In the Kitchen with Ron and Co.

by matttbastard

Shorter Associated Press: “‘The world’ = an Italian op-ed scribe, some guy in France, an Egyptian civil servant, and Hugo Chavez.”

*blink*

Y’know, one would think a purportedly reputable, mainstream news organization would tap into ye olde expense account and commission an opinion poll to, y’know, semi-accurately measure global opinion. Kinda like these outlets did, in order to gauge the domestic mood prior to Obama’s inauguration, instead of simply splicing together a handful of anecdotes.  But that’s precisely the sort of unnecessary clutter that Ron Fournier’s revoultionary “make shit up” policy swiftly cuts through, like a freshly-sharpened bowie knife slicing a thick hunk of canned ham.

It's evolution, baby!

Mmmm, canned ham.  Followed by donuts and coffee for dessert. Now that’s a surefire recipe for success.

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Dear Associated Press

by matttbastard

1992 called–it wants its appalling lack of journalistic ethics and standards back.

No, seriously–you keep making shit up, with no apparent interest in sifting through unfounded allegations and baseless conjecture to find a nugget of fact. Hint: continually filing meat-free stories with breathless headlines like “Senate-for-sale case threatens new chief of staff” is a good way to brand yourselves as the Fox Newswire. Not to say that you’ve collectively lowered yourselves to the histrionic level of Professional Obama Haters (yet); but the desperate Blagobamarahmbogate obsession is getting a bit pathetic.

At this point, it seems that the primary source fuelling most of the recent unfounded allegations and baseless conjecture regarding Blagobamarahmbogate is–wait for it–the Associated Press. As Steve Benen said, “[a]s serious as Blagojevich’s problems are, it sounds like the Obama/transition team angle is a dud. There’s just nothing there.” So why, in the middle of the worst economic downturn since 19-fucking-29, do you insist on flailing and floundering with great speculative ado over, um, nothing?

Newsflash: there’s no clutter left to cut through, kids; you’ve totally eviscerated the biggest obstacle to successfully implementing Ron Fournier’s new mandate: your credibility.

in fairness and balance,

matttbastard

PS: George Stephanopolus would like to formally apologize for taking the wind out of your sails today. Not that this latest no-shit-revelation will be enough to stem the speculative bluster emanating from your Washington Bureau. But one can always hope you’ll now start charting a new course.

(I know, and a dapple-fucking-grey pony.)

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Dear Ron Fournier

hillary-clinton-devil

This may come as a shock to you, but despite conventional wisdom and what Hollywood might have you believe, women–especially professional women–actually get along with each other. So, until you come up with some actual, y’know, proof of acrimony between Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton, as opposed to speculation and conjecture, tell your staff to stop phoning in lazy Page Six-style hit pieces in lieu of purportedly ‘serious’ political reporting. Also, please go see somebody about the ongoing Clinton Derangement Syndrome festering within the ranks of AP’s Washington Bureau; at this point, it’s borderline pathological.

love and napalm,

matttbastard

h/t Ta-Nehisi Coates

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What Sully Said

by matttbastard

"Oh yes, with sprinkles!"
"Oh yes, with sprinkles!"

New Political Animal head honcho Steve Benen has penned the ultimate smackdown of Ron “keep up the fight” Fournier’s bullshit op-ed-masquerading-as-analysis re: the newly announced Obama/Biden ticket (sample dingleberry of wisdom: Biden “talks too much”–yep, that’s why they pay Ron the big bucks, folks), both of which y’all should check out (assuming you haven’t yet done so). But I want to highlight something that Andrew Sullivan also noticed regarding Fournier and his blatant (if inconsistent) use of “aggressive Republican spin”:

Last spring…Fournier was lambasting Obama for arrogance [link added–mb]. Now, apparently, it’s a lack of confidence. Whatever works, I guess. But please, get a blog.

From “ooz[ing] entitlement” to lacking confidence–apparently even the DC bureau chief of the Associated Press has trouble keeping GOP talking points straight. Forget blogging — methinks Fournier should just get out of the beltway entirely, maybe score himself a nice quiet job behind the counter of Dunkin’ Donuts.

Whatever works, natch.

Related: Jack and Jill Politics rounds up a cross-section of responses to the veep announcement from POC commentators; Jimmy Orr Peter Grier provides a more, um, traditional (read: analytical) analysis; Cara is underwhelmed, skdadl is optimistic, publius is “psyched” and Hilzoy is thankful Obama didn’t pick Bayh (aren’t we all); Delaware native Shawn Mullen paints an informative (if at times fawning) portrait of Biden; various reactions from NARAL, Hillary Clinton, and Howard Wolfson, who notes that Obama’s pragmatic, traditional veep choice “gives an opening to the McCain campaign to pick a woman or make an out-of-the-box selection.”

Update: This is interesting:

The Washington Bureau Chief of the Associated Press, Ron Fournier, may command speaker’s fees of up to $10,000 per appearance.

As of this writing, Fournier appears to be available for booking through the All American Talent & Celebrity Network‘s website. I called to confirm that he was still listed with the agency, but I haven’t heard back yet.

According to his speaker bio, Fournier co-wrote a book called Applebee’s America with Bush’s former chief strategist Matthew Dowd and former high-level Clinton adviser, Doug Sosnik. Appropriately enough, the 2006 book is a treatise on political marketing for politicians, captains of industry, and mega-church pastors.

AP’s ethics policy on outside appearances:

OUTSIDE APPEARANCES:
Employees frequently appear on radio and TV news programs as panelists asking questions of newsmakers; such appearances are encouraged.

However, there is potential for conflict if staffers are asked to give their opinions on issues or personalities of the day. Advance discussion and clearance from a staffer’s supervisor are required.

Employees must inform a news manager before accepting honoraria and/or reimbursement of expenses for giving speeches or participating in seminars at colleges and universities or at other educational events if such appearance makes use of AP’s name or the employee represents himself or herself as an AP employee. No fees should be accepted from governmental bodies; trade, lobbying or special interest groups; businesses, or labor groups; or any group that would pose a conflict of interest. All appearances must receive prior approval from a staffer’s supervisor.

h/t Steve Clemons

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‘Arrogant’: The New Uppity

by matttbastard

9781846462979.jpg

dnA’s broadcasting on the same frequency re: Ron Fournier:

You know, if there’s anything that can keep Barack Obama from being president, it’s the downright smoldering resentment some people feel at seeing a black person in a position of authority–let alone the position of authority.

It’s kind of like they way white sportscasters talk about black athletes–they hate the swagger, the confidence borne of jumping the extra hurdles America tosses in your path. Professional sports organizations have spent more than a century trying to cut that swagger and style out of the sport by changing the rules at every opportunity, so it’s no surprise that they’d do the same thing in politics.

So John McCain saying he’s doing “The Lord’s work in the city of Satan” is sincere and down to earth, while Obama joking about his charisma is “arrogant”.

Or, as Steve M rhetorically puts it, “[j]okes, Ron. Jokes. Or are only white people allowed to be ironic?”

(Must. Resist. Simple. Answer.)

Also see John Cole and Robert Stein, both of whom also heard Fournier’s whistle blowing loud and clear.

Elsewhere: Attaturk provides some other recent examples of thinly-veiled insinuations from mainstream pundits that Obama is just another uppity negro arrogantly oozes entitlement, while this Kos Diary from February 2007 (OMGWTFBBQ?! someone took the kid gloves off prematurely?!) screen-captures Salon with its slip showing (oops!):

uppity2.jpg
So much for Bill Bennett’s backhanded post-Iowa compliments.

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