Imagine getting fired for reporting the scoop that WWII had ended. Well that's exactly what happened to journalist Edward Kennedy, and it's taken The Associated Press 67 years to apologize, but he isn't alive to enjoy the vindication. "It was a terrible day for the AP. It was handled in the worst possible way," said president and CEO Tom Curley in an AP report today, adding that the 2007 publication of Breaking News: How the Associated Press Has Covered War, Peace, and Everything Else along with Kennedy's own memoir, Ed Kennedy's War: V-E Day, Censorship & The Associated Press prompted the apology.
Kennedy's story, in today's world of journalism where outlets try to beat each other by nanoseconds, reads almost like a fable: Kennedy had reported, a full day ahead of his competitors, the scoop that the Germans had surrendered unconditionally in France, thus ending WWII. As NPR reports, "Edward Kennedy was among a small group of reporters taken by Allied military officials to witness the May 7, 1945, surrender by German forces at a schoolhouse in Reims, France." But because Truman and Churchill wanted to suppress the news of the surrender, The AP "publicly rebuked" Kennedy and fired him. (This is so unreal to your blogger that he's suppressing the urge to break his own jaw.)
"Kennedy, who died in a traffic accident in 1963, had long sought such public vindication from his old employer," writes the AP, noting that Kennedy was adamant in believing that he "did everything just right." You'll find no complaints here.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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