Ron Fournier (born 1963) is an American national political journalist currently of the National Journal. Fournier had previously served as Washington bureau chief at the Associated Press (AP) until leaving in June 2010.
Fournier is a native of Detroit, Michigan. He attended the University of Detroit. His wife, Lori, is also a graduate of the University of Detroit. They have three children, who they have raised in Arlington County, Virginia.
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.
Fournier first 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 Republican Senator John McCain's presidential campaign.
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.
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.
In July 2008, while investigators for the House Oversight Committee were looking into the death of Pat Tillman, they uncovered a 2004 email from Fournier to Karl Rove encouraging him to "keep up the fight."
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". A Washington Monthly columnist described the piece as "mirror[ing] the Republican line with minimal variation". Editor & Publisher noted that Fournier's article "gained wide linkage at the Drudge Report, Hot Air and numerous other conservative sites...." and was targeted by MoveOn.org for alleged bias.
In February 2013, Fournier wrote a column about breaking ties with a White House official after a pattern of "vulgarity, abusive language" and "veiled threat(s)", but did not identify the official due to his policy of granting blanket automatic anonymity to all his sources. Fournier received some criticism from commentator Glenn Greenwald for behaving in a "petulant" manner and for his policy on anonymity for sources.
- Ron Fournier named chief of AP's Washington bureau
- Calderone, Michael (2008-07-30). "One of Fournier's job options: McCain". Politico. Retrieved 2008-08-23.
- Calderone, Michael (2008-07-14). "Is Fournier saving or destroying the AP?". Politico. Retrieved 2008-08-23.
- "AP's Ron Fournier To Karl Rove: "Keep Up The Fight"". Mother Jones. July 14, 2008.
- Fournier, Ron (August 23, 2008). "Analysis: Biden pick shows lack of confidence". Associated Press. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- Benen, Steve (August 23, 2008). "Fournier Is At It Again". Political Animal (Washington Monthly). Retrieved 2008-08-23.
- "MoveOn.org Targets AP's Fournier for Alleged Pro-McCain Bias". Editor & Publisher. August 23, 2008.
- Why Bob Woodward's Fight With The White House Matters to You
- Ron Fournier's amazing admission about his service to White House officials