They Took the Idols and Smashed Them


I beamed into the future to get a shot of Woodward on the Hannity show, and here it is – a Balloon Juice exclusive, must credit Balloon Juice.

ron_fournier_in_his_mind Speaking of drama queens, Ron Fournier (mental self-image pictured at left) has a gripping tale of how he “iced” a White House source:

As editor-in-chief of National Journal, I received several e-mails and telephone calls from this White House official filled with vulgarity, abusive language, and virtually the same phrase that Woodward called a veiled threat. “You will regret staking out that claim,” The Washington Post reporter was told.
Once I moved back to daily reporting this year, the badgering intensified. I wrote Saturday night, asking the official to stop e-mailing me. The official wrote, challenging Woodward and my tweet. “Get off your high horse and assess the facts, Ron,” the official wrote.

Fournier’s response to this unbearable bullying was the ultimate DC sanction: he would make his source go on the record instead of giving him “blanket anonymity”. That’s just how Ron Fournier rolls, motherfuckers.

(Thanks to reader Jerry for the Fournier piece.)

85 replies
  1. 1
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Oh, no, angry black man by proxy.

    ETA: Uppity white servants.

  2. 2
    Valdivia says:

    this title also made me think of the new pr0n0graphers song.

    The woodward thing has been hilarious.

  3. 3
    Valdivia says:

    oh and: I am sure Fournier would get a hand job from the Bushies for his stenography and he misses that…

  4. 4
    Gozer says:

    One thing I can’t stand are these political/reporter types who fancy themselves “tough guys/gals” (ex. Ralph Reed fancying himself a “guerilla”).

  5. 5
    quannlace says:

    No less than three headlines about this over at Free Republic. It actually bumped off Benghazi.

  6. 6
    gogol's wife says:

    I’m proud to say I have no idea what this is all about. But nice Gloria pic.

  7. 7
    General Stuck says:

    There are many tales of terror wrought upon by Mean Gene Sperling. The Frank Nitty of politics and chief muscle for the O krew from Shaaago.

  8. 8
    MikeJ says:

    @quannlace: Bumped off? YOU’RE THREATENING BOB WOODWARD!

  9. 9
    Bulworth says:

    While I might ordinarily be inclined to criticize all this media pearl clutching, it isn’t as if the country is facing anything particularly troubling or crisis-like, say significant and abrupt budget cuts that could send the economy back into recession. Since nothing drastic like that is on the immediate horizon than I think it’s fine for the media world to inundate us with their trivalities. //

  10. 10
    geg6 says:

    Do these assholes know that the pretty much the entire population of the United States wants nothing more than for these assholes to be hauled by tumbrel onto the National Mall where they can take their turn with the guillotine? Do they even have a clue?

  11. 11
    MikeJ says:

    @MikeJ: (I Somehow see that becoming one of those things that people start complaining “isn’t funny any more” long, long before I tire of it.)

  12. 12
    Kay says:

    I don’t understand why these millionaire media celebrities aren’t thrilled with the sequester.

    They’ve been screeching at us to cut the budget and hoping someone would “suffer” and “feel pain”. I myself was actually hoping this would shut them up for 20 minutes. They got cuts. Big win for them. Are they mad some of the cuts go to defense?

  13. 13
    Hill Dweller says:

    What is the problem with the WH official’s quote? The media should get off their high horses and assess the facts.

  14. 14
    Matt says:

    When I was a wee lad (ok, 20) I had thought about a career in politics.

    I volunteered on a few campaigns, saw how things were run (hint: mediocrity rules, and the old boys network rules harder), and decided that if I were ever to be involved it would have to be from the outside (donations, etc. )

    I chose to go into tech. Reading this article, I do not regret this choice.

    I have no clue how anyone could fix this system from the inside. Such thin skin!

    I hear people getting called out more harshly on a daily basis, and it leads to progress, not cutting ties.

  15. 15
    Chris says:


    For some reason, I’m sorely tired of “This is good news for John McCain!” and yet “Did you know John McCain was a POW?” still makes me laugh, even though they’re about the same age and are used equally often. I guess some memes are more equal than others.

  16. 16
    Kay says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    It’s a piece about why this is important to “main street”. It’s preemptive ass-covering. They don’t want to be portrayed as out of touch and insular and talking about themselves constantly.

  17. 17
    droog says:

    This clash of White House thuggery and Village badassedness reminds me a bit of these examples of urban violence. Watch from a safe distance, folks. Shi- is going down.

  18. 18
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Kay: “They got cuts. Big win for them. Are they mad some of the cuts go to defense?”

    That, and National Parks closing down too. Not that any of them would ever go visit one. Not enough Village Champagne and Brie ™.

  19. 19
    eemom says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I’m proud to say I have no idea what this is all about.

    I have a vague idea only from this place and memeorandum.

