New York Post Reporter Who Wrote False Kamala Harris Story Resigns


A reporter at Rupert Murdoch’s New York tabloid has resigned after she claimed she was forced to write an incorrect front page story about migrants and Kamala Harris.

The New York Post published an article on 23 April headlined “Kam on in”, which claimed migrant children were being given welcome packs that contained copies of the US vice-president’s 2019 children’s picture book, Superheroes Are Everywhere. A follow-up article claimed thousands of copies had been distributed.

In reality, officials said a single copy of the book had been donated by a member of the public as part of a call for presents to give to unaccompanied child migrants.

Despite this, the story was followed up by several rightwing media outlets including Fox News. One of the cable channel’s reporters even asked the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, about the supposed mass distribution of Harris’s book by the government, while Republican politicians suggested it was part of a plot to direct government funds into Harris’s pocket.

Laura Italiano, a long-serving New York Post reporter, was credited with writing the article. On Tuesday, she announced she was quitting at the tabloid.

“Today I handed in my resignation to my editors at the New York Post,” she said. “The Kamala Harris story – an incorrect story I was ordered to write and which I failed to push back hard enough against – was my breaking point.”

She added: “It’s been a privilege to cover the city of New York for its liveliest, wittiest tabloid – a paper filled with reporters and editors I admire deeply and hold as friends. I’m sad to leave.”

The false story is one of the first major challenges for the New York Post’s newly arrived British editor-in-chief, Keith Poole, who until last month was based in London as deputy editor of the Sun. He has been tasked with increasing traffic to the tabloid’s website, which has come under criticism for writing click-chasing stories casting doubt on the safety of Covid-19 vaccines.

The New York Post’s false story about Harris was based on a single photograph of the book taken at a temporary immigration facility at Long Beach in southern California.

The article was briefly taken off the Post’s website but later reinstated with a footnote: “The original version of this article said migrant kids were getting Harris’s book in a welcome kit but has been updated to note that only one known copy of the book was given to a child,” the editor’s note said.

Before the story was partially retracted, leading Republicans used it to hint public funds were being misused. Senator Tom Cotton asked if the Biden administration was forcing taxpayers to buy Harris’s book to give to those illegal immigrants.

Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, also asked: “After learning officials are handing out Kamala Harris’s book to migrants in facilities at the border, it’s worth asking … Was Harris paid for these books? Is she profiting from Biden’s border crisis?”

The Washington Post revealed that the single copy of the book had turned up at the Long Beach facility as part of a book and toy drive for migrant children.

“The city of Long Beach, in partnership with the Long Beach convention and visitors bureau, has a city-wide book and toy drive that is ongoing to support the migrant children who are temporarily staying in Long Beach at the US Department of Health and Human Services shelter,” city spokesman Kevin Lee told the paper.

“The book you reference is one of hundreds of books that have already been donated. The book was not purchased by HHS or the city.”

New York Post Reporter Who Wrote False Kamala Harris Story Resigns New York Post Reporter Who Wrote False Kamala Harris Story Resigns Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 03:15 Rating: 5

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