The corporate news media and its vanguard in the so-called ‘fact-checking’ industry took another hit on Monday as an Associated Press reporter was fired over a breaking news report had the public wondering if Russia and the West were heading towards another world war.
The AP reportedly fired journalist Jim LaPorta, who had one of the two bylines on a retracted report that Russian missiles had killed two civilians in NATO member Poland. The report relied a single anonymous source, which is a violation of AP’s policy.
“The Associated Press scared much of the world last Tuesday when it alerted readers that ‘a senior U.S. intelligence official’ said ‘Russian missiles crossed into NATO member Poland, killing two people’,” the Daily Beast first reported.
“That report, which was widely cited across the internet and on cable news, was taken offline the following day and replaced with an editor’s note admitting the single source was wrong and that ‘subsequent reporting showed that the missiles were Russian-made and most likely fired by Ukraine in defense against a Russian attack’,” the Beast added.
“The piece, which was originally co-bylined with John Leicester (who is still working at the AP), attributed the information to a single ‘senior U.S. intelligence official,’ despite the AP’s rule that it ‘routinely seeks and requires more than one source when sourcing is anonymous’,” the report added.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy seized on the report to saber-rattle that it was a “significant escalation” of the regional conflict.
“Russian missiles hit Poland, the territory of our friendly country. People died,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address.
The AP report was retracted, but not before European members convened emergency security meetings, as well as world leaders at the G-2o summit.
“World leaders gathering at the G20 summit in Bali are attempting to diffuse a potential escalation in the months-long Ukraine war after a ‘Russian-made’ missile struck NATO-member Poland killing two people,” CNN reported.
“The missile landed outside the rural Polish village of Przewodow, about four miles (6.4 kilometers) west from the Ukrainian border on Tuesday afternoon, roughly the same time as Russia launched its biggest wave of missile attacks on Ukrainian cities in more than a month,” CNN continued.
“The circumstances surrounding the incident, which marks the first time a NATO country has been directly hit during the almost nine-month conflict, remain unclear.” CNN added. “It is not known who fired the missile, or precisely where it was fired from, though the Polish Foreign Ministry has described it as “Russian-made.”
President Joe Biden said that preliminary information indicated it was “unlikely” the missile was fired from within Russia.
“We agreed to support Poland’s investigation into the explosion … And I’m going to make sure we figure out exactly what happened,” Biden said. “Then we’re going to collectively determine our next step as we investigate and proceed. There was total unanimity among the folks at the table.”
“Following Biden’s statement, a NATO military official told CNN the missile had been tracked by an alliance aircraft flying above Polish airspace at the time of the blast,” the report noted.
“Intel with the radar tracks [of the missile] was provided to NATO and Poland,” the NATO military official said, but did not qualify who launched the missile or where it was fired from.
The AP report marks yet another black mark on the mainstream media’s recent history of publishing “fake news.” Such reports include:
- Trump-Russia collusion
- Trump called Neo-Nazis “fine people”
- Jussie Smollett
- Bubba Wallace garage pull
- Covington kids
- Kavanaugh rape alegations
- Steele dossier
- Covid lab leak was a “conspiracy theory”
- Russian bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan
- Trump said drinking beach would fight Covid
- Muslim ‘travel ban’
- Hunter Biden’s laptop was ‘Russian disinformation’
- Jim Crow 2.0
- Trump built cages for migrant kids
- Build Back Better would pay for itself
- Trump overfed Koi fish in Japan
- The Inflation Reduction Act was about fighting inflation
- Trump tax cuts only benefited the rich
- Cloth and surgical masks stop the spread of Covid
- If you’re vaccinated you can’t catch or spread Covid
- ‘Mostly peaceful’ BLM protests
- Trump used teargas to clear crowd for Bible photo op
- Police officers were “killed” on January 6
- January 6 was an “insurrection” and not a riot
- Ivermectin is a horse dewormer and not for humans
- The Putin Price hike was to blame for gas prices and inflation
- Trump overpowered Secret Service agent and took the wheel of “The Beast”
The mainstream media should be the last ones to complain about “fake news,” given that they are responsible for spreading the most damaging false stories in America for the last six years.
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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.