11 July 2012

Ron Fournier

Ron Fournier (b.1963) is an American national political journalist currently of the National Journal. In June, 2010 Fournier left the Associated Press (AP) where he served as Washington bureau chief.
Fournier is a native of Detroit, Michigan. He attended the University of Detroit.
Fournier began his journalism career in 1985 at The Sentinel-Record in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Two years later, he moved to the Arkansas Democrat in Little Rock, Arkansas. He stayed there for another two years before joining the Little Rock bureau of the AP in 1989. While there, he covered Bill Clinton during his final term as Governor. When Clinton was elected President, Fournier moved to the AP's Washington bureau.[1]
Fournier left the AP in 2004 to take a Harvard Institute of Politics fellowship. During this period, he also co-wrote the book Applebee's America with Matthew Dowd, a Republican strategist, and Doug Sosnik, a Democratic strategist. In 2006, he took a position as editor-in-chief of a new Internet website called Hotsoup.com, which aimed to foster discussion on a number of topics including politics. The site failed to catch on, however, and Fournier returned to the AP in March 2007 as its Online Political Editor, after considering “a senior advisory role” with John McCain's presidential campaign.[2]
In May 2008, Fournier was named the acting Washington bureau chief, replacing his "mentor" Sandy Johnson. Since taking over the position, Fournier has led a dramatic shift in the AP's policy, moving it away from the neutral and objective tone it had become known for and toward a more opinionated style that would make judgments when conflicting opinions were presented in a story.[3]
On August 23, 2008, following U.S. Senator and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's announcement of his selection of Senator Joe Biden as a running mate, Fournier wrote a widely circulated piece titled "Analysis: Biden pick shows lack of confidence".[4] A Washington Monthly columnist described the piece as "mirror[ing] the Republican line with minimal variation".[5] Editor & Publisher noted that Fournier's article "gained wide linkage at the Drudge Report, Hot Air and numerous other conservative sites...."[6]
While investigators for the House Oversight Committee were looking into the death of Pat Tillman, they uncovered an email from Fournier to Karl Rove encouraging him to "keep up the fight."[7] Critics such as Eric Boehlert have lambasted Fournier for his apparent bias.[8]
Fournier has won the Society of Professional Journalists' 2000 Sigma Delta Chi Award for coverage of the United States presidential election, 2000. He is also a three-time winner of the White House Correspondents' Association Merriman Smith award.

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