For those unfamiliar, since May of this year the Associated Press has had a new Washington Bureau Chief, a past AP reporter named Ron Fournier. According to Politico, the previous chief was pushed out to make room for Fournier in a "hard-feelings shake-up" with the old chief left worried that Fournier might "destroy" the AP.
A pretty stark assessment, of course, but not necessarily all sour grapes from the passing chief because there is a legitimate reason for her to worry about Fournier. You see, Fournier has decided that a more hard-charging, opinion oriented style of writing is the new direction the AP should take in this new Internet age and it's a direction that makes the AP's past bias even more pronounced.
Former chief, Sandy Johnson, is a bit worried about Fournier's new direction.
“I loved the Washington bureau. I just hope he doesn’t destroy it,”
she is quoted as telling the Politico. It seems she has reason to worry.
There’s more to her vinegary remark than just the aftertaste of a sour parting. Fournier is a main engine in a high-stakes experiment at the 162-year old wire to move from its signature neutral and detached tone to an aggressive, plain-spoken style of writing that Fournier often describes as “cutting through the clutter.”
Fournier is also reported as saying that his goal is to "stick it to somebody who deserves it" because the "public is losing faith" in government, religion, the military, big business and the courts.
Notice that Fournier seemed to forget the one institution that the public mistrusts in great numbers, the media.
No, to Fournier, the media seems to be the nation's savior and therein lies the danger he represents to the nation as a whole. He thinks he is our savior lending him the possibility of arrogant overreach.
Background on bullethead
(feel free to remove the 'lle')
Ron Fournier leaves Hotsoup.com, returns to AP Ron Fournier, the former chief political writer for The Associated Press who left AP last summer to edit political Web site HotSoup.com, is returning to AP as online political editor. His primary responsibilities will be developing new approaches to political and election coverage online, working with AP's news, multimedia and revenue groups, the AP's executive editor announced.
Topic: Memos Sent to Romenesko Date/Time: 3/2/2007 9:39:07 AM Title: AP's Carroll announces Fournier's return Posted By: Jim Romenesko Memo from AP executive editor Kathleen Carroll Ladies and Gentlemen I'm delighted to tell you that veteran political journalist Ron Fournier is returning to The Associated Press in the newly created role of Online Political Editor. His primary responsibilities will be developing new approaches to political and election coverage online, working with AP's news, multimedia and revenue groups. Ron also will contribute to that coverage, bringing his sharp eye and multimedia experience to analysis and some new storytelling on this important topic. There, he will work closely with AP's Political Editor, Donna Cassata, under the direction of Washington Bureau Chief Sandy Johnson. Longer range, Ron will drive a new coverage focus on accountability and governing. People want all kinds of information about the candidates and the issues so they can decide who next will lead them. In this exciting new role, Ron will help find new ways to deliver that information, building on the strong work of the AP journalists covering this important story. Fournier got his start as a political reporter at the statehouse in Little Ark., covering then-Gov. Bill Clinton. He covered Clinton's presidential campaign, moved to Washington in 1993 after Clinton was elected and spent 13 years covering the White House and national politics. He left AP last summer to become editor in chief of HOTSOUP.com, a Web site that engaged citizens in online conversation with politicians and experts about the key issues of the day. "Ron is one of the finest political reporters in the country, and he earned his online stripes at HOTSOUP.com over the last year," Johnson said. "He’s ideally suited to this new role." Fournier was a co-author of the 2006 book: "Applebee's America. How Successful Political, Business, and Religious Leaders Connect with the New American Community." He returns on March 7 and will continue to be based in Washington. For those of you in Washington, he'll be in the bureau next week. He'll be in New York the week of March 12-16 spending time in various departments around headquarters.
Ron Fournier From SourceWatch Jump to: navigation, search Ron Fournier is the online political editor at the Associated Press. He formerly served as the AP's chief political writer. In mid-2006, Fournier was a founding member and editor in chief of the online political and social networking community HOTSOUP.com. Fournier returned to the AP in March 2007.
Profiles According to his Leading Authorities, Inc., speaker's profile, Fournier was most recently chief political writer for the Associated Press, with duties to include "reporting stories about Congress, the White House and actions of both major parties that impact the national political landscape. He spent much of 2005 writing a book about the challenges facing political, business and religious leaders in the 21st century, and was a fellow at Harvard University's Institute of Politics in the spring 2005 semester. "In the 2004 campaign, Fournier was the top reporter on a team that included a four-person White House staff that traveled with President Bush and a two-person Democratic team that tailed Sen. John Kerry. Fournier worked with those traveling AP teams along with its money, media, polling and investigative units to produce stories about breaking news or emerging themes. On Jan. 5, 2004, Fournier was the first to report that Kerry was getting 'new life' in Iowa before public polls reflected the momentum and, on Nov. 3, 2004, he was the first to report that Kerry had called Bush to concede the election. "Fournier is in his second stint as the AP's chief political writer. He held the position for the 1998 midterms and the 2000 presidential campaign, winning the Society of Professional Journalists' 2000 Sigma Delta Chi Award for coverage of that election. "After the 2000 campaign, Fournier became chief White House correspondent, a post he held for the first half of Bush's term. He won the prestigious White House Correspondents Association Merriman Smith award for his coverage of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks from inside the evacuated mansion. While covering the Clinton White House, he twice won the Merriman Smith, including in 1997 for exclusive coverage of President Clinton's second-term Cabinet selections. "Fournier began his journalism career at the Hot Springs, Ark., Sentinel Record in 1985. He transferred to the Arkansas Democrat in 1987 and began covering then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton a year later. In 1989, Fournier was hired by The AP, which transferred him to Washington, D.C., after Clinton's election in 1992. "He and his wife, Lori, are natives of Detroit who attended the University of Detroit. They are raising three children in Arlington, Virginia."
And in another look at where AP is headed: "AP Films Taliban Murdering Women, Calls it 'Execution' by 'Militants,'" see http://www.jawa.mu.nu/
This is about the AP photographer who had the Taliban pose for him shortly before they murdered two women, a process which he filmed. Anybody who buys a newspaper with an AP subscription paid for this. Nice.
That name was familiar to me but couldn't recall from where so I had to look it up and wah-lah -- found it....
Fournier gangrene, Fournier's gangrene, idiopathic gangrene of the penis and scrotum, spontaneous fulminant gangrene of the scrotum, necrotizing fasciitis of the scrotum, necrotizing fasciitis of the male genitalia, infectious gangrene of the scrotum and penis, scrotal gangrene, synergistic gangrene of the male genitalia, gangrenous erysipelas of the scrotum, streptococcal gangrene of the scrotum, necrotizing fasciitis.
Poor guy. Oh well, at least he's famous.)