Jesus, Ron Fournier. Speak for yourself.
National Journal‘s serial tweeter is at it again — tweeting, that is. On Wednesday he strongly defended Univision’s Jorge Ramos, who initially got himself thrown out of a press conference in Iowa Tuesday night with GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump by acting like a complete lunatic.
Let’s be clear: Trump didn’t throw Ramos out. But he wouldn’t let Ramos, a left-wing activist who was there to lecture the candidate and not question him, overtake his presser. Trump interrupted him and told him to sit down. A towering, balding security guard then pushed Ramos out of the room.
At Trump’s request, Ramos returned and resumed ranting.
In one defense, Fournier offered what he thinks is universal rule of thumb for journalists:
A coworker cracked, “If you believe Fournier, Erik Wemple is the ideal journalist.”
It’s really not a reporter’s “job” to be an “ass.” It’s a choice to be an ass.
Fournier exaggerated the story and gave it a wild interpretation.
Actually, no. Everyone is not a journalist.
The fact is, Trump lives for press. He loves taking questions. He may not handle difficult, insulting questions the way many politicians do — which is, they rope you off, they walk away or they have an aide pull you aside to tell you to call the office — but it’s his right to fight back as much as it is a reporter’s to ask what he wants. And I mean ask not lecture.
The truth is, most journalists are polite and respectful even when they are being tough. In a recent speech, Trump hailed CBS’s Major Garrett for his “brutal” questioning President Obama about American hostages being held in Iran.
So Trump is not exactly opposed to toughness.
Should a member of the press or a voter choose to act like an ass, so be it. Do it. But there may be consequences — such as a candidate like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who tells you to “sit down and shut up” or a president like Obama who kicks a heckler out. Ramos can’t rant, get into trouble and then rant about First Amendment rights. He had them. And Trump has them, too.
“Shame on you,” Obama told a man who interrupted him in the East Room of the White House at a LGBT pride event in June. “Listen you’re in my house … it’s not respectful.”
Turns out the heckler was an undocumented transgender protestor.
A follower challenged Fournier, saying, “You aren’t a journalist. You’re a hack. The guy spoke out of turn yet was still allowed to ask his ? later. Maroon.”
I’m going out on a limb here. What he meant to write: “moron.”