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The AP Demands FBI Stop Impersonating Journalists in Investigations

FBI Director James Comey admitted last week that an agent impersonated an Associated Press journalist to catch a suspect who’d made bomb threats. The FBI had created a fake article that looked like it had been on the Seattle Times. The Times was outraged, and now the AP is going after the FBI, writing an open letter calling on the agency to not do it again.

AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt writes to Comey that they want “assurances that this won’t happen again.” He wants to know who authorized the investigation and the impersonation of a journalist, and whether the FBI continues these practices.

And Pruitt doesn’t hold back in hammering the FBI in this letter. Here’s part of what he says:

AP’s “legacy of objectivity, truth, accuracy and integrity” has been degraded, he wrote.

“In stealing our identity, the FBI tarnishes that reputation, belittles the value of the free press rights enshrined in our Constitution and endangers AP journalists and other newsgatherers around the world,” he wrote. “This deception corrodes the most fundamental tenet of a free press — our independence from government control and corollary responsibility to hold government accountable.”

Comey had defended the practice and considers it appropriate.

[image via Shutterstock]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: josh@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac