Harold Hutchison on November 21, 2022
The Associated Press fired a reporter Monday who mistakenly reported that a missile had hit Polish territory Tuesday was Russian, the Daily Beast reported.
The AP dismissed James LaPorta, whose initial report of the missile’s impact in Poland was taken down after NATO and Polish authorities later confirmed the missile, while Russian-built, was revealed to have been fired by Ukrainian forces defending against a Russian attack involving dozens of cruise missiles, according to the Daily Beast.
“In earlier versions of a story published November 15, 2022, The Associated Press reported erroneously, based on information from a senior American intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity, that Russian missiles had crossed into Poland and killed two people,” the AP’s correction issued Wednesday said. “Subsequent reporting showed that the missiles were Russian-made and most likely fired by Ukraine in defense against a Russian attack.”
“The AP routinely seeks and requires more than one source when sourcing in anonymous,” the AP’s statement of news values and principles says, adding that the use of a single source is sufficient in “rare cases” where the source is “an authoritative figure who provides information so detailed that there is no question of its accuracy.”
BREAKING: The AP scared much of the world last Tuesday when it reported that “a senior U.S. intelligence official” said “Russian missiles crossed into NATO member Poland, killing two people.” On Monday, the reporter responsible for that story was fired. https://t.co/lzS6ctuQqK
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) November 22, 2022
Experts, including retired Adm. James Stavridis, a former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, initially doubted the missile was intentionally fired at Poland.
“If you’re Putin and you have decided to attack NATO, the odds of launching two random missiles into a field in Poland, that’s not how this is going to start,” Stavridis told MSNBC host Chris Jansing Tuesday. “So if you had to bet right now, I think you’d bet these were errant missiles. They went astray.”
Ukraine uses many weapon systems in service with the Russian military, stemming from the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, according to GlobalSecurity.org.
“The rigorous editorial standards and practices of The Associated Press are critical to AP’s mission as independent news organization,” an AP spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “To ensure our reporting is accurate, fair and fact-based, we abide by and enforce these standards, including around the use of anonymous sources.”
“When our standards are violated, we must take the steps necessary to protect the integrity of the news report,” the spokesperson continued. “We do not make these decisions lightly, nor are they based on isolated incidents.”
It is unclear whether the AP spokesperson’s statement referred to the correction of the aforementioned article or LaPorta’s reported firing.
LaPorta did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.
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