Kamala Harris keeps list of reporters who don’t ‘understand’ her: reportMay 19, 2021
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Vice President Kamala Harris keeps track of journalists and political players she feels don’t “appreciate her life experience” — and the feeling is mutual — as television producers have become hesitant to book her because she is “so uninteresting,” according to a report.
Harris and her team, according to a profile of the VP published by The Atlantic, typically “dismiss” reporters and “tracks political players and reporters whom she thinks don’t fully understand her or appreciate her life experience.”
She also takes particular issue with the word “cautious” being used to describe her, and aides “look out for” synonyms like “careful, guarded and hesitant,” which “don’t go over well.”
Reps for Harris did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment on the matter.
She also declined to comment for the Atlantic article, something the report noted she does regularly.
“She continues to retreat behind talking points in public, and declines many interview requests and opportunities to speak for herself,” the report reads.
“At times, she comes off as so uninteresting that television producers have started to wonder whether spending thousands of dollars to send people on trips with her is worthwhile, given how little usable material they get out of it.”
The magazine alleged that Harris “often mentions” a 2019 incident with Washington Post reporter Chelsea Janes, who at the time was covering national politics.
Prior to Janes joining the national politics beat, WaPo employed her as a baseball reporter. She has since returned to covering the sport full time.
According to her author page on the paper’s website, she has her bachelor’s from Yale in history and international studies and a master’s in communication from Stanford.
Janes was covering Harris delivering a speech at her alma mater Howard University in Jan. 2019 when she tweeted, “Members of her Howard sorority are in the room, and screeched when she mentioned her time there. Did not expect to hear screeches here.”
The reporter was taken to task across social media for the comment, as it was clear she did not know that the presidential candidate was a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, a black Greek organization.
The “screeching,” as Janes described it, was actually the group’s trademark “skee-wee” chant — which sparked backlash online from those who viewed the connotation negatively.
Coverage of the incident became significant enough that co-hosts of ABC’s “The View” devoted a segment to debate whether Janes was the wrong reporter to be assigned to that beat.
That was not the case, Janes tweeted later on in an effort to correct any confusion.
“Guys, I’m so sorry. Had never heard about the Skee Wee call before, but I certainly have now. Meant only to convey enthusiasm in the room!” the WaPo reporter wrote on Twitter later that day.
The damage for Harris, it appears, was done. In its Monday report, The Atlantic alleged that Harris “often mentions” the episode.
In her time in the Senate and prior, Harris has long been known for not being especially open with the media.
One month after being tapped as Biden’s running mate last year, the California Democrat’s team worked to keep a story out of the press as reporters and other politicos began noticing that she had yet to take questions from reporters in a formal or informal setting since joining the ticket.
At the time, the then-senator had only spoken to curated local and digital media outlets, including The 19th and The Grio, focused on women and black issues, respectively.
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