The Associated Press (AP) has fired James LaPorta, the investigative reporter responsible for the false report claiming that Russia was responsible for the missile strike on Poland last week.
The report, which led to an emergency meeting by G7 and Nato leaders at the G20 summit, was allegedly based on the information given to a single “senior U.S. intelligence official.”
The AP later retracted the report, and a correction was issued claiming that the missiles were “Russian-made and most likely fired by Ukraine in defense against a Russian attack.”
Officials now widely agree that a Ukrainian air-defense missile was responsible for the attack that killed two civilians on Polish territory.
According to an investigative report by the Daily Beast, when asked for comment, an AP spokesperson issued a statement that read, “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.”
On Tuesday, LaPorta put out a Tweet thanking the “multitude of journalists, editors and long-time readers” who had reached out to him with words of encouragement and kindness.
I’d like to thank the multitude of journalists, editors and long-time readers that have reached out to me with words of encouragement and kindness. It sincerely means the world.
— James LaPorta (@JimLaPorta) November 22, 2022
The inadequately sourced story by LaPorta, written with John Leicester, caused much panic among the international community. Poland is a member of NATO. If it had been determined that Russia had attacked Poland, it could have triggered Article 5, the linchpin of the NATO alliance created in 1949. Article 5 requires that “an armed attack against one or more of (NATO members) in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.”
In September, Joe Biden reiterated his commitment to the NATO treaty stating that America is “fully prepared with our NATO allies to defend every single inch of NATO territory. Every single inch.” The Ukrainian missile that hit Polish soil did not trigger Article 5.