Johnson vs. Romney, reconsidered

Remember AP reporter Glen Johnson's showdown with Mitt Romney?

At the time, I assumed that Johnson went off on Romney because he was 1) tired and/or in a bad mood and 2) fed up with Romney's shtick. But after reading this fascinating Politico piece on the AP's ongoing re-invention, and the role Washington Bureau chief Ron Fournier is playing therein, I'm not so sure.

With Fournier leading the charge, writes Michael Calderone (via Romenesko), the AP is 

scrapping the stonefaced approach to journalism that accepts politicians’ statements at face value and offers equal treatment to all sides of an argument. Instead, reporters are encouraged to throw away the weasel words and call it like they see it when they think public officials have revealed themselves as phonies or flip-floppers. [emph. added]

Whether you loved or hated what Johnson did, he was certainly calling it like he saw it. This could explain why Johnson acted as he did, and why neither he nor the AP ever publicly apologized to Mitt.


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