National Journal Editorial Director Ron Fournier on Thursday accused President Barack Obama, who many conservatives believe is secretly a Muslim, of “raising a jihad against the press.”
During a panel discussion on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough charged that scandals involving the Justice Department seizing phone records from The Associated Press and allegedly targeting Fox News reporter James Rosen went “to heart of the administration.”
“It is chilling,” Fournier observed. “It is already having an affect on our abilities to report on national security issues. It was already tough enough. And the press, as you know, has gotten a lot of criticism for laying down on Iraq, for not exposing earlier the lies and deceptions on Iraq. That wasn’t because the press corps is conservative. Actually, as you know, generally the opposite is true.”
“The irony here is that President Obama, by raising a jihad against the press, has now made it more likely that we’re going to have what he called dumb wars,” he added. “It’s going to be harder for us to ferret out dumb wars because of this.”
Last year, a Public Policy Polling survey found that about half of the Republican voters in Alabama and Mississippi still incorrectly believed that Obama is a Muslim.
As Washington Bureau chief of the Associated Press, Fournier was often criticized for bias in favor of Republicans.
Emails released in 2008 showed that Fournier had contacted Senior White House Adviser Karl Rove in 2004 after the death of Cpl. Pat Tillman, a former NFL player who was later revealed to have been killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan.
“The Lord creates men and women like this all over the world,” Fournier told Rove. “But only the great and free countries allow them to flourish. Keep up the fight.”
Watch this video from MSNBC’s Morning Joe, broadcast May 23, 2013.