    It quite simply boggles my brain that anybody can give a shit with a straight face. And yet here I am Inside the Beltway where supposedly such people reside.

    I may say to myself: well, how did I get here?

  20. 20
    mdblanche says:

    “You’re Bob Woodward. You used to be in print media. You used to be big.”

    “I am big. It’s the media that got small.”

  21. 21
    jl says:

    I agree, except always thought Fournier more like the older Broderick Crawford, except maybe with a lot more wear and tear upstairs from choices of life course, if you get my drift.

  22. 22
    Roger Moore says:


    Are they mad some of the cuts go to defense?

    They’re mad that any of the cuts when to anything other than causing pain to little people. I think they’re also mad that Obama isn’t rolling over and accepting anything and everything the wingnuts demand of him.

  23. 23
    Kay says:


    I love how he tells readers what this is ABOUT:

    The fight between the White House and journalistic legend Bob Woodward is a silly distraction to a major problem: The failure of President Obama and House Republicans to lead the country under a budget deadline.

    Well, now we know that’s what he wants it to be “about.” We’re watching it. How about we tell him what it’s “about.” I think it’s “about” getting caught in a lie and then having your friends rush in to save your ass.

    Since when do the writers get to tell the audience what their drama is about? I feel perfectly qualified to watch this idiocy unfold and make up my own mind, Ron.

  24. 24
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Fournier’s response to this unbearable bullying was the ultimate DC sanction: he would make his source go on the record instead of giving him “blanket anonymity”.

    Nobody expects the American Inquisition!
    Our chief weapons are fear, surprise, and taking away your anony blanket.

    Cardinal Fang Fournier, poke him with the soft cushions!

  25. 25
  26. 26
    SatanicPanic says:

    More whining from a bunch of people no one cares about.

  27. 27
    beltane says:

    @geg6: Maybe we need a movement dedicated to making sure these Beltway prima donnas know what the public really thinks of them, perhaps something very much along the lines of Beppe Grillo’s “Vaffanculo” movement in Italy.

  28. 28
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Bulworth: No. Watching CNN today, they’ve decided that the sequester cuts aren’t really a big deal any more and that the Administration is just trying to scare people since the cuts won’t really be felt for a few weeks. And my guess because those government workers are takers, they won’t really matter anyway.

  29. 29
    taylormattd says:

    @mdblanche: Hahahaha.

  30. 30
    jl says:

    @Roger Moore:

    ” They’re mad that any of the cuts when to anything other than causing pain to little non-white undeserving taker people.”

    The GOP will probably start beating the old warped and worn out drum that the cuts should be relatively painless, since there is so much waste fraud and abuse that could be cut. If any deserving citizen notices the cuts, it’s because Nobama is too stupid lazy and shiftless to cut spending right (on M, W and F), or he is a evil political master fiend ingeniously using the cuts for political purposes to hurt the victimized helpless GOP and using his mind control and time traveling powers to hide that fact (Tu and Th, and Su morning TV).

  31. 31
    Suffern ACE says:

    @jl: Yep. They were complaining about Obama’s spending being out of control. They’ll just complain that Obama’s not spending is out of control. If they notice at all.

  32. 32
    Napoleon says:


    this title also made me think of the new pr0n0graphers song

    I love that song (PS, they are a great concert band).

  33. 33
    jl says:

    And, BTW, what the hell is happening to the reactionary echo chamber Wurlitzer machine?

    Why did they retreat on the Woodward outrage?

    Why, back when I was a lad, they would have scoffed at the released emails and said “So, what? ‘As a friend’ my ass. When the mafia don wants you taken out, he kisses you on both cheeks, right?”

    You damn kids, we had real reactionary nutcases who could put on a good show back in may day! Just a nickel admission too. Get off my lawn and go play somewhere else, my dog is sick and I have to get up early for work, dammitall.

  34. 34
    JPL says:

    So what’s on the agenda tonight. What front pager will watch Hannity so we don’t have. I have the corn ready to be popped.

  35. 35

    They do not have a clue. From what I’ve seen, they each believe they are Average Joe Six Pack From Main Street USA who happened to be better than the rest so he ended up rich and famous. They believe they are speaking for the little guy even as they recommend the little guy be screwed.

    @Roger Moore:

  36. 36
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    And this is why I don’t buy newspapers or watch the empty talking heads on TV anymore.

  37. 37
    Valdivia says:


    yay another fan. I see them every time they go on tour and I get a chance. The 9:30 club hosts them in DC pretty much every time.

  38. 38
    MaryRC says:

    @geg6: Especially the 27% of the population. Remember that primary debate when Newt Gingrich ripped the moderator from CNN a new one after the moderator brought up some recent comments from one of Newt’s exes? The 27% loved it, they howled for more blood.

