Fox News was forced to walk back its false claims about the Biden administration for the second day in a row Tuesday after it pushed the baseless story that Vice President Kamala Harris’s book is being given to migrant kids in “welcome kits.”
However, even after “Fox & Friends” co-host Ainsley Earhardt pointed to a report debunking the story, her colleague Steve Doocy immediately went on to push the narrative anyway, questioning whether the government was paying for the books.
The claim began with the Murdoch-owned New York Post, which reported last week that a children’s picture book written by Harris was being handed out to migrant children in “welcome kits” at a shelter in Long Beach, California.
The newspaper based its article, which it headlined “Kam On In,” on one Reuters image of Harris’s book “Superheroes Are Everywhere” on a cot at the shelter.
The Washington Post published an in-depth fact check on the story Tuesday after Republican leaders and conservative media took the story and ran with it. Multiple high-profile Republicans amplified the claim, including House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (La.) and Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel, both of whom asked whether Harris was “profiting” off the border crisis.
Long Beach city officials told The Washington Post that one copy of the book was received in a citywide donation drive and that copies were not being handed out in welcome kits.
An editor’s note was subsequently added to the New York Post’s story: “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.”
Fox News, which had published its own version of the article over the weekend, added an “editor’s note” to its story, too, though it did not clearly correct the mistake: “In a previous version of this story, it was implied there were multiple copies of Harris’ book available for children in welcome packs.”
Laura Italiano, the New York Post reporter who wrote the original article, tweeted Tuesday evening that she had resigned.
“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,” she tweeted.
On Monday, Fox News issued an on-air correction over a separate story that was shown to be false. The network promoted a claim that President Joe Biden’s climate change plan would cut U.S. red meat consumption by 90%, when in fact Biden’s proposal makes no mention of that.