Action item

Write to the Executive Editor of the AP, kathleen carroll and politely ask her to rescue the AP brand from Ron Fournier.


SUBJ: Putting the AP brand at risk: Ron Fournier

Kathleen Carroll

Executive Editor

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.


Steve Benen has the background.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: