APME Board Member on Fournier: “I Will… Look Into This Further”

By Al Giordano

Today is the day that we begin writing to the individuals that govern the Associated Press with the strong case - based on AP's own Statement of Ethical Principles - for removing unethical journalist and race-baiter Ron Fournier from its political coverage.

One of our readers went right ahead and wrote to an AP Managing Editors Association (APME) governing board member yesterday about the necessity of removing the news agency's Washington bureau chief.

The response came instantly.

The APME board member (we'll keep that journalist's identity confidential for now rather than give unethical Fournier and the campaign he's in the tank for a heads up on which of the APME members they need to worry about) replied very sympathetically, appreciative of the information, and writing, in response, "I will consider your recommendation to look into this further."

While that's not an ironclad commitment, it shows some receptivity (I doubt very much that APME board members get that much email regarding the AP's work because most people, even journalists, don't even know about the APME board) and the power of one letter writer to focus the board member's attention on a matter that has, for too long, been ignored.

Anyway, here's the letter, the response, and below it the information and links to help you craft your own letter:

Dear (Name):

I hope this finds you well. I'm a supporter and volunteer with the Barack Obama campaign, and have been emailed repeatedly about the recent AP/Yahoo News poll about race in the upcoming Presidential election. The poll's main author was Ron Fournier, who covers the Presidential race for the Associated Press. Mr. Fournier is a McCain supporter who was briefly considered for a senior role in his campaign's communications staff. This is no secret, and has been the subject of much debate and complaint from Democrats and liberals throughout the course of the campaign.

The renewed concern around Mr. Fournier is driven by what appears to be a deliberate attempt on his part to reframe the entire race in Senator McCain's favor. By "revealing" what appear to be deep-seated anxieties and misgivings about black people among white Democrats, this latest poll would seem to force a conversation about race and racism that both campaigns have (for the most part) been careful to avoid, as it has absolutely no bearing on either candidate's qualifications for the job of President of the United States. Clearly the poll's findings do not favor Senator Obama and could very well be construed as attempting to slow the momentum of his campaign.

More detailed allegations may be found at this blog.

I know that you are (part of) the APME, and would implore you to address these concerns, preferably in the pages of the (your newspaper). You and your Board members will decide if these allegations and Mr. Fournier's apparent motives are enough to have him removed from the campaign beat. At the very least, his personal bias must be exposed if this poll is to be seriously considered and understood in proper context. 

Polls as significant and potentially incendiary as these shape the course of campaigns more than they reflect their status. If they are to live in the public consciousness, the clear partisan motives of the individuals responsible for them must be made clear. 

Please help--not for the sake of the Obama campaign, but for the sake of your newspaper's and the Associated Press' reputations.

Thank you.


(Name of Field Hand)

The email response from the APME board member:

Thank you for this thoughtful e-mail. I am aware of the controversy that has surrounded Ron Fournier's campaign coverage. And while I knew about this poll, I was not aware that Mr. Fournier was one of the writers until I saw it in print yesterday. I will consider your recommendation to look into this further.


(Name of APME board member)

As you get responses from these board members, send copies to me at narconews@gmail.com, and post them here, eliminating the name for now (later we'll update with a roster of who responds, who doesn't, and where they stand, to focus our campaign on specific APME members).

Remember the talking points:

1.    Fournier's "keep up the fight" email to Karl Rove reveals bias and conflict-of-interest that alone should disqualify him from his job.

2.    Fournier's negotiations to become a "senior advisor" to the McCain campaign reveal his bias and conflict of interest, requiring his removal from presidential campaign coverage.

3.    Fournier's September 20 race-baiting story on the AP's racially inflammatory poll - describing African-Americans as "lazy" and "violent" - underscores the urgency of removing him immediately.

And remember to base it on the AP bureau chief's violation of the AP's own ethics code.

Here's your list of APME governing board members, their email and snail mail addresses. Start sending your letters (there are 27 board members; pick one, or if you write more than one, make sure to personalize each letter and send it individually) and let us know as soon as you get a response (or if you don't get a response, that's important information, too).

Post copies of your letters here, to help other Field Hands compose their own.

This is the part of the movie when the cavalry arrives. Get out there and ride!



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About Al Giordano


Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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