Washington Post Edits 'Prisoner' Anecdote From Kamala Harris Profile

Headline Roundup January 23rd, 2021

The Washington Post received criticism this week for omitting a controversial anecdote from an updated and republished version of a 2019 profile story featuring then-Sen. Kamala Harris and her sister, Maya Harris. Critics noted that the Jan. 11 updated version omitted an anecdote in which Harris compared the challenges of her presidential primary campaign to a that of a prisoner begging for water. After receiving backlash, the Washington Post added a link at the top of the new story, redirecting readers to the original article. "We should have kept both versions of the story on the Post's site (the original and updated one), rather than redirecting to the updated version," Kris Coratti, the Washington Post's vice president for communications, told Reason Magazine in a statement on Friday.

The Washington Post received criticism on social media from right voices for omitting the anecdote from the updated article; Harris received criticism from across the political spectrum for her comments in the original article. The story received no coverage from center- and left- rated outlets, though it was analyzed by Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple.

Washington Post Edits 'Prisoner' Anecdote From Kamala Harris Profile

From the Right
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The Washington Post scrubbed an unflattering anecdote of Vice President Kamala Harris crassly laughing at the thought of a prisoner begging for a drink of water — then backtracked Friday after an eagle-eyed reporter took notice.

Harris made the comments in a July 2019 Washington Post profile about her relationship with her sister and trusted aide, Maya Harris, when the former California prosecutor was running for president.

But that story disappeared from the site — with its link redirecting to a newer version published on Jan. 11, sans anecdote.

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From the Right
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ANALYSIS

When The Washington Post published a 2019 campaign trail feature about then-presidential hopeful Kamala Harris' close relationship with her sister, it opened with a memorable anecdote in which Harris bizarrely compared the rigors of the campaign trail to…life behind bars.

And then proceeded to laugh—at the idea of an inmate begging for a sip of water.

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From the Left
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Finding people to trust in politics — a field full of mercenaries with their own interests at heart — can be a tough thing to do. It is no wonder so many people turn to family members: John F. Kennedy had Bobby, Joe Biden’s sister, Valerie, once ran his campaigns and Ivanka Trump has been one of the 45th president’s most visible advisers.

Kamala D. Harris has her younger sister, Maya Harris. The two are not only extremely close; during Kamala’s year-long presidential run, Maya served as her campaign chairwoman.

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