The idea that a mainstream outlet stripped a negative lead from a story about a Democratic politician generated a social media backlash, with critics asserting that The Post was protecting the vice president — or that the deletion had occurred at the request of the new Democratic administration. “That’s absurd,” responded Coratti.

As collusion theories go, this one has some drawbacks. The “prison” lead, after all, was published on a proprietary basis by The Post before the Democratic primary and the general election. If the newspaper maintained such corrupt coziness with Harris’s team, the anecdote surely would have disappeared long ago or never surfaced in the first place.

The original lead was, in fact, a poor choice for a story on Maya Harris pegged to the presidential inauguration. The update, furthermore, contained details about Maya Harris’s involvement in the Biden-Harris general election campaign. A genuine effort to retrofit the piece for a special section appears to have been afoot.