Inside The Kamala Harris Book Controversy That Caused A Reporter To Quit

Media bias is no secret these days. Depending on which news outlets you listen to, you'll be persuaded that either America is becoming a better country or headed for total disaster. The New York Post, a traditionally right-leaning paper, is no exception. You can count on them to blast Democratic politicians and policies at any opportunity — and it seems they don't let the facts stand in their way.

On April 23, the paper ran a front-page story with the headline "Kam On In." The article claimed that the unaccompanied immigrant children being detained at the U.S. border were all being given a copy of Vice President Kamala Harris' 2019 children's book, "Superheroes are Everywhere," as part of a welcome kit. Other conservative media and politicians were quick to slam the vice president. Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel Tweeted, "Was Harris paid for these books? Is she profiting from Biden's border crisis?"

However, as CNN reports, the Post's story was exaggerated, to say the least. The Washington Post did a little more investigating and found out that, in fact, only one copy of Harris' book had been supplied to the reading center at a new California aid facility for migrant children. A news agency took a photo of the book against a backpack, and the picture went public. NY Post reporter Laura Italiano used the pic as evidence for her claim that the book was being given to everyone in the center. Now, she says, she knew the story was false even as she wrote it.

The NY Post reporter reached her "breaking point"

Although the Post reprinted the story with some corrections several days later, Italiano's conscience got the better of her. She posted a Twitter thread on April 27, announcing her resignation from the Post over its breach of ethics. She accused unnamed top brass of making her fudge the facts: "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 wrote. "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."

Online reaction was mixed. Some applauded her for "doing the right thing" and choosing her ethics over her job. One of her Twitter followers suggested: "I ... hope you documented the orders, and provided them to V.P. Harris, along with a sworn statement, for a demarcation suit against the publisher." Others were far more critical, suggesting that this isn't the first time the Post has violated journalistic integrity. "Your breaking point should have been when they started 'forcing you' to write it, not after you caved," wrote one Twitter follower, "It should never have been written." Another Twitter follower took issue with Italiano's praise of her colleagues: "Saying The Post is the 'liveliest, wittiest tabloid...filled with reporters/editors I admire' after quitting bc you were forced to write a story YOU KNEW WAS FALSE is like saying, 'the Corleones were the warmest family I've ever been a part of, but that last murder was too much."