The Tapper Litmus Test

A war has broken out on my Twitter timeline

It pits a shocking number of right wingers against Jake Tapper over an intense exchange with author and former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell over Afghanistan and that battle that led to the book that led to a movie.

Folks are taking sides.

First the background:

Yesterday, in The Mirror (Glenn Beck ridiculously scolds CNN’s Jake Tapper in 2 a.m. battle):

But thanks to conservative radio personality and world renowned dingbat Glenn Beck and The Blaze‘s Oliver Darcy, Tapper was still up at 2 a.m. this morning arguing for journalism to happen. In other words, he wanted his words interpreted fairly. He wanted what he voiced Friday to be spelled out without the glaze of crazy. On his program Friday, Tapper interviewed former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell and Mark Wahlberg for the movie Lone Survivor. The movie, debuting this weekend, is based on Luttrell’s 2007 memoir by the same name.

The only thing The Blazegot right was that the interview turned tense. The interpretation? Entirely wrong. Sometimes in journalism, common sense must prevail. But fat chance of that happening as Darcy dug in his heels and insisted that Tapper had repeatedly told Luttrell and Wahlberg that the soldiers died for nothing. Not even watching the show blind drunk on Ambien could it be interpreted like that. Darcy desperately needs a course in TV watching. (Hey BuzzFeed‘s Dorsey Shaw, can you tutor him? Start slowly with something like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo or Sex Sent Me to the ER (a real show) and build up to CNN’s “The Lead.”)

In his story, Darcy claimed that “Former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell pushed back at CNN’s Jake Tapper after the host suggested in an interview that the ‘lone survivor’s’ fellow veterans died for nothing.” What Tapper actually said? “I don’t want any more senseless American deaths.”

I don’t know what amazes me more, the number of conservatives and military activists coming to Tapper’s defense—or the enormous numbers of right wingers attacking him, I believe, unfairly and viciously.

Erick Erickson


Dan McLaughlin (Baseball Crank)

Mary Katharine Ham


Charles C. W. Cooke

Andrew Exum

A while back I trolled Tapper on Twitter:

I was immediately swarmed by right wingers wanting to rip me apart.

Here’s part of what I wrote (Twitter Pro Tip: Know Who You’re Talking To):

I’ve followed Tapper for several years now. I read a majority of his tweets every single day. He’s on my shortlist of folks whose tweets I actually backtrack to read, in order to make sure I don’t miss anything.

This guy is lionized by centrists and most right wing folks because he’s a straight shooter.

In fact, I really can’t tell from his tweets or his commentary whether he’s a progressive or a conservative.

So it’s gratifying when we look at his whole body of work in order to understand his point. Then come to his defense.

But what is the story about the rest?

I can only bear to give you one example:


There’s no reasoning with them. I tried. But it ended as I feared it would.

With a block.

The silver lining is how this sort of thing serves as a litmus test.

The idiots have identified themselves so we’ll all know.

I suspect whatever remains of Glenn Beck’s non-crazy base has now been frittered away.

Charles Flemming blogs at Thinking Out Loud.