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Breaking An Embargo
Tue May 29, 2012
Shop Talk - May 29
The panelists discuss an apology issued by the Associated Press 67 years after the fact.
AP rebuked and then fired correspondent Edward Kennedy after he reported -- a full day ahead of the competition -- that the Germans had unconditionally surrendered in World War II. Kennedy was one of 17 reporters who witnessed the surrender ceremony. But in exchange for being allowed to see the ceremony, they were barred from reporting on it until authorized by Allied headquarters.
Kennedy broke the embargo when the surrender was announced by German radio. He said there were no military secrets at stake, plus the embargo had been extended from a few hours to 36 hours. He contended it was absurd to bottle up news of this magnitude.
The other reporters who witnessed the ceremony felt betrayed by Kennedy, and AP ended up letting him go. The Shop Talk panelists believe Kennedy made the correct decision -- once German radio announced the surrender there was no point in postponing the story.
Current AP President and CEO Tom Curley has issued an apology and Kennedy's daughter is reportedly “overjoyed” by the news service's decision.
Kennedy died in a traffic crash in 1963.