The Associated Press pushed NATO into direct confrontation with Russia after it reported last Tuesday that a “senior U.S. intelligence official” said, “Russian missiles crossed into NATO member Poland, killing two people.”
The report was false. Jim LaPorta, the Associated Press reporter whose byline appears in the article, has been fired.
Numerous outlets, including cable news channels and newspapers, ran with headlines stating that Russia had attacked Poland, prompting European politicians and political commentators to call for action against Russia.
Notably, Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky blamed Russia for the missile strike, which was of Ukrainian origin, and demanded that the world take military action against the country.
The Associated Press removed the report the next day with a full retraction, replacing it with an editor’s note admitting that the 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 Confider (Daily Beast) reports that LaPorta, who was responsible for the story, has been fired. John Leicester, who originally shared a byline with LaPorta, remains at the AP. As detailed by the publication, the AP has a rule in place, which states that it requires more than a single source when sourcing is anonymous.
The exception to the rule comes when material comes from an authoritative figure who provides information so detailed that there is no question of its accuracy,” which was clearly not the case with the Tuesday report.