Newsweek walks back birther attack on Kamala Harris after staff revolt: report
Sen. Kamala Harris (MSNBC)

According to a report from the Daily Beast's Lloyd Grove, newsmagazine Newsweek was forced to walk back an editorial written by a conservative lawyer that questioned whether Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was eligible to run for vice president on the ticket with former Vice President Joe Biden.

The op-ed, written by Chapman University law professor John C. Eastman, headlined “Some Questions for Kamala Harris About Eligibility” set off a firestorm that only grew more when Donald Trump discussed it at a press conference and suggested there might be some truth to it.

With the furor reaching a peak, Newsweek Editor-in-Chief Nancy Cooper and opinion editor, a "Trump-backing conservative activist and attorney Josh Hammer," apologized on Friday with a statement reading, "This op-ed is being used by some as a tool to perpetuate racism and xenophobia. We apologize. [T]o many readers, the essay inevitably conveyed the ugly message that Senator Kamala Harris, a woman of color and the child of immigrants, was somehow not truly American.”

That apology came after staffers and editors went public complaining about the running of the essay to begin with.

According to Grove, London-based Newsweek correspondent Chantal Da Silva tweeted, "To see this piece run on Newsweek’s website was beyond devastating,” with The Beast reporting,  "members of the magazine’s London bureau sent an anguished and angry letter to top editor Cooper demanding that the essay be taken down."

“It is inaccurate and it is dangerous. Journalism should be about informing, not inflaming and certainly not about spreading baseless claims that can only fuel the flames of racism and hatred," they stated.

Grove added that Christina Zhao, a New York-based senior editor, also tweeted: “This is an inflammatory and racist op-ed that should never have been published. That is my opinion.”

The Beast report also notes, "... a prominent former Newsweek staffer, who asked not to be further identified, quipped that the magazine’s owners and upper management 'are probably loving the clicks and the fact that it’s an editorial controversy unrelated to Jesus and Seoul.'"

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