Liberal, Irreverent

Sunday, August 24, 2008

AP's Ron Fournier Bias Against Obama

On Saturday, the Associated Press (whose articles are published in thousands of newspapers nationwide) wrote a story about Barack Obama's vice presidential pick that sounded more like right-wing FOX than an unbiased news organization. Under the headline "Biden pick shows lack of confidence," the AP wrote:

The candidate of change went with the status quo. In picking Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate, Barack Obama sought to shore up his weakness—inexperience in office and on foreign policy...He picked a 35-year veteran of the Senate—the ultimate insider...The Biden selection is the next logistical step in an Obama campaign that has become more negative..."1

This isn't an isolated incident for the AP reporter who wrote this story, Ron Fournier—who was recently appointed as the AP's Washington, D.C. Bureau Chief. Media watchdog group Media Matters wrote a report showing that Fournier's presidential coverage has consistently smeared Democrats and favored John McCain.2

You can email AP reporter Ron Fournier and CC his boss, Managing Editor Mike Oreskes. Tell them that the public's faith in the 160-year-old AP will be gone if Ron Fournier is allowed to continue his slanted articles against Democrats and for McCain.

Here are their emails:
Michael Oreskes, AP Managing Editor,
Ron Fournier, AP reporter and Washington D.C. Bureau Chief,

A congressional investigation recently uncovered an email Fournier sent to Karl Rove in 2004, telling him to "Keep up the fight."3 Plus, it was recently revealed that Fournier talked to top McCain campaign operatives in 2007 about being a senior McCain political adviser!4 Given all this, Fournier has an obligation to the public to show that he's not a partisan McCain supporter.

But during the 2008 primary, Fournier wrote what amounted to a bunch of smear jobs on Barack Obama and the Clintons. Here are some of the "fair and balanced" pieces he wrote:
Headline: "Sen. Hillary Clinton an Artful Dodger" Excerpt: "Slick Hillary? Former President Clinton earned the nickname 'Slick Willy' for his mastery in the political arts of ducking and dodging...His wife may not be as smooth, but Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is doing a passable impression of the ever-parsing former president."5

Headline: "Obama walks arrogance line" Excerpt: "There's a line smart politicians don't cross—somewhere between "I'm qualified to be president" and "I'm born to be president." Wherever it lies, Barack Obama better watch his step. He's bordering on arrogance."6

Headline: "Clinton's Politics of Pity" Excerpt: "Poor Hillary. After trying to save her sinking candidacy with awkward turns of flattery and sarcasm, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton resorted to a new tactic in Tuesday night's debate: self-pity."7

Meanwhile, Media Matters could only find one negative piece Fournier wrote about Republicans during the entire primary—and that was trashing Mitt Romney for beating John McCain in Michigan!8 (Fournier called McCain's loss "a defeat for authenticity in politics" and glowingly called McCain "the man who spoke hard truths." Seriously! That's unbiased journalism?)


1. "Analysis: Biden pick shows lack of confidence," Associated Press, August 23, 2008

2. "The AP has a Ron Fournier problem," Media Matters, July 22, 2008

3. "Fournier to Rove: 'Keep Up the Fight," TPM, July 14, 2008

4. "One of Fournier's job options: McCain,", July 30, 2008
5. "Sen. Hillary Clinton an Artful Dodger," Associated Press, June 20, 2007

6. "Obama walks arrogance line," Associated Press, March 17, 2008

7. "AP Opinion: Clinton's politics of pity," Associated Press, February 27, 2008

8. "Analysis: Mitt won, authenticity lost," Associated Press, January 15, 2008

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