The New York Post is contesting former reporter Laura Italiano’s assertion that she was made to publish a story known to be false.
“The New York Post does not order reporters to deliberately publish factually inaccurate information. In this case, the story was amended as soon as it came to the editors’ attention that it was inaccurate,” a spokesperson for the Post told TheWrap in a statement.
Last week, Italiano wrote a since-retracted article that said migrant kids are getting a copy of Vice President Kamala Harris’ childrens’ book as part of “welcome kits.” Italiano announced on Tuesday that she was resigning and accused the paper of forcing her to publish the piece, which spawned Fox News segments and caused some outrage before outlets began walking it back.
“Today I handed in my resignation to my editors at the New York Post,” Italiano tweeted on Tuesday. “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 story was originally published last Friday, promoted on the Post’s Saturday front page and amplified by Fox News and prominent Republicans like RNC chair Ronna McDaniel and Sen. Tom Cotton. But according to fact-checking from other outlets, including The Washington Post, Harris’ book, “Superheroes Are Everywhere,” has not been handed out to children as part of “welcome kits” at a shelter in Long Beach, Calif. One single copy of the book was donated during a donation drive, Long Beach officials told The Washington Post.
On Tuesday, the incorrect New York Post piece was briefly taken offline before a heavily edited version was reposted with an editor’s 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.”