I haven’t written about CNN’s Jake Tapper in a while because, well, I haven’t felt worthy enough to tackle any news commentary from America’s most Principled™ journalist.
But a rant he went on recently while appearing on his network’s “New Day” program left me feeling up to the challenge.
There was much oohing and aahing amongst journalists on social media after the segment Tapper did on “New Day” Tuesday in which he pondered the possibility of no longer allowing certain Republican guests on his show who he believes were accomplices to what he calls the “Big Lie.” Here’s some of what he had to say, which was in response to a discussion about the war of words between GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and other House Republicans:
“The lie about the election on its own is anti-democracy and it is sowing seeds of ignorance in the populous and, obviously, it has the potential to incite violence, but beyond that is if you’re willing to lie about that, what are you not willing to lie about?” Tapper asked. “That’s where we are when it comes to the House Republican leadership McCarthy and [Rep. Steve] Scalise and where we are with too many leaders of the Republican Party. They’re not willing to tell their voters the truth! What does that say about them?”
“How am I supposed to believe anything they say?” Tapper continued. “If they’re willing to lie about Joe Biden wanting to steal your hamburgers and QAnon and the Big Lie about the election, what are they not willing to lie about? Why should I put any of them on TV?”
What struck me about Tapper’s diatribe was not so much the specifics of his allegations against the GOP (those can be debated elsewhere), but rather the messenger.
I have lost count of how many times Tapper has held himself up some type of unique moral arbiter of truth in journalism, supposedly willing to draw a line in the sand between fact and fiction in DC politics. But once I got wise to Tapper – and other holier than thou types at CNN – it became clear to me that his so-called journalistic standards were rarely applied equally. More often than not, they were one-sided, as if he was rooting for a team.
And as it turns out, Tapper is rooting for a team. When you consider the fact that he was once a spokesman for a former Democratic Congresswoman as well as a writer at the rabidly left-wing Salon website, the old saying about how old habits die hard come to mind.
Not only that, but lectures from Tapper on what he will and will not allow on his program ring a little hollow, considering his participation in the Democrat/media-driven lie about the 2016 election being stolen thanks to the “Trump/Russia collusion” that wasn’t:
Jake Tapper worked directly with the Obama administrations DNI, James Clapper to launder and publicly legitimize a DNC funded opposition research document, written by a literal foreign spy. I’m not inclined to take a moral lecture on journalism or ethics from a CIA mouthpiece. https://t.co/6gusZIW46J
— a newsman (@a_newsman) May 4, 2021
It’s a lie that not only CNN anchors like Tapper repeated over and over again for four straight years, but their guests – including the prominent Democratic ones – did, too.
In addition to the volumes and volumes of fake news stories CNN pushed over the years about former President Trump and other Republicans (which is the subject of another post altogether), there were the numerous regular CNN commentators and guests who had serious credibility issues themselves. This did not stop CNN from having them on their programs, however, except in the case of serial fraudster Michael Aventatti – but then again I hear virtual interviews from prison are a little tough to coordinate:
— Harry Khachatrian (@Harry1T6) May 24, 2019
Last-month MSNBC CNN: We sure learned a lesson with that Michael Avenatti character.
This-month MSNBC CNN: pic.twitter.com/9MkX4g9khg
— Christopher Bedford (@CBedfordDC) August 20, 2019
MICHAEL AVENATTI …..
almost everyone on CNN (Tapper, Stelter, Cooper, Cuomo, Camerota, Blitzer, Sciutto) interviewed Avenatti. He was interviewed on CNN over 100 times! @jaketapper interviewed white supremacist Richard Spencer on his program. 😆 pic.twitter.com/jqPQi1H3WY
— NoEditButton (@TooOldToEdit) December 27, 2020
But muh standards and stuff!
— Kate Hyde (@KateHydeNY) May 5, 2021
Look, I have zero issues with media figures declaring their programs lie-free zones, even though it’s not easy to do because you’ll rarely find a politician that doesn’t tell a lie here and there or at the very least try and stretch the truth at times.
What I have a big issue with is when those standards are not applied equally to both sides. And that goes double when those standards don’t seem to apply to the actual hosts/media outlets themselves.
There’s something to be said about making sure the messenger and the message match up. In the case of Tapper and his employer CNN, we can safely conclude that they most definitely do not, because CNN is not a news organization.
Sorry, not sorry. Facts first and all.