When both sources are anonymous, the AP, according to Mediaite, requires two sources for confirmation. Now, AP has fired a reporter who risked triggering WWIII with Polish missile misinformation.
Five days after the Associated Press referenced an anonymous ‘senior US intelligence official’ in a story claiming a Russian missile killed two Polish citizens, one of the two journalists behind the story was sacked.
The now-retracted report, which triggered a whole news cycle and included discussions of invoking “Article 5” – the mutual defense agreement between NATO members – and would have required other members to take part in collective defense, or WWIII – has the bylines of reporters James LaPorta (fired) and John Leichester.
As the day progressed, President Biden emerged from a NATO/G7 session, mumbling that “it’s unlikely” the projectile was shot from Russia. NATO then joined in, claiming that the missile was most probably launched in self-defense by Ukrainian forces (or was it?).
Later, AP corrected the report and withdrew it, placing the blame on the unnamed intelligence official.
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When both sources are anonymous, the AP, according to Mediaite, requires two sources for confirmation of this type of story. Nobody has revealed who modified the article or what might become of them.
The Daily Beast said on Monday that LaPorta had been fired for false reporting, but Leicester has continued to work for the wire service as of this writing.
On James LaPorta’s Twitter account, however,