If you’re reading this, chances are you are not tuning in to CNN, MSNBC, or what remains of the Big Three networks, lapping up whatever you are served. You refuse to play the role of an obedient dog at the master’s dinette set, waiting for a “good boy” and a forkful of pork chops. Which is a good thing because the MSM has a penchant for skewing the news. But you hardly need me to tell you that.
Ever since the advent of NBC’s Arthur Kent, known as the Scud Stud during the Gulf War in 1991, and probably even before, journalists have fancied themselves as modern-day Indiana Joneses. At one point during that war, journalists were referred to as “Banana Republicans” for the khaki gear they wore full of zippers and pockets, giving them an adventurous air. Or they think they are channeling Edward R. Murrow, who reported from London during the Blitz. In any event, they are all too often legends in their own minds.
The Post Millennial notes that reporter Jim LaPorta may be trading in his khaki gear for an Applebee’s apron or a Costco name tag following his report on the “Russian” missiles that hit Poland. This of course was not what happened. LaPorta has reportedly been shown the gate by the Associated Press after his was one of a pair of bylines on an article stating that Russian missiles struck Poland. The original story by LaPorta, based on an anonymous source, ran on November 15, and the AP ran a correction on the following day that read:
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. Subsequent reporting showed that the missiles were Russian-made and most likely fired by Ukraine in defense against a Russian attack.
LaPorta also tweeted this follow-up post:
Poland's president says the missile blast that killed two near the Ukrainian border appears to be an "unfortunate accident," not an "intentional attack." Three U.S. officials said preliminary assessments suggested it was fired by Ukrainian forces at an incoming Russian one. https://t.co/YzyAW8I5Cr
— James LaPorta (@JimLaPorta) November 16, 2022
AP standards mandate that there must be more than one anonymous source unless the information is provided by “an authoritative figure who provides information so detailed that there is no question of its accuracy.” LaPorta wrote the story with colleague John Leicester, who is apparently still with the AP.
It is possible that LaPorta got over his skis with a major headline that, if true, could have significantly altered the course of events in the war. But that is also why God made editors, who are supposed to make sure reporters have checked their facts on something of this magnitude and to ensure that the sources are legit. So while LaPorta may have gotten excited, somewhere there was a cooler head that should have prevailed. It may well have been an honest and even earnest mistake, but instances such as these continue to call into question not only the MSM’s professionalism but its integrity.