependent, and migrated it online in 2010. She was also the senior editor of UNA's annual book, "A Global Agenda: Issues Before the UN." She has also worked as an editorial consultant to various UN agencies.

    Before UNA, Leimbach was an editor at The New York Times for more than 20 years, editing and writing for most sections of the paper, including the Magazine, Book Review and Op-Ed. She began her reporting career in small-town papers in San Diego, Calif., and Colorado, graduating to the Rocky Mountain News in Denver before she worked in New York at Esquire magazine and Adweek. In between, she was a Wall Street foreign-exchange dealer. Leimbach has been a fellow at Yaddo, the artists' colony in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and taught news reporting at Hofstra University. She graduated from the University of Colorado and has an M.F.A. in writing from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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