MoveOn, Media Matters and liberal blogs have launched a campaign against Associated Press Washington bureau chief Ron Fournier, "for what they consider light treatment of John McCain at the expense of other candidates -- especially Barack Obama." In response, AP vice president for corporate communications Ellen Hale sent "elections coverage talking points" to AP managers. Hale suggests pointing to AP's ethics policies, which require reporters to "avoid any political activity, whether they cover politics or not." The talking points cover Fournier's experience and his statement expressing "regret" at "the breezy nature" of a 2004 email to Republican strategist Karl Rove in which Fournier wrote, "Keep up the fight." The talking points also stress when Fournier held different roles at AP and when he worked for the political website HOTSOUP.com. "Later this week," Hale adds, AP "Corporate Communications will go live with a robust new Elections page ... that will provide some real estate to deal with these issues. ... Some of the blogs now are also picking up the drumbeat of dissatisfaction with AP that some members have been voicing with the roll-out of Member choice," a new pricing system for AP content.
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