SUBJ: Putting the AP brand at risk: Ron Fournier
The Associated Press
Dear Ms. Carroll:
I apologize for further crowding your in-box, but ever since I was old enough to read a newspaper I have thought of the AP as the gold standard for objective, “just-the-facts” journalism. Ron Fournier’s conduct, and AP’s decision to leave him in charge of the Washington Bureau, have forced me to re-think that belief.
It seems to me that, just as a matter of appearances, allowing someone who negotiated for a job with one of the candidates to drive AP’s election coverage is imprudent. The sycophantic emails from Fournier to Karl Rove — at the moment when, as we now know, Rove was engaged in an especially ghoulish act of deception with the press as his instrument — make things worse.
Those suspicions might have slept if Fournier and his colleagues had provided even reasonably even-handed treatment of the candidates. But the actual slant of AP’s Presidential campaign coverage — culminating in this morning’s hit-piece aimed at Joe Biden and at Barack Obama for choosing him — is now too obvious to ignore.
I urge you, for the sake of the institution you lead, to replace Fournier with someone who understands the difference between fact and opinion and who will cover this campaign with something resembling an even hand and insist that others do the same.