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 "in the newly created role of Online Political Editor". In a memo announcing his return, AP executive editor Kathleen Carroll stated that "his primary responsibilities will be developing new approaches to political and election coverage online, working with AP's news, multimedia and revenue groups." (In October 2006, prior to returning to AP, Fournier was approached to see if he was interested in a "senior advisory role" in communications for John McCain’s presidential campaign.)
Fournier is listed with the speakers agency, Leading Authorities, as costing $5,000 to $10,000 for east coast speaking engagements and double that for west coast engagements.
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.
Fournier was chief political writer for both the 1998 midterms and the 2000 Presidential campaign. He won a Society of Professional Journalists' 2000 Sigma Delta Chi Award for coverage of the 2000 election. "He is also the winner of 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," his biographical note states.
An earlier biographical note published by Leading Authorities stated that ""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 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," it states.
Emailing Karl Rove
In a U.S. House of Representatives committee report investigating the White House's media management efforts over the death from friendly fire of Army Ranger Pat Tillman and the rescue from an Iraqi hospital of Private Jessica Lynch noted that journalists, including Fournier, had made suggestions on how to manage the story. The draft report stated that:
- Karl Rove exchanged emails about Pat Tillman with Associated Press reporter Ron Fournier, under the subject line "HE-R-O." In response to Mr. Fournier’s e-mail, Mr. Rove asked, "How does our country continue to produce men and women like this," to which Mr. Fournier replied, "The Lord creates men and women like this all over the world. But only the great and free countries allow them to flourish. Keep up the fight."
Gawker noted that "Fournier isn't trying to explain how telling the White House's main political adviser to "keep up the fight" keeps his journalism unbiased. Instead he said he's kind of sorry, even though he obviously isn't, at all" in his response which was reported in an AP story. Fournier was cited as stating:
- "I was an AP political reporter at the time of the 2004 e-mail exchange, and was interacting with a source, a top aide to the president, in the course of following an important and compelling story. I regret the breezy nature of the correspondence."
Fournier did not respond to a request from Mother Jones for a comment.
Discussions on Working With the McCain Campaign
In October 2006, prior to returning to AP, Fournier was approached to see if he was interested in a "senior advisory role" in communications for John McCain’s presidential campaign. A McCain campaign adviser, Mark Salter told Politico that "he did us the courtesy of considering the offer before politely declining it." Fournier declined to comment but referred Politico reporter Michael Calderone to AP spokesman Paul Colford. In a written statement Colford wrote that "It is not uncommon for journalists to be approached by political campaigns, elected officials and government agencies about possible job opportunities. Ron Fournier was approached by the McCain campaign and decided he wasn't interested in working for a political campaign, months before he rejoined AP in March 2007." Fournier had also discussed the possibility of working for Politico before rejoining AP.
- With Matthew J. Dowd and Douglas B. Sosnik, "Applebee's America. How Successful Political, Business, and Religious Leaders Connect with the New American Community", Simon & Schuster, September 2006 (Hardcover) ISBN 0743287185 / ISBN 9780743287180.
Articles and Resources
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Scott Lindlaw, "Committee says fuzzy memories hurt Tillman probe", Associated Press, July 14, 2008.
- ↑ "Ron Fournier HOTSOUP.com pt-001 mpg", "Capitol Hill Broadcasting Network", The Hill, September 12, 2006.
- ↑ "Ron Fournier HOTSOUP.com pt-002", "Capitol Hill Broadcasting Network", The Hill, September 12, 2006.
- ↑ "Memo from AP executive editor Kathleen Carroll", Poynter Online, March 2, 2007.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Michael Calderone, "One of Fournier's job options: McCain", Politico, July 29, 2008.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "Ron Fournier: Former Political Writer for The Associated Press & Author of Applebee's America", Leading Authorities, accessed July 2008.
- ↑ "Ron Fournier", Leading Authorities, March 28, 2006.
- ↑ United States House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, "Proposed Committee Report: Misleading Information from the Battlefield: The Tillman and Lynch Episodes", July 14, 2008. (Pdf)
- ↑ Ryan Tate, "AP To Karl Rove: 'Keep Up The Fight'", Gaker, July 14, 2008.
- ↑ Bruce Falconer, "AP's Ron Fournier To Karl Rove: 'Keep Up The Fight'", Mother Jones, July 14, 2008.
Related SourceWatch Resources
- "Ron Fournier: Former Political Writer for The Associated Press & Author of Applebee's America", Leading Authorities, accessed July 2008.
Articles by Fournier
- Ron Fournier, "(AP) Accountability Journalism: Liberating reporters and the truth", Associated Press' internal newsletter, June 1, 2007.
- Ron Fournier, "Analysis: Biden pick shows lack of confidence", Associated Press, Auguste 23, 2008.
- Articles published by Ron Fournier, IDSnews.com/Indiana Daily Student. Provides abstracts for 46 articles by Fournier.
- "What's Fournier's Next Move?" fishbowlDC, July 11, 2006.
- Howard Kurtz, "Online Venture Seeks To Elevate the Debate. Civility Is In, Rancor Out on Web Site Begun by Democratic, GOP Strategists," Washington Post, July 12, 2006.
- "Ron Fournier returns to AP as online political editor, had edited political site Hotsoup.com", Associated Press, March 1, 2007.
- Scott Lindlaw, "Committee says fuzzy memories hurt Tillman probe", Associated Press, July 14, 2008.
- Michael Calderone, "Is Fournier saving or destroying the AP?", Politico, July 14, 2008.
- "Despite prior advice to reporters to avoid "fuzzy language," Fournier offered only "breezy" response to news he told Rove to 'keep up the fight'", Media Matters of America, July 15, 2008.
- "MoveOn.org Targets AP's Fournier for Alleged Pro-McCain Bias", Editor and Publisher, August 23, 2008.