A comment from an Associated Press editor epitomizes the danger the mainstream media creates with its routine respect for sources, writes Caitlin Johnstone.
Caitlin Johnstone / CaitlinJohnstone.com
T.An Associated Press journalist who reported false claims by US intelligence officials that Russia launched a missile over Poland last week has been fired.
As previously discussed, AP’s Anonymous Source report states:Two dead as Russian missile hits NATO member Poland, senior US intelligence official says” went viral because of the direct and heated war that broke out between Russia and its NATO allies.
The AP then retracted that article as the mainstream political/media class came to admit that it was in fact a Ukrainian missile that hit Poland.
Become a patron by December 15th and receive a free book from Robert Scheer.
The AP’s dismissal of reporter James LaPorta is, at this point, the end point of accountability for the dissemination of this very dangerous lie.
AP spokesperson Lauren Easton has said no disciplinary action will be taken against the editors who published the hoaxes, and to this day continue to spread the most egregious misinformation and disinformation to the government. The identity of US officials has been kept secret from the public. Published through mainstream news outlets.
It is absolutely unacceptable that the AP would continue to maintain the anonymity of a government official who made such a grave misrepresentation.
This affected not only AP staff, but the whole world. We have a right to know what happened and who was responsible, and AP has no business blocking that knowledge from us.
The LaPorta shooting looks like another example of a debacle in which the least powerful person is held accountable.
Powerful intelligence officials would take no responsibility for disseminating false information to the media — thereby ensuring that it would happen again — and that subsequent reporting would be on their side. No disciplinary action will be taken against Laporta’s boss, despite revealing his absolute buffoonery in .
In an article titled “AP Reporter Fired for False Report on Russian Attack,” Washington Post It reports (emphasis added):
“Internal AP communications seen by The Washington Post show confusion and misunderstandings during the preparation of the erroneous report.
LaPorta shared the US official’s tip in an electronic message around 1:30 pm US Eastern time. The editor immediately asked if AP should issue a warning about his information. “Or do you need confirmation from another source or Poland?”
After further discussion, another editor said he would “vote” for the alert to be published, adding:I don’t think US intelligence officials are wrong about this.”
“I don’t think US intelligence officials are wrong about this.”
Can you imagine that U.S. intelligence officials can’t imagine being wrong?
For an educated adult, much less a journalist, much less an editor, much less the editor of the most influential news agency on the planet, this is an unacceptable position.
These are the people who publish the news reports we read to find out what’s going on in the world. This is the baby brain level thinking these people are serving the public good.
anti-war Commentator Daniel Larrison wrote of the AP editor’s shocking quote:
“Scepticism of official claims should always be the watchword for journalists and analysts. These are claims that require more scrutiny than usual. If you can’t imagine that you could be making a serious mistake, you’re over-taking it for granted that you should question it and check it out first.
Many government intelligence officials have provided information to journalists, and have done so virtually since there have been mass news outlets to provide information. And that information should not be relied upon simply because an official source provided it. There is always the possibility of misunderstanding things because you were in a hurry to reach a conclusion about
Whether the AP’s sources had given them the line or were simply wrong, such provocative and serious allegations should have been investigated more thoroughly before approaching public disclosure. The AP report in this case seems to have been a combination of “too good to check” articles and a culture of respect for official sources whose editors felt compelled to make no effort to check. “
In fact, the only reason the press has such explicit protection in the U.S. Constitution is that they are supposed to hold those in power accountable.
[In his 1971 opinion in the Pentagon Papers case, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black wrote: “In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government.”]
When highly influential news agency editors unquestionably parrot whatever government officials offer them, while protecting those officials with anonymity, they are held accountable to those in power. and in fact no meaningful difference from state propagandists.
they that is national propagandist. That’s probably why they’re sipping lattes in his AP newsroom while Julian Assange languishes in prison.
As JacobinsThe Blanco Marcetic ObservedIt’s not the first time AP has anonymously covered a senior U.S. government official disseminating false claims with potentially dangerous consequences. may try to take advantage of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the
- Powerful Government Officials Who Fed AP Hoaxes: Zero Accountability
- AP editor who asked if report should be published as soon as article is received: no accountability
- AP’s Second Editor Says Can’t Imagine U.S. Intelligence Officials Wrong: Zero Accountability
- Journalist who wrote the article: Singular accountability
In a healthy society, power and responsibility will go hand in hand. Disasters are blamed on the most powerful people involved in their occurrence. In our society, it’s generally the opposite, with ordinary people being responsible for everything and having no power.
Our rulers lie to us, advertise us, endanger us, impoverish us, destroy journalism, start wars, kill our biosphere, Make our world dark and confusing.
We cannot allow them to continue to have all power and no responsibility. This is backwards and should be terminated.