AP silent after reporter caught in ‘fake news’ scandal
Sept. 7, 2004: After falsely reporting that a crowd President Bush was speaking to booed after he wished President Clinton a speedy recovery from heart surgery, the Associated Press refused to identify the reporter who filed the story or say what punishment he or she might face.
The original report stated: “A crowd at a Bush rally in West Allis, Wis., booed when President Bush offered ex-President Clinton best wishes for a speedy recovery from coronary bypass surgery scheduled for next week. … Bush did nothing to stop them.”
Fortunately, a Milwaukee radio station had broadcast the event live and quickly debunked the story.
A WTMJ producer said, “We carried the President’s speech live, which included the applause for his best wishes for Clinton’s recovery. There was no booing and we had a large number of calls deploring what AP reported.”
A day later, AP issued a correction, but refused to identify the reporter. “The Associated Press does not comment on personnel issues,” was the only response.