Negative Reaction Pours in to AP’s Firing of Bob Lewis, Dean of the Virginia Political Press Corps


    The reaction to the AP’s absurd firing of Bob Lewis, a great reporter and the super-respected dean of the Virginia political press corps, pours in. And none of it is supportive of the AP, from what I can tell. My reaction: this is a ridiculous, wild overreaction by a “news” organization that makes mistakes – including egregious ones – all the time, yet doesn’t fire the reporters involved. Also, I’d point out that it’s not just the AP; the media makes tons of mistakes and almost NEVER fires a reporter because of them, even though many richly deserve to be fired for incompetence, ineptitude, false equivalence laziness/cowardice, etc. (e.g., see this guy, who should have been fired years ago!). So now the AP fires Bob Lewis over one bad mistake? You must be freakin’ kidding me!!!

    *Former Rep. Tom Perriello: “Big loss to fire @APBobLewis. Few know VA politics as well. We respect/fear him b/c he knows his stuff. Everyone has a bad day.”

    *DNC Communications Director Mo Elleithee: “As someone who has known & worked with @APBobLewis for 13 years, I can say he’s 1 of the best in the biz. BIG loss for Virginia… & the AP.”

    *Sen. Mark Warner: “AP’s Bob Lewis has been a fixture at the Va Capitol and his reporting will be missed by Virginians. Best wishes at a tough moment, Bob.”

    *Bob McDonnell’s Communications Director Tucker Martin“If journalism had a draft @APBobLewis and @DenaPotterAP would be early 1st round picks. Huge talent now available media outlets: AP’s loss”

    *Washington Examiner reporter Steve Contorno: “Hard to imagine that @APBobLewis’ error was worse than the AP reporters that botched Boston reports and got to keep their jobs.”

    *NY Times/former Wash. Post Virginia political reporter Michael Shear: “I’m all for accuracy. But I’m damn hard pressed to see how AP did the right thing firing @APBobLewis, who has long championed that value.”

    *Tim Kaine Chief of Staff Mike Henry: “Fire @APBobLewis !?  Over a mistake that was pulled back & apologized 4 That’s BS. Bob u r a champion.  AP’s loss. Move on with head up BL”

    *Virginian Pilot political reporter Julian Walker: “At a loss for words on @APBobLewis & @DenaPotterAP. Quality people & journalists.”

    *Gov. Bob McDonnell: “@apboblewis and @denapotter have always been fair, tough and smart. Virginians deserve dedicated reporters like them.”

    *Washington Post Metro columnist Robert McCartney: “@benpershing I agree. Suspension and reprimand should have been sufficient. Bob Lewis’s record over many years should have counted for more”

    *Sen. Tim Kaine: Big loss for Virginia. @APBobLewis is an even-handed, talented reporter & a class act.

    *McAuliffe campaign says: “We’ve consistently said this story is water under the bridge and did not ask for any actions to be taken against those involved…We have had a professional relationship with Bob Lewis, Dena Potter and the rest of AP’s Virginia team during this campaign.”

    *Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling: “Sorry to see the AP fire Bob Lewis. Bob is one of the most respected reporters in Richmond. We all make mistakes. Bob did not deserve this.”

    *Head of Sorensen Institute Bob Gibson: “I’ve known and worked with Bob Lewis for decades.  AP decision was wrong.  Bob is one of the best journalists in Virginia, deserves better.”

    • Jim B

      Apparently the story he got wrong was not all that innocent despite the McAuliffe campaign forgiving him. Accusing someone of lying to fed investigators is pretty serious stuff. Was he willing to go with this story because he wanted to help the Cooch? Over at TPM the comments were not that kind to him.

    • OrangeDem

      I grew up in a family of Virginia journalists, many who covered state politics. I suspect some might have known Lewis back in the day.

      It seems like he has earned his respect, given all the negative reaction to his firing.

      But still . . . the error was so egregious, and the correction just as quick, someone was clearly asleep at the wheel.

    • kindler

      Oh, sorry, that’s different.  They’re paid to get the facts wrong…