It's becoming quite clear that the Obama administration's treatment of the press, along with revelations of deceit associated with promises about the Affordable Care Act, are causing some members of the media to think differently about this White House than they did in the first term.
On Wednesday, National Journal's Ron Fournier told talk radio's Laura Ingraham, "[T]his is a propaganda outfit...they are running a government-sponsored media organization" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday, CBS's Sharyl Attkisson reported on Twitter that the White House Correspondents Association, along with "dozens of associations & media outlets", sent a letter of protest to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. Attkisson outlined in subsequent Tweets that the letter blasted the Obama administration for restricting the access of photojournalists at certain presidential events, "while releasing government photos and videos of the same events".
Politico's Hadas Gold posted the full text of the letter to Carney in a Thursday item, which was signed by "leading media outlets like ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, The Associated Press, Reuters, The New York Times, The Washington Post and Yahoo News". In the letter, the WHCA board asserted that the Obama White House's policy was a "troubling break from tradition", and hinted that it ran counter to the President's claim that his was "the most transparent administration in history":
Can anyone imagine a top Bush 43 adviser, say Karl Rove, telling a reporter that his boss couldn't attend an important American historical anniversary event because "he's too busy trying to save the Republican Party"?
Dan Pfeiffer is "Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Advisor to the President for Strategy and Communications." Today, in response to a tough but fair question tweeted by Ron Fournier at the National Journal, Pfeiffer said that President Barack Obama wasn't attending the ceremonies surrounding the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address because "there's this whole website thing that someone suggested might destroy the Dem Party." The exchange would surely generate a great deal of press coverage if it involved a conservative or Republican presidential adviser, but the only story other than at Fournier's National Journal was at the Hill, a popular burial ground for such stories. The Fournier-Pfeiffer exchange, with some external razzing, follows the jump (HT Twitchy):
If there is to be a tidal wave of defenders of President Barack Obama's "it if it hasn't changed" revision to his original guarantee — "If you like your health insurance plan, you can keep your health insurance plan" — Ron Fournier (NewsBusters history here), who toiled at the Associated Press for 20 years and joined the National Journal several years ago, will not be among them.
In 2008, Fournier advocated "accountability journalism." When he took over as AP Washington bureau chief, he pushed for what was described as "a more hard-charging, opinion oriented style of writing" as a "new direction AP should take." Both were, in my view, thinly veiled attempts to inject more left-leaning bias into what news consumers to this day still mostly believe are "objective" wire service reports. With that demonstrated pedigree, perhaps it's a surprise that Fournier would be so vocal about Obama's attempt to "reinvent history" (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine):
As NewsBusters has been reporting, the Obama-loving media are clearly sickened by how the rollout of the President’s signature piece of legislation has gone.
Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Tuesday, National Journal’s Ron Fournier excoriated Obama’s performance in the Rose Garden the previous day and said of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius, “Maybe she should have been shown the door” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
With each passing day, it's becoming clearer and clearer that many of the current White House resident's followers in the media are really angered by his attack on the Associated Press and Fox News's James Rosen.
On MSNBC's Morning Joe Thursday, the National Journal's Ron Fournier said of this issue, "You can't make journalism a conspiracy...The irony here is that President Obama, by raising a jihad against the press, has now made it more likely that we’re going to have what he called 'dumb wars'" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
You can take the flack out of the DNC but you can't take the DNC out of the flack, especially it's MSNBC regular and newly-minted weekend host Karen Finney, who today said that Mitt Romney should have made a bigger deal out of the IRS scandal on the campaign trail. The only problem, of course, is that no one knew about the IRS's malfeasance until well after the election.
