CNN’s “The Lead” anchor Jake Tapper has made it a point over the last year or so to declare himself beyond so-called “election conspiracies” and the airing of them on his broadcasts, effectively making a name for himself among some, even a few on the right, as a moral arbiter of sorts on what is and is not acceptable programming on cable news networks.
For instance, back in November – three days after the election, Tapper lectured Fox News on how they were reporting on the election results that were coming in, demanding they “put their country above their profits” and tell viewers there was “no credible evidence of fraud” during the election. Further, Tapