Wednesday, July 23, 2008

AP Must Fire Ron Fournier

Fire this Republican cheerleader

Media Matters for America: The AP has a Ron Fournier problem

We wrote about Ron Fournier's inappropriate emails to Karl Rove here. You can read the emails in the House Oversight Committee report (pdf file) here on page 23.

Karl Rove exchanged e-mails about Pat Tillman with Associated Press reporter Ron Fournier, under the subject line "H-E-R-O." In response to Mr. Fournier's e-mail, Mr. Rove asked, "How does our country continue to produce men and women like this," to which Mr. Fournier replied, "The Lord creates men and women like this all over the world. But only the great and free countries allow them to flourish. Keep up the fight."
When confronted with the fact of his cheerleading, Fournier claimed (a) the emails were just "too breezy" in tone, and (b) that he was researching an article on Pat Tillman's death.

Eric Boehlert of Media Matters has discovered that the second claim cannot be true, as Ron Fournier never wrote an article about Pat Tillman:

Yet according to a search of Nexis, Fournier didn't write any bylined articles about Pat Tillman's death in April 2004. Or ever, for that matter. That means Fournier wasn't reaching out as a reporter to Rove for information, quotes, or context about the sad Tillman story. Fournier didn't need Rove to be a "source" for the Tillman story because Fournier wasn't covering the Tillman story.

Instead, Fournier seemed to be using the Tillman story as an opportunity to initiate contact with Rove and let him know that Fournier was on his side, and to urge Rove to "keep up the fight."

Read the entire article at Media Matters to see Fournier and AP's history of Republican cheerleading. Fournier isn't an objective journalist. Here's just one odious example of his bias:

For instance, in the months before Fournier was privately bonding with Rove and urging the White House to "keep up the fight," this was the lead Fournier wrote for a straight-ahead news article about then-Democratic front-runner Howard Dean receiving Al Gore's endorsement:

Dean hopes the coveted endorsement eases concerns among party leaders about his lack of foreign policy experience, testy temperament, policy flip-flops, campaign miscues and edgy anti-war, antiestablishment message.

Gee, not many Rovian talking points embedded in that AP article, eh?

You can let AP know what you think of their Republican plant Ron Fournier here at their contact page. I'm sure if the AP fires him, he could very quickly get a job with the McCain campaign. For writing stuff like this:

The fact is, Fournier's McCain love runs deep and goes back years. In 2004, when McCain wasn't even a candidate, Fournier praised him in print as "a former Vietnam War hero who emerged from his 2000 defeat as one of the nation's most popular politicians, beloved by independent voters and courted by both presidential candidates."

The next year, while reviewing the possible 2008 presidential field, Fournier insisted the Arizona senator was "favored by a majority of Democrats and independents who would vote in a general election."

But that breathless claim had no factual basis.

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