On Wednesday's Now with Alex Wagner, Ms. Finney claimed that, "Everybody knew about this investigation long before the election. So, if they were that freaked out, why didn't Romney make more of a big deal of it during the election?" Fortunately for viewers at home, former AP reporter Ron Fournier, now with National Journal, corrected Finney's ridiculous speculation. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
President Obama knows he's in trouble when Andrea Mitchell—Andrea Mitchell!—proclaims the IRS and AP scandals to be among "the most outrageous excesses I've seen" in all her years in journalism [which pre-date Watergate]. The strength of Mitchell's statement drew gasps from Scarborough and Brzezinski. Then Ron Fournier, former AP editor now with the National Journal, darkly described the White House being "consumed" if it turns out someone there or in the Obama campaign had been aware of the IRS targeting of conservative groups. It happened on Morning Joe today.
But hey, President Obama still has his hangers-on. Take good old Carl Bernstein. As we reported, on yesterday's Morning Joe Bernstein blathered that he "can't imagine" that President Obama coudl be involved in the IRS mess. And there was Bernstein again today. When Fournier spoke of consequences of White House or Obama campaign knowledge of the IRS targeting, Bernstein quickly burped out that "we have no evidence of that whatsoever." Joe Scarborough had to remind the former Watergate reporter: "that's why you have investigations. You know that." View the video after the jump.
In what is a rare occurrence on MSNBC, one of the panelists actually challenged the conventional liberal view on one of its daytime shows. The most recent example occurred on Now w/ Alex Wagner on April 9, when Ron Fournier of National Journal rejected the panel’s arguments that the Plan B pill should be available over-the-counter to all girls, regardless of age.
The segment began with host Alex Wagner seemingly perplexed at the Obama Administration’s initial position that girls under 17 should have to obtain a prescription for Plan B. Wagner commented that:
In his March 20 piece, "Cowardly Congress, Ruthless NRA, and an Impotent Obama Conspire Against Assault-Weapons Ban" National Journal’s Ron Fournier attempts to shame 2nd Amendment-supporting Americans over Democrats killing an assault weapons ban before it had the chance to hit the Senate floor.
Fournier groused that “the gun lobby deserves most of the blame for creating a political climate in which any regulation of firearms is viewed as an attack on the constitutional right to bear arms. This as much a financial issue to the NRA and its industry allies as it is a constitutional one.” What climate is he talking about? The liberal media have been behind Obama’s gun control agenda since December, using every opportunity possible to use the tragedy to press a gun control agenda.
What's more, while it's supposedly "ruthless" for the NRA, the nation's oldest civil rights organization, to defend the 2nd Amendment from encroachment, Fournier has no qualms about today's edition of the New York Daily News, which featured the victims of Sandy Hook in a ghoulish display of political exploitation. It’s advocacy journalism at its most craven.
While NBC and CBS both highlighted a quote from an anonymous senior White House official labeling President Obama's recent budget meetings with members of Congress "a joke," ABC managed to leave the controversial remark out of its coverage of the budget negotiations, with Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos even failing to ask the President about it in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
In a National Journal article posted Tuesday morning, Ron Fournier recounted: "'This is a joke. We're wasting the president's time and ours,' complained a senior White House official who was promised anonymity so he could speak frankly. 'I hope you all (in the media) are happy because we're doing it for you.'"
**UPDATE** Earlier version of blog incorrectly stated that Ron Fournier had deleted tweets in question when in fact they are still on his account.
It appears as though the days of civility and integrity in journalism are long gone. On March 1, National Journal’s Ron Fournier, formerly the Washington bureau chief at the Associated Press, took to Twitter to express his dissatisfaction with government sequestration, suggesting that President Obama:
Can handle Bin laden, not Boehner? He may be POTUS, but Obama incapable of “a Jedi mind meld.”
Fournier continued his violent rhetoric in a follow-up tweet, suggesting that, “Bin Laden didn’t compromise. Handled him pretty well.”
According to Dylan Byers at Politico, the National Journal's Ron Fournier is going to "step down as editor-in-chief" and moving to "a role as editorial director." Before joining that publication in June 2010, Fournier worked at the Associated Press for a total of over 20 years in two different stints. In an email response to Politico yesterday, Fournier elaborated on the motivation behind his move (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Having seen the candidate the press corps so obviously favors perform poorly while his opponent shined, Ron Fournier at National Journal, an Associated Press alum, dove so deeply into excuse-making that I half expected him to claim that the dog ate President Obama's debate prep.
