The New York Post reporter whose byline was attached to a false story that kicked off a days-long right-wing media outrage cycle has quit.
“Today I handed in my resignation to my editors at the New York Post,” reporter Laura Italiano posted to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. “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. 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.”
Neither the New York tabloid nor Italiano immediately responded to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment.
Last week, the Post published a story claiming federal officials were distributing Vice President Kamala Harris’ book Superheroes Are Everywhere “in welcome kits” to migrant children held in a temporary immigration facility at the Long Beach convention center in Southern California.
The report, which appeared to be based on a single photograph spotted at the facility, was parroted in multiple segments on Fox News and blew up across conservative media. One reporter from Fox even posed a question about the book to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki during a press briefing last week.
But within days, the story collapsed.
On Tuesday, the Washington Post published a fact-check citing a Long Beach city spokesperson who said the facility only had a single copy of the book, which had been donated 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 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,” city spokesman Kevin Lee told the Washington Post. “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.”
As The Daily Beast reported on Tuesday, the Post quietly removed the false article, along with an item mentioning the Psaki exchange based on the incorrect reporting.
Within hours, the paper reinstated both articles with a short editor’s note affixed to them. But by that point, the story already garnered massive blowback from critics online, prompting Italiano to publicly distance herself from the story and ultimately resign from the Murdoch-owned New York tabloid.