Laura Italiano, a now-former reporter for the New York Post, announced on Twitter Tuesday evening that she has resigned after allegedly being “ordered” to write a false story about Vice President Kamala Harris’ book being given to children at a migrant shelter.
Drawing front page coverage in the paper, Italiano had reported that copies of a children’s book by Harris were part of “welcome kits” being distributed to migrant children at a shelter in Long Beach, California.
In a series of tweets, the reporter described that reporting as “an incorrect story,” and declared that she had reached her “breaking point.” Italiano does not state who gave the “order.”
“An announcement: Today I handed in my resignation to my editors at the New York Post,” she wrote. “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.”
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.
— Laura Italiano (@Italiano_Laura) April 27, 2021
“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,” Italiano 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.
— Laura Italiano (@Italiano_Laura) April 27, 2021
The Washington Post did a fact-check on the story and found a photograph of a single copy of Harris’s book “Superheroes are Everywhere” that was donated to the shelter as part of a book drive.
The NY Post temporarily pulled the story on Tuesday, and has since republished it with an editor’s note advising that only “one known copy of the book” was given to a child.
“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 Post’s editor’s note said.
Full disclosure, BizPac Review covered the original story citing the NY Post article — BPR does not engage in investigative reporting, focusing primarily on reactions to the news.
As a result of the latest developments, the following stories have been pulled from social media and corrected with updates:
Given that the NY Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Fox News, the left was quick to seize on the development to denounce the tabloid for its dishonest reporting. A standard this cabal does not apply to more “friendly” outfits.
Those same outlets were all over the story, beginning with The New York Times — not that the liberal media exhibits the same enthusiasm in reporting on Harris essentially missing in action when it comes to the crisis on the southern border, having yet to hold a press conference well over 40 days since President Biden tapped her to lead the effort there.
There was an interesting mix of reactions to the story on social media. In addition to plenty of cynics doubting Italiano’s take on events, some cheered her decision to quit. Others asked why not sooner?
Here’s a quick sampling of the responses from Twitter:
I don’t know… I’ve been a journalist for 30 years and never once allowed editors/management force me to knowingly write a lie. But that’s just me. Is this the first time for you, or the first time getting caught and being exposed spectacularly?
— Bob Shackelford (@tpa_bob) April 28, 2021
I understand you worked at the NY Post but you do understand honesty and ethics… right? You can’t put the blame on the post when you signed your name to the story. The post is horrible, but you made your choice.
— A Desperate and Despicable Dwarf. (@MountainbikerWI) April 28, 2021
I’m sad that people are so quick to pile on. Quitting a job, esp in journalism, is a tough decision. How about piling on to those who run NYPost, those who require such lies be spread? Laura has soul-searching to do, but those who force reporters to write lies are so much worse.
— Denise Lee – Wear the Mask (@dadavies01) April 27, 2021
I think I missed your apology to the Vice President.
— (((Roberta Kina Hora Lipp))) (@RobertaLipp) April 28, 2021
So if THIS was your breaking point, what other false stories have you and others written? Not sure a true journalist would have went forward to begin with. Disappointing to say the least.
— Greg C. (@gregory1009) April 27, 2021
I think at least it’s more damaging to the paper that it was published & then she called them out. Had she more integrity & not written the story & walked out, the paper would have carried on without any reputation damage? There is a global cancer in media where money is all!
— James Miller (@JamesMi25162611) April 28, 2021
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