The primary culprit, according to the forlorn Fournier, is something over which Obama has no control, as seen in the following excerpt from the 11:30 p.m. version of his dispatch. The report has an accurate headline admitting to something Fournier wouldn't directly acknowledge, namely that Romney won the night (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Former Associated Press writer Ron Fournier on Tuesday praised Barack Obama's call for higher taxes as "one of his best, a searing and historically poignant account of the greatest challenge of the American experiment: How do we give every citizen, rich or poor, a path to the good life?"
Fournier, now with National Journal, only seemed to lament that the President didn't go far enough: "Borrowed or not, Obama's rhetoric was worthy of [Theodore Roosevelt], who declared in his 1910 'square deal' address that the 'right to regulate the use of wealth in the public interest is universally admitted.' But the comparison goes only so far: Obama's proposed solutions were a whisper of TR's agenda."
***TWO UPDATES, including the response from AP's Ron Fournier, at the end of this post.***
Friday evening the Associated Press (AP) issued an un-bylined story which was nothing more than a stenographic reprint of the latest dishonest Democratic attack on talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.
The Friday story apparently reflected zero research into the charge levied by Brian Wolff, executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). The AP merely quoted Rush out of context - just as the DCCC had - and then served him up as a piñata for Wolff to pummel.
The AP cites Rush as having said that Congress's current push for socialist health care will "(b)efore it's all over ... be called the Ted Kennedy Memorial Health Care bill." This allowed the AP to serve up Wolff's whacks on Limbaugh; Wolff called Limbaugh's remark "outrageous and reprehensible."
Had the AP done ANY journalistic due diligence, they would have found this January 13 story from Fox News, quoting a spokeswoman for one of the architects of a national health care bill who said that any legislation that emerges would be named after Kennedy.
As NewsBusters reported earlier, the Associated Press's Ron Fournier published a surprisingly accurate analysis of presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama's decision to tap Joe Biden as his running mate.
Not surprisingly, the far-left organization MoveOn -- never happy when a mainstream media outlet has the nerve to actually say anything bad about a liberal -- has posted a strongly-worded rebuttal at its website that repeatedly asks readers to send e-mail messages to the wire service warning 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."
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.
As NewsBusters has been reporting, media are finally lining up to bash Hillary Clinton for her recent gaffe concerning fictitious sniper fire when she visited Bosnia in 1996.
Next to take the gloves off was the Associated Press's Ron Fournier who deliciously likened this misstatement during a presidential campaign to Al Gore implying in 2000 that he invented the Internet.
Get yourself a fresh cup of coffee, kick your feet up on the desk, and prepare yourself for some unexpected hits that came early and often in Fournier's article published Tuesday evening (emphasis added throughout):
Here's an oldie but a goodie. Well, not a goodie, but this is instructive when it comes to examining liberal bias in the Associated Press: Ron "Authenticity" Fournier from June 2007 defending his liberal biases as "accountability journalism." (h/t NewsBusters fan motherbelt)
In an Associated Press newsletter, Fournier defended what he called "Accountability Journalism" as a news reporting format that "[liberates] reporters and the truth." (emphasis mine):
The ink was barely dry on the Michigan primary results when the Associated Press circulated an "On Deadline" column from political reporter Ron Fournier headlined "Mitt Won, Authenticity Lost." Fournier savaged Mitt Romney for pandering to Michigan voters and demonstrating he is "the most malleable — and least credible — major presidential candidate." Fournier complained that John McCain "deserved a better result," and that "The man who spoke hard truths to Michigan lost."
So much for journalists not taking sides. Here's how the Fournier news analysis began:
WASHINGTON - Mitt Romney's victory in Michigan was a defeat for authenticity in politics.
The former Massachusetts governor pandered to voters, distorted his opponents' record and continued to show why he's the most malleable — and least credible — major presidential candidate.