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Media

Media Ignore Kamala Harris’s Lies

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris take the stage before the start of the second night of the second 2020 presidential Democratic candidates debate in Detroit, Mich., July 31, 2019. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

If democracy dies in darkness, what happens when no one even bothers to get out the flashlight? I just plowed through thousands of words of coverage in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN and found no effort whatsoever to flag the multiple lies told by Kamala Harris in her debut as the veep pick. (Quick: is the following the headline of a Democratic Party press release or a neutral news report: “Biden and Harris Pledge a Strong Challenge to Trump and a Path Out of Crisis.” Answer: It’s the Times.)

Amid headlines such as “Colbert: Kamala Harris delivered a ‘zinger’ on Trump” (CNN) and “In Kamala Harris, a Choice at Once Safe and Energizing” (the Times) and “’A trailblazer’: Indian Americans react with joy, pride to Harris’s VP nod” (WaPo) and “Tucker Carlson’s mangling of Kamala Harris’s name was all about disrespect” (WaPo, a few hours before Joe Biden mangled her name in the same way), there was no space to compare Harris’s various claims to reality. Some reports quoted her lies without mentioning that they were demonstrably and indisputably false, such as Harris’s claim that the virus “has hit America worse than any other advanced nation.”

The Paper of Record did find room, however, to report breathlessly that one of President’s Trump’s sons, Eric, liked a tweet, that was later deleted, that referred to Harris as “whorendous.” CNN did an entire story on this matter.

Hey, guardians of truth: Is calling out lies, distortions, false statements, and misleading claims still a duty when reporting on Democrats? In a Biden–Harris administration, will the policy be to quote approvingly every false thing these people say without comment? Because it kind of looks that way.

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