Now we may have our answer:
NEW YORK Ron Fournier, the former top Associated Press reporter returned to AP in March 2007 and now serves as D.C. bureau chief, where he directs coverage of the 2008 campaign. But before he took that job, Politico.com revealed tonight, he considered taking a job as a senior adviser to Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign.
A source said that he had been approached for this job in October 2006 and in the following months talked to several top McCain advisers about it.
Oh, that makes it all so clear! The AP spokesperson says it’s “not uncommon for journalists to be approached” by campaigns. But do those journalists then go on to direct campaign coverage for their news organizations, especially an influential outfit like AP?
I’m not so sure. I actually remember the dinosaur days when newspaper reporters weren’t allowed to donate to political campaigns out of fears their impartiality would be questioned. Good times.
This isn’t the first time Fournier’s impartiality has been questioned. It was revealed during an investigation into Pat Tillman’s death that Fournier sent Karl Rove friendly e-mails, encouraging him to “keep up the fight” during the 2004 Presidential campaign.
A campaign he was covering as a reporter.
Again: was Ron Fournier covering the campaign, or part of it?
At the very least this shows Fournier has a serious lack of judgment. Here’s the thing Ron Fournier doesn’t seem to understand: reporters cover the news, they don’t become part of it. Fournier is dancing very close to the edge here, and it calls the AP's coverage of the presidential campaign into question.