Vice President Kamala Harris keeps a running tab on journalists and politicians whom she thinks don't “fully understand” or “appreciate her life experience,” The Atlantic reported this week in a profile of the former California senator.
Harris, who is frequently criticized for sidestepping questions and hiding behind talking points, apparently uses the list to avoid interviews with certain individuals.
“The vice president and her team tend to dismiss reporters. Trying to get her to take a few questions after events is treated as an act of impish aggression,” the article states. “And Harris herself tracks political players and reporters whom she thinks don't fully understand her or appreciate her life experience.”
One example of a supposedly blacklisted journalist is Washington Post reporter Chelsea Janes, who soured in Harris' eyes after she mistook the “skee-wee” cheer of the historic Black sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha for “screeches.”
Harris also reportedly takes issue with certain words used to describe her, for instance, she “particularly doesn't like the word cautious, and aides look out for synonyms too. Careful, guarded, and hesitant don't go over well,” the article says.
Nevertheless, “she continues to retreat behind talking points and platitudes in public, and declines many interview requests and opportunities to speak for herself (including for this article),” the article notes, adding that “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.”
Coming to Harris's defense, however, was progressive Cook County prosecutor Kim Foxx, who called the vice president's behavior a necessary tactic for a pioneering black woman.
“There's a reality of doing this work as a woman and a Black woman — and it often isn't talked about a lot publicly — that there's a presumed resilience around people who are first,” Foxx told The Atlantic. “There is a celebration of what it means to break the ceiling, and not nearly the conversation of what the cuts to your head look like.”
Another contributing factor could be that the vice president seems to cackle, or laugh nervously, whenever she's put on the hot seat by a reporter or faced with a question for which she doesn't have a prepared answer.
Last October during an interview with CBS's “60 Minutes,” Harris did just that — laugh nervously — at the suggestion that President Joe Biden was a Trojan horse for her socialist policies.
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