    And now the freepers are defending the lamestream media? I guess it’s different when it’s the White House.

  39. 39
    Bulworth says:

    @Hill Dweller: It’s very “uppity” and “threatening” and “scary”.

  40. 40
    matt says:

    @MikeJ: Funny joke is funny.

  41. 41
    Turgidson says:


    Doubt it. Probably just a demeaning pat on the head and a fruit roll-up and juice box.

  42. 42
    Zagloba says:

    Is the conservative noise machine coming apart at the seams? and Twitchy are still flogging the story, but the Daily Callering Book has jumped off that particular ship.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    jl says:

    You know who else smashed the idols, don’t you? Coincidence? I think not. Woodward is silenced! The Demmification continues.

  45. 45
    Baud says:


    To hell with briefs, some low level Obama staffer needs to send some mildly threatening tweets to the justices about this.

  46. 46
    Baud says:

    Has anyone coined the term “hate tweet” yet? If not, ©

  47. 47
    Ash Can says:

    The e-mail exchange that Woodward has been whining about was made public today, and whaddya know — Woodward is lying through his teeth. Anyone want to bet that 1)Fournier is doing the same, and 2)neither Woodward nor Hannity will acknowledge that the e-mails are now public and don’t support Woodward’s claims at all?

  48. 48
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Mr Fournier is used to much friendlier exchanges with White House staff

    Karl Rove exhanged 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.”

  49. 49
    shortstop says:

    That was a damn funny post, mm.

  50. 50
    different-church-lady says:

    Man, all this negative publicity is just gonna kill Obama’s reelection chances.

    Do these guys have any idea left what it is they’re trying to prove anymore?

  51. 51
    shortstop says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: And really, I didn’t need to be reminded of that because I’ve never forgotten it, but part of our job on this earth is to make sure it’s trotted out as often as possible to humiliate the living fuck out of Fournier. So thank you, Jim. Thank you.

  52. 52
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    also too:

    Before Ron Fournier returned to The Associated Press in March 2007, the veteran political reporter had another professional suitor: John McCain’s presidential campaign.
    In October 2006, the McCain team approached Fournier about joining the fledgling operation, according to a source with knowledge of the talks. In the months that followed, said a source, Fournier spoke about the job possibility with members of McCain’s inner circle, including political aides Mark Salter, John Weaver and Rick Davis.


    In March, for example, Fournier wrote an item — whether it was a news article or an opinion piece was unclear — that said Barack Obama is “bordering on arrogance,” “a bit too cocky,” and that the senator and his wife “ooze a sense of entitlement.”

    Funny how that word keeps popping up….

  53. 53
    Kay says:

    Gene: You do not ever have to apologize to me.

    This actually means he wants an apology. It’s secret DC code for “I’m frightened and offended by you.”

  54. 54
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:


    You know who else smashed the idols, don’t you?

    Saint Patrick?

  55. 55
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Ash Can: Well, it sounded like something that the Administration would do, didn’t it. The fact that people belived it was plausible for awhile just shows you…I don’t know…That we need to means test Medicare and execute mentally defective convicts so that we can feel good about ourselves again.

  56. 56
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    in re: “entitlement”- Just caught a clip of Michelle Malkin on Hannity saying that Michelle Obam has been “privileged her whole life”. Michelle Obama shared one of the two bedrooms in her family’s apartment with her brother until he left for college. Her father worked IIRC in a Chicago water treatment plant.

    Bob Woodward will be sitting in Michelle’s chair tonight. Vie le Washington Post.

  57. 57
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    I may say to myself: well, how did I get here?

    I saw that.

  58. 58
    Gravenstone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Funny how its almost always a case of Republican projection, also too.

  59. 59
    different-church-lady says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yet, in spite of her arrogant entitlement she somehow, at the same time, has no class.

    Same slight of hand they tried to pull with Clinton. He was somehow both slick and a hick at the same time.

  60. 60
    Anoniminous says:


    I may say to myself: well, how did I get here?

    Letting the days go by.

  61. 61
    Suffern ACE says:

    @different-church-lady: Well, yeah. She comes from modest (but not destitute) origins. She’s not been wealthy enough for long enough to be truly and properly entitled in the right way, with the proper tastes and breedings and whatnot.

  62. 62
    sharl says:

    For Joan Didion fans, here’s something she wrote about Bob Woodward back in 1996. Seems like she had his number…

    Via tweet from @21law

  63. 63
    Ash Can says:

    @Suffern ACE: What’s even funnier is that most of the conservative pundits who clutched their pearls over Woodward’s claims are now admitting that, in the words of more than one of them, they “got played” by Woodward (h/t LGF commenters).

  64. 64
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    They are coming unglued faster than elmers can manufacture it. Pass the popcorn, please, extra butter.

  65. 65
    dr. bloor says:

    @Ash Can: It’s not like the WH released the long form e-mail, and the kerning is all wrong.

    I was a little disappointed there wasn’t something more malevolent, although this administration’s style has always leaned more toward ju jitsu than strong-arming.

  66. 66
    dance around in your bones says:


    The Talking Heads are far more relevant than this Woodward nothingburger. Get a grip, doodward.

    ETA: Woodward is ready for his close-up. It’s the journalism that got small.

  67. 67
    Ash Can says:

    And now I’m wondering if Hannity will jump on this conservative-pundit bandwagon and actually turn on Woodward when he interviews him. It would be hilarious if Woodward went in there expecting a friendly interview and instead got lambasted with “How dare you do this to us? We believed and trusted and supported you! Boo hoo hoo hoo!”

  68. 68
    jl says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Thanks. I forgot about the Papist threat. I will add that one to my Dire Threat Book.

    Edit: @Ash Can: That would be fun to see. How would Woodward react? Would he have the guts to go all Ellison on Hannity? I doubt he has the guts anymore.

  69. 69
    dance around in your bones says:

    @mdblanche: Shit, you got there miles before me :)

    That’s what happens when you are repeatedly filling up a water gun for a grandkid instead of paying attention to Balloon Juice like a good citizen.

  70. 70
    Ash Can says:

    @dr. bloor: With even Erick Erickson throwing Woodward under the bus today, I’d say Sperling got a lot more mileage out of being nice than he ever would have by actually being mean.

  71. 71
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Ash Can: Nah. My guess is it will be “Is he the worst president ever or just among the worst.” Questions. Similar to Woodward’s rant on Scarborough yesterday that a real president like Reagan and Clinton and GWB wouldn’t be bound by little pieces of paper and pull our aircraft carriers into port. Real presidents abuse their power forthrightly!

  72. 72
    japa21 says:

    @Ash Can: I expect Woodward to say that he never specifically said the WH threatened him. In fact, he was just pointing out how some rookie journalist could possibly feel threatened.

  73. 73
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Suffern ACE: hat a real president like Reagan and Clinton and GWB

    Small but I think significant correction, it was Reagan, Bush and “even Clinton”. Tells me all i need to know. I have a vague memory of Booby being very prim and finger-wavey about that awful Bill Clinton and his little Willie.

  74. 74
    jl says:

    @Suffern ACE: Did Woodward yell “You want the the truth! You can’t handle the truth!”? Or did he blandly imply that the problem is that a non 100 percent white president just can’t break the law like a real white man could?

  75. 75
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Ash Can:

    “How dare you do this to us? We believed and trusted and supported you! Boo hoo hoo hoo!”

    more likely the interview will conclude with a defiant Woodward declaring:

    as God is my witness they’re not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.

    while Hannity wipes tears from his eyes and in the background you can hear the music swelling…

  76. 76
    Seanly says:

    Malkin will have to add the safety dance to her video now. Tbogg will have to update his post.

    When I was a wee lad and about to do something stupid, my mom would warn me that I might regret my decision. Her phrasing was pretty close to what Sperling wrote & I never thought she was threatening me.

  77. 77
    Seanly says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Not only that, but her dad continued working full time while suffering from MS. No therapy via owning a dressage horse (I never understood how ownign a horse was therapeutic).

  78. 78
    the Conster says:

    Please proceed, Villagers.

  79. 79
    LAC says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: what is that heiffa’s problem with the First Lady? I have never seen such an obsessive need put her down at every opportunity.

  80. 80
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yeah, but it was in reference to Clinton sending planes to bomb Iraq. That was indeed the type of thing that Woody was OK with. What if we need to bomb someone? Why this president is practically guilty of derilection of his duty as commonder and chief by not bombing people as demonstrated by sending one aircraft carrier to port.

    Yes, it was that bad.

  81. 81
    Maude says:

    Woodward is the poster child of the celebrity journalist. He is a very serious person. Villager extraordinaire.
    If Obama topples Woodward off his high horse, how many others will go down with him?
    There goes the status they have all made up for themselves.

  82. 82
    Short Bus Bully says:

    I refer back to Doug Galt’s clarfying statement that politics is MMA for wimps. These “bad asses” curb stomping each other through email (CAPS LOCK BITCHES!! BOO-YAH!!) just reinforces the point further.

  83. 83
    Trollhattan says:


    as God is my witness they’re not going to not lick me.


  84. 84
    Jay in Oregon says:


    They got cuts. Big win for them. Are they mad some of the cuts go to defense?

    To paraphrase Atrios, random spending cuts will harm the economy but highly-targeted spending cuts will boost the economy. Beg pardon?

    Also, I think you’re right. Not enough of the cuts went to THOSE programs, ifyaknowwhaddimean. /wink

  85. 85

    Can someone photoshop Woodward’s head onto Marat’s body in the bath?

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