A New York Post reporter announced her resignation Tuesday, following swift criticism of an inaccurate story involving Vice President Kamala Harris.
The article in question originally suggested that Harris’ picture book was being put into “welcome kits” for migrant children at a Long Beach, California shelter—a claim that ignited backlash among conservative lawmakers and political pundits; however, a Long Beach city spokesperson debunked the report in a statement to the Washington Post this week, explaining a single copy of Harris’ book Superheroes Are Everywhere was donated to the shelter as part of a book drive, and was not included in the welcome kits.
“The City of Long Beach, in partnership with the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, has a citywide book and toy drive that is ongoing to support the migrant children who are temporarily staying in Long Beach at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shelter,” spokesman Kevin Lee said. “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.”
Several outlets noted the original article was briefly removed from the New York Post’s website, and was later republished with a redaction and editors note that read:
The original version of this article said migrant kids were getting Harris’ book in a welcome kit, but has been updated to note that only one known copy of the book was given to a child.
Journalist Laura Italiano, whose byline was attached to the story, took to Twitter on Tuesday to say she has decided to leave the New York Post following the wave of backlash. Italiano said the incident was her “breaking point,” and that she was “ordered to write” the bogus article.
“Today I handed in my resignation to my editors at the New York Post,” reporter Laura Italiano tweeted. “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 New York Post has yet to publicly comment on Italiano’s claim.