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July 16, 2008

Media Suck Up-ery: A Retrospective

Some people are upset by this example of appalling booklicking by Ron Fournier—then an AP reporter, now head of AP's Washington bureau—discovered in the bowels of a new government report:

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."

But while that's bad, I'd bet you ONE TRILLION DOLLARS that if you could open up the archives of the Bush administration, you'd find a thousand examples that are worse. Fournier is just the tip of a giant, fetid iceberg. These people do nothing all day long but deliver tonguebaths to the boots of whoever's powerful that day.

For instance, here's Ted Koppel talking by phone to Henry Kissinger in 1976:

KOPPEL: You looked sensational [on TV]. Tanned and well rested... How was your vacation?

KISSINGER: Very pleasant. We missed you. We expect you to show up.

KOPPEL: Normally I don't let you go without me... How is your schedule for the next couple of weeks because we wanted to have you and Nancy over some evening?... In fact, I am not sure we would have anybody else over. Just a quiet evening.


—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at July 16, 2008 09:24 PM

On the radio you mentioned that Koppel gave Henry a car. Or did I mishear that? If that's true, what's the story there?

Posted by: Labiche at July 16, 2008 10:46 PM

I'd LOVE to have Henry over for dinner.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at July 16, 2008 11:47 PM

For $ 50,000 to the Nixon-Kissinger Fund for the Study of Western Values he and Nancy are yours.
No Pol-Pot Stickers for appetizers. Wiener Schnitzel is OK, but call it Veal Milanese. Riesling, Medium Dry. Soccer (Fussball) is preferred as a topic of talk to Why we were in Vietnam. Enjoy.

Posted by: donescobar at July 16, 2008 11:58 PM

That sounds like a recipe for the world's most revolting key party.

Posted by: ethan at July 17, 2008 12:11 AM

@donescobar: I nominate "Pol-Pot Stickers" for "This Week's Funniest Joke in Five-Words-or-Less"!

@JRS - Can an iceberg really be fetid? I mean, feted, yeah, I'd believe that, especially if the iceberg is really great. But not the other thing.

Posted by: Aaron Datesman at July 17, 2008 12:25 AM

I was preparing myself for global warming. But with the prospect of fetid icebergs calving into our oceans I am again depressed. Glaciers of old Washington Times files. Yuck.

Posted by: Bob In Pacifica at July 17, 2008 09:16 AM

Can an iceberg really be fetid?

It can if it's a metaphorical iceberg, and it smells spiritually, and the person reading about is an eternal being whose intelligence has been encoded in a supercomputer orbiting Alpha Centauri.

So: yes.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at July 17, 2008 09:46 AM

What part of "war criminal" doesn't Koppel understand?

Posted by: catherine at July 17, 2008 11:08 AM

Pete Coors' older brother(Adolph I think his name was) and former heir to the Coors' fortune was once invited to a picnic at Yellowstone. (look it up, a dinner invite in Wyoming can be much much more interesting than in other places)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at July 17, 2008 06:08 PM

Actually Ted Koppel invited me too, but my mom said I was in the 6th grade now so I needed to take my homework more seriously, so I couldn't go. That, and Kissinger gave her the creeps.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at July 20, 2008 09:20 PM