The big lie

Increasingly, Murdock media properties, such as Fox News, have relied more on contributors and fictional information rather than straight reporting focused on accurate knowable truth as demography in the U.S. changes. Courtesy Photo/NNPA

On April 23, 2021, The New York Post published and then edited a story that claimed that a children’s book by Vice President Kamala Harris was given out to migrant children at the Mexican border as part of a “welcome kit” upon entering the United States.

Former New York Post writer Laura Italiano claims she was forced to write the story. “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,” wrote Italiano on social on April 27.

Increasingly, Murdock media properties, such as Fox News, have relied more on contributors and fictional information rather than straight reporting focused on accurate knowable truth as demography in the U.S. changes. The non-factual information after the election of President Joe Biden has resulted in lawsuits for defamation— such as two lawsuits by Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems. The companies are suing Murdoch’s Fox Corporation for billions in defamation and named Fox anchors Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro as defendants.

Dominion Voting Systems sued Rudy Giuliani for $1.3 billion based on over 50 statements by Giuliani made at hearings, on social media, his podcast and on Fox News— where Giuliani claimed Dominion Voting Systems “flipped” votes to facilitate President Biden’s win. President Biden won by over 7 million votes with several Republican controlled states certifying his election as legitimate.

The headline in the article was headlined by the words “Kam on in.” The “news” story claimed that migrant children were being given “welcome” packets with a copy of the Vice President’s 2019 children’s book, “Superheroes Are Everywhere.”

Daniel Dale, a fact checker at CNN, pointed out that The New York Post “temporarily deleted, and then edited and republished,” the debunked piece. An editor’s note at the bottom of the current version of the story now reads: “Editor’s note: 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.”

A CNN poll released on April 30, 2021, indicates that the “big lie” strategy is working on some Americans. The question “Did Biden Legitimately Win Enough Votes for The Presidency,” resulted in Republicans answering “no” 70 to 23 percent.

Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist for NNPA and the host of the podcast BURKEFILE. She is also a political strategist as Principal of Win Digital Media LLC. She may be contacted at [email protected] and on twitter at @LVBurke