‘Keep Up The Fight’


Karl Rove exchanged e-mails about Pat Tillman with Associated Press reporter Ron Fournier, under the subject line “H-E-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.”

Look. Journalism is a fairly simple job. You go to a place, you see things, you talk to people, you get answers to your questions about what is going on, you tell everybody you can through the mechanism you have: paper, TV, radio, Internets, fucking mimeographed pages, handwritten notes shoved under people’s doors. That’s it. That’s all there is. And there aren’t that many rules. Don’t fuck your sources. Don’t make shit up. Don’t steal things. Don’t take presents in exchange for favorable coverage. There aren’t that many things you can’t do.

In my own journalsim days I can remember very clearly getting into some trouble for taking a frozen chicken and a box of sausage from this business I was writing about. They shoved them into my hands as I was leaving the processing facility, and I tried to refuse, but … you’re standing there holding a chicken, people are saying here, have it and not taking no for an answer, you know? I could throw it at them and thus piss them off, or I could take the damn chicken. When I brought it back to the office and put it in the newsroom fridge, my boss took me aside and said, look, this isn’t cool. Don’t do it again.

Did someone not have that conversation with Fournier? “Keep up the fight?” Seriously? “The Lord?” There’s ingratiating yourself, the reportorial equivalent of flirting, where you in person say congrats to the candidate you’re interviewing who’s just won her election, in order to get a nice quote. That kind of thing happens all the time, but most decent reporters know where the line is, and it would be, I think, somewhere around “keep up the fight.” At the level Fournier is at, at the levelKarl Rove is at, it’s not quite taking a chicken, but maybe someone should have pulled him aside and said next time, if you’re hungry, just go to KFC.


6 thoughts on “‘Keep Up The Fight’

  1. Wow. Are there permanent impressions from Karl Rove’s balls on Ron Fournier’s chin?
    An enterprising reporter should find out.

  2. I retired after 31 years in the weekly newspaper business, and now find myself simply not believing the MSM at all. I think what did it for me was the military analyst scandal of earlier this year. This AP thing is just one more example of the corrupt and unethical attitude of the national media towards those it covers. The really disappointing thing for me is, they don’t even think they’re doing anything wrong and are incredulous anyone would question their behavior.
    I used to think that while we were working in the trenches covering local government, the MSM was watching our backs at the state, national, and international levels. I was wrong. Instead of maintaining a healthy skepticism of those they cover, the MSM is in bed with them, sometimes literally, to the detriment of the nation.

  3. The rest of the email is at least as bad, with its drivel about america being the only place where the Uebermensch is allowed to reach his full potential…

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