September 25, 2023

When you talk about “fake news,” our propaganda media has done a great job spreading false stories that are so dangerous, they could literally get people killed, or, like what just recently happened, they could cause a nuclear war. An AP reporter almost started WW3 when he got a tip from one of his “insider sources” within the intel community, that claimed Poland had just been hit by a Russian missile and two people were dead as a result. And since Poland is a member of NATO, if that had actually happened, a full-blown war would have started almost immediately, and the US would have been dragged in, like it or not.

And trust me, Zelensky was right there on TV, calling for WW3, and blaming Russia.

But it turns out that’s not actually what happened.

It wasn’t a missile from Russia that hit Poland. It was a missile from Ukraine, ironically.

Big whoops, right? Well, the reporter who got that tip and reported on it has now been fired by the Associated Press.

Our media is such a dangerous mess. Maybe fact-checkers should spend more time focusing on them, and less time “fact-checking” Biden memes.

Daily Beast reported that 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.”

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.”

On Monday, the AP fired James LaPorta, the investigative reporter responsible for that story, Confider has learned.

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 only exception, according to its statement of news values and principles, is when “material comes from an authoritative figure who provides information so detailed that there is no question of its accuracy”—a situation that seemingly did not occur, as the report was fully retracted last Wednesday.

When reached for comment, an AP spokesperson did not comment on LaPorta’s ouster but instead wrote: “The rigorous editorial standards and practices of The Associated Press are critical to AP’s mission as an independent news organization. To ensure our reporting is accurate, fair and fact-based, we abide by and enforce these standards, including around the use of anonymous sources.”

LaPorta, a former Daily Beast contributor, declined to comment. His firing comes nearly a decade after the news wire fired reporter Bob Lewis over an erroneous report alleging then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe lied to a federal investigator. That report, published in October 2013, was retracted two hours after it went up. Two editors were also fired for the mistake, including Lewis’ direct editor and the editor to whom he filed the flawed story.

I think the bigger question here should be, who was the “top intel official” ‘who passed this fake info to him, and what was their motive for that?

I have my own ideas about why that happened, and I don’t think it was a “mistake.” I think it was a plan that likely fell through, or went wrong and this reporter is taking the fall for it.

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