barbecue-sauce-2.thumbnail.jpgThose are the words of AP’s new Washington Bureau Chief Ron Fournier about Barack Obama in March 2008. Ron, the word you were too timid to use but were thinking was "uppity".

Many of us in the blogosphere, most prominently Josh Marshall, have noticed a bizarre non-neutral reporting stance of many AP reporters, starting with Fournier and Liz "With Sprinkles" Sidoti. And now there are some items that are bringing this general wankerosity to the forefront.

Yesterday, ABC News Reported:

White House officials interviewed as part of an investigation into the misleading information given to the public and the Tillman family in the weeks after the death of Corporal Pat Tillman have said they do not recall when they first learned that Tillman was killed as a result of friendly fire, according to a proposed report released today by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The committee set out to determine when top officials at the White House and Defense Department learned that Tillman had been killed in a friendly fire incident. Tillman, a former NFL star and perhaps the most famous soldier to die in Afghanistan, was killed on April 22, 2004. His death was widely covered by the media and Tillman was posthumously awarded a Silver Star just days after his death.

It was not until over a month later, on May 29, 2004, that the public and Tillman’s family were officially informed that his death was very likely due to friendly fire.

The committee says that in their quest to find out when officials first knew about the possibility that Tillman’s death was not due to enemy fire, they were "frustrated by a near universal lack of recall," according to the report.

But they had a lot of outside help from people ready to give them the stories they wanted to produce.

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.”

Keep up the fight? With who, Ron? Certainly not with the Republicans.

Thanks for not even "buying in" there, Ron, you just went and gave it away. The "Lord" apparently saw fit to make Pat Tillman an atheist who opposed the Iraq invasion too.

After this came out, Fournier – who undoubtedly in his next piece will write about McCain’s "pragmatic resolve" — said this:

"I was an AP political reporter at the time of the 2004 e-mail exchange, and was interacting with a source, a top aide to the president, in the course of following an important and compelling story. I regret the breezy nature of the correspondence."

No you don’t. Even your lame expression of "regret" is full of puffing your own importance.

Ron Fournier encourages not "just the facts" reporting for the AP, but "opinion" and instant analysis. A news bureau of Fred Barnes level non-thinking. Or as it is known in the trade now, reporting.

Awesome Ron, just awesome.

Enjoy the barbecue…with sprinkles.