Speed Reads

Fake News

New York Post reporter quits over 'incorrect' Kamala Harris book story she was 'ordered to write'

The New York Post published a front-page story Friday claiming Vice President Kamala Harris' 2019 children's book is being handed to migrant children in "welcome kits," and the tabloid followed-up with an article Monday claiming "thousands" of copies are being given to migrant children and the White House had "no answers" when asked if Harris was profiting from these purported welcome packages.

Reporters from other news organizations pointed out Tuesday morning that basically the entire story is false — one copy of Superheroes Are Everywhere had been donated to one shelter in Long Beach, California — and the Post and Fox News pulled their articles then appended "editor's notes" to mostly corrected versions. On Tuesday night, the longtime Post reporter who wrote Friday's cover story tweeted that she had resigned, claiming she "was ordered to write" the "incorrect story."

The reporter, Laura Italiano, "has written for the Post since the 1990s," The Washington Post reports. She has not disclosed who "ordered" her to write the article. But by Tuesday, the false suggestion that the government was buying copies of the vice president's book and giving it to migrant children had spent days spreading over conservative and social media, promoted by Republican Party officials and prominent lawmakers.

Fox News this past week has already prominently promoted (and more quietly retracted) a whopper that President Biden wants to cut American meat consumption by 90 percent, and Fox News also reported falsely that Virginia is moving to eliminate advanced high school math classes. Depending on how you judge these things, it was either a bad week for conservative journalism or a great week for right-wing media. Or both.