Dr. Dean dips toe into Beltway cesspool

Oh boy, oh boy, it’s a Tweetfight!

In this corner, former Vermont Governor and DNC chair Howard Dean!

In that corner, Ron Fournier, senior political columnist for the National Journal and longtime bete noire of liberal politicos. At the NJ and previously for the Associated Press, Fournier’s coverage has been notably harsh on Democrats and relatively soft on Republicans.

So, of course, a potential Hillary Clinton candidacy puts her firmly in the crosshairs. Fournier’s latest hack job: a gossipy, fact-free piece floating rumors that Hillary’s email practices may have been related to Clinton Foundation fundraising. Specifically, that she might have been using her pull as Secretary of State to induce fat contributions from foreign governments and potentates.

Fournier comes right out and says there is “no evidence of wrongdoing,” but that doesn’t stop him from filling his column with the kinds of leading questions you usually expect from Fox News or Darrell Issa:

Is the foundation clean? Is it corrupt? Or is the truth in the muddy middle, where we so often find the Clintons? … Without those emails, we may never be able to follow the money. Could that be why she hasn’t coughed up the server?

He even makes it clear he has a personal beef with the Clintons and what he calls “their entitlement, outsized victimization, and an aggravating belief in the ends justifying the means.”

Hmm, yeah, that sounds like a journalist to me.

Fournier, being a multi-platform content provider, dutifully Tweeted about his “scoop.”

This is where the good Dr. Dean stepped into Fournier’s cesspool.

Fournier’s self-satisfied response:

Now there’s Washington schmoozing at its grossest: “I’m right, you’re wrong, but hey, let’s do lunch! Have your people call my people.” Dean tries to pin him down:

Fournier, being a veteran of the Beltway game, is having none of it.

Good God, what a slimeball. If Fournier’s column is notable for anything, it’s for the complete lack of facts. It’s nothing but rumor and characters assassination. And he has the gall to top it off with “Be well.” I’m feeling the need for a shower. Dean’s redirect:

To which Fournier can offer nothing but a hasty exit:

“Gotta run,” indeed. Can’t stay and let himself be pinned down, can he? Dean closes with a dollop of sarcasm.

The two protagonists return to their respective corners.

Props to Dean for a noble effort. But Fournier has been a slime merchant for far too long to waste much time on a mere former governor, Presidential front-runner and major-party chair. Ron Fournier has bigger fish to fry, and a whole lot of grease to fry ’em in.

6 thoughts on “Dr. Dean dips toe into Beltway cesspool

      1. spongeworthy (@spongeworthy2)

        So the facts about Teneo are deemed by you to be not facts? And Fournier’s supposed to just leave it lying there because Hillary successfully kept any evidence from ever being produced?

        Incidentally, it is an opinion piece, plainly. If the facts a reporter presents to justify his opinion are false, you need to correct those facts to be taken seriously. Otherwise it looks like you are just lashing out at those who say things you don’t want to hear.

  1. Maxwell

    I expect Democrats to try to pressure members of the media that call-out Clinton, but that task is becoming more difficult each day. What Hillary calls ‘a mistake’ was purely a calculated decision with multiple reasons, none of which she’s willing to admit right now.

    1. John S. Walters Post author

      Sorta like when Mitt Romney was leaving office as Massachusetts governor, “11 of his top aides purchased their state-issued computer hard drives, and the Romney administration’s e-mails were all wiped from a server.” (Boston Globe)

      Actually, Mitt’s case is far worse because he was taking active steps (some at state expense) to destroy public records.


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