A New York Post story claiming Vice President Kamala Harris’s book was being handed out to migrant children has been thoroughly debunked, and the news outlet temporarily pulled two articles about the claims from its website. The site has since republished them with editor’s notes attached, reports The Daily Beast‘s Max Tani.
The now-discredited story reported that federal officials gave out copies of Harris’s 2019 children’s book, Superheroes Are Everywhere, as part of “welcome kits” to children being held at a migrant shelter in Long Beach, California. This story spread across the right-wing media space, boosted by high-profile Republicans like Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel.
The original article did not contain any attribution to back up its facts, reports The Washington Post. It appears, The Daily Beast writes, that the claim was based on just one image depicting a copy of Harris’s book propped up against a backpack. Despite the lack of any further proof that the White House was behind this, Fox News — like the New York Post, part of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire — published a similar article the following day, using “photographs show” as evidence for the baseless story. CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale reported the book was likely donated to the shelter’s informal library.
A Long Beach spokesman tells me *no* books are put in migrant children’s welcome packages at the shelter. Rather, an informal library will be set up with the donated books to let kids choose what they want to read. So…wrongness on top of wrongness. https://t.co/5439nFkhha
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) April 27, 2021
A Washington Post fact check called the whole saga “a good example of how misinformation spreads on right-wing media and gets amplified by Republican leaders,” describing the situation as a “bad game of telephone.” The New York Post‘s newest version now says the article “has been updated to note that only one known copy of the book was given to a child.”