Accuracy in Media

The mainstream media whiffed on mentioning the background of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a 2020 presidential hopeful, and her rise to political power in California.

Politico published a detailed article describing Harris’s rise from the prosecutor’s office to state attorney general to U.S. senator thanks to help from elitist and wealthy individuals in California politics. However, the mainstream media did not report on this detailed article and focused on breaking news and other current events, although Harris is a potential contender heading into the televised fall debates in the Democratic Party primary.

The Politico article detailed Harris’s upbringing in a less-affluent part of Oakland and how her romantic relationship with then-California State Assembly Speaker Willie Brown helped elevate her name recognition among power brokers in California. One of the article’s most stark statements is as follows:

“It’s hard to think honestly about the origins of the rise of Harris without grappling with the reality of the role of Brown. He helped her. He put her on a pair of state boards that required not much work and paid her more than $400,000 across five years on top of her salary as a prosecutor. He gave her a BMW. He helped her, too, though, in a way that was less immediately material but arguably far more enduringly important.”

Harris’s allies “bristle at this” allegation and defended Harris along the lines of, “Brown dispensed favors and counsel to hundreds of aspiring politicians and only one of them is currently a U.S. senator running for president near the head of the heap” as the article noted.

Harris’s campaign slogan is “For the People,” but the Politico article demonstrated that her rise to power was funded by an exclusive set of wealthy, powerfully-connected people in posh areas of California and not by the average American. If this information was paired with the last primary debate, when Harris’s criminal justice records were debated, the American voter could make a better, well-informed judgment of Harris’s candidacy. But, without accurate reporting or in-depth reporting, the mainstream media will perform a major disservice for their audience, the average American voter, especially if Harris becomes the presidential nominee for the 2020 presidential election.

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