Despite publishing a puff piece and giving its vaunted cover to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Vogue is receiving backlash from liberal media outlets for using too casual a picture of the senator from California.
Vogue released two photos of Harris on Sunday. One was a close-up of her in a powder blue jacket in front of a gold background. The other was a full-body shot of Harris wearing Converse sneakers and a black suit in front of a pink and green background. The background colors honor Harris’ Howard University sorority.
Liberals erupted online, and news outlets rushed to cover the backlash. By choosing the latter photo, Washington Post senior critic Robin Givhan wrote, the magazine did not give Harris “due respect” and should have provided a sense of “awe.”
“It was overly familiar,” she wrote. “It was a cover image that, in effect, called Harris by her first name without invitation … A bit of awe would have served the magazine well in its cover decisions. Nothing about the cover said, ‘Wow.’ And sometimes, that’s all Black women want, an admiring and celebratory ‘wow’ over what they have accomplished.”
“What a mess up,” left-wing New York Times contributor Wajahat Ali wrote. “[Vogue editor] Anna Wintour must really not have Black friends and colleagues.”
However, the writer, editor and photographer for the Harris story were all Black.
All three network news outlets did stories on the supposed controversy, including segments on “CBS This Morning” and ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
CBS correspondent Vladimir Duthiers cited “critics” who deemed the shot of Harris “disrespectful” and even “a little racist,” although he also noted the photographer, editor and writer for the Vogue story were all Black.
In a tease for the story, an ABC narrator declared, “Vogue under fire” and assured viewers they would get the full story.
Outlets that have largely ignored significant political stories in recent months managed to report that Harris was “blindsided” by the picture Vogue chose for the print cover, citing sources on her team.
Vogue, a left-leaning magazine, was certainly not out to hurt or damage Harris. To the contrary, it told inquiring outlets it used the picture of Harris in her sneakers because it captured her “authentic, approachable nature, which we feel is one of the hallmarks of the Biden-Harris administration.”
The article gushed over the vice president-elect’s “almost regal ability to let hostility or criticisms glide off her” and her “natural charisma and relatability.”
Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour said last year she would vote for Biden, calling him “unmistakably a man of character.”