Friday, April 20, 2018

Associated Press apologizes for firing reporter over World War II scoop

In World War II's final moments in Europe, Associated Press correspondent Edward Kennedy gave his news agency perhaps the biggest scoop in its history. He reported, a full day ahead of the competition, that the Germans had surrendered unconditionally at a former schoolhouse in Reims, France.

For this, he was publicly rebuked by the AP, and then quietly fired.

The problem: Kennedy had defied military censors to get the story out. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Harry Truman had agreed to suppress news of the capitulation for a day, in order to allow Russian dictator Josef Stalin to stage a second surrender ceremony in Berlin. Kennedy was also accused of breaking a pledge that he and 16 other journalists had made to keep the surrender a secret for a time, as a condition of being allowed to witness it firsthand.

Sixty-seven years later, the AP's top executive is apologizing for the way the company treated Kennedy.

"It was a terrible day for the AP. It was handled in the worst possible way," said president and CEO Tom Curley.

Kennedy, he said, "did everything just right." Curley rejected the notion that the AP had a duty to obey the order to hold the story once it was clear the embargo was for political reasons, rather than to protect the troops.

"Once the war is over, you can't hold back information like that. The world needed to know," he said.

Kennedy, who died in a traffic accident in 1963, had long sought such public vindication from his old employer. His daughter, Julia Kennedy Cochran, of Bend, Ore., said she was "overjoyed" by the apology.

Comments
ZTE protests US penalty, says it is seeking solution

ZTE protests US penalty, says it is seeking solution

Chinese tech giant ZTE Corp. has warned a ban on access to U.S. technology threatens the company's survival and said it is looking for a legal solution
Updated: 1 hour ago

Sudanese president fires foreign minister after pay remark

Sudanese news agency: President al-Bashir fires foreign minister after criticism, comment over halt in salaries
Updated: 1 hour ago
Koreas set up 1st hotline between leaders ahead of summit

Koreas set up 1st hotline between leaders ahead of summit

North and South Korea have installed a telephone hotline between their leaders as they prepare for a rare summit next week aimed at resolving the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang
Updated: 1 hour ago
Indonesia's Aceh canes couples for public shows of affection

Indonesia's Aceh canes couples for public shows of affection

Indonesia's deeply conservative Aceh province has publicly caned unmarried couples for showing affection in public and two women for prostitution
Updated: 1 hour ago

Dutch probe 'appalling' euthanasia of dementia patient

In a rare series of moves, Dutch authorities are investigating whether doctors may have committed crimes including murder or other offences in five euthanasia cases, including the deaths of two women with advanced Alzheimer's disease
Updated: 1 hour ago

South Africa's leader cuts short UK visit after protests

South Africa's leader cuts short UK visit after violent protests in provincial capital
Updated: 1 hour ago
Israeli leaflets tell Gaza residents to shun border protest

Israeli leaflets tell Gaza residents to shun border protest

Israeli military aircraft drop leaflets urging Palestinians to stay away from Gaza border protest
Updated: 2 hours ago
Israeli leaflets tell Gaza residents to shun border protest

Israeli leaflets tell Gaza residents to shun border protest

Israeli military aircraft drop leaflets urging Palestinians to stay away from Gaza border protest
Updated: 2 hours ago

Tiny African kingdom of Swaziland changes its name

Tiny African kingdom of Swaziland changes its name; absolute monarch decrees eSwatini instead
Updated: 2 hours ago
First clues emerge about Cuba's future under new president

First clues emerge about Cuba's future under new president

First clues of Cuba's future power structure under new president emerge
Updated: 2 hours ago