The Eclectic One

…Because labels are a poor substitute for thinking

Has the AP gone FOX?

Posted by Bill Nance on August 27, 2008

TPM’s Josh Marshal makes a perfect one liner about the latest from the AP’s Washington Bureau Chief Ron Fournier.

“In CIA-speak, They’d Call Him a NOC

He’s referring to this article, which appeared this morning.

The Juice:

Standing before thousands of delegates, almost half of them her backers, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton declared it time “to unite as a single party with a single purpose” and urged her followers to help elect once-bitter rival Barack Obama. “We are on the same team,” she said, after allowing the applause to build to a crescendo and linger, longer than usual — much like the Democratic primary race itself.

“Barack Obama is my candidate,” she said. “And he must be our president.”

But did she mean it? And would it matter?

When I analyze a news article, the juice usually appears in the first few and the last few paragraphs and Fournier was true to this maxim; his summation?

Behind the scenes Tuesday, the Obama and Clinton camps struck a tentative deal that would allow some states to cast votes in a roll call before somebody — possibly Clinton herself — cuts short the tally and asks the convention to nominate Obama by unanimous consent. This was her price for ending her historic bid for the presidency in a manner that, however messy, still left Obama in a stronger position than Kennedy left Jimmy Carter in 1980, when the Massachusetts senator extracted platform concessions and shrank from the traditional unity show at the final gavel.

But she did extract her price.

The bill came due Tuesday. The crowd. The applause. The promise of a vote Wednesday, and a speech laced 17 times by some variation of the pronoun “I.”

“You never gave up,” Clinton told her delegates, a phrase that so perfectly fits her. “You never gave up. And together we made history.”

“Extracted her price”? “Speech laced 17 times with the pronoun I”? This isn’t analysis, it’s editorializing.

When I first read the criticisms of Fournier over at the Reality-Based Community I was skeptical. At least one article to which Mark Kleiman linked was, I thought, jumping at shadows. But having read more and given the matter some thought, I have to say Kleiman got it right.

I’m loathe to call out bias in the press. As a former journalist, (Not something I’m pretending to be here, this is a blog, not a newspaper) I was regularly accused of having a conservative bias by one side, and a liberal bias by the other, on virtually every issue. I always assumed as long as the criticisms were roughly even, I was probably doing a proper job. I’ve made some accusations; “Faux News” being one example and MSNBC moving closer by the day to joining the list of places whom I no longer trust without a second source.

Today I’m adding another source to the list of semi-trusted sources: The Associated Press. I never thought I’d live to see the day.

It’s time for the AP to give Fournier the boot so he can work directly for the GOP instead of merely being their mole in a respected news organization. They should do it quickly, while they still have a shred of credibility left.

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One Response to “Has the AP gone FOX?”

  1. […] August 28th I wrote a story on the AP’s Ron Fournier, in which I blasted his “analysis” for being a flimsy cover for outright partisan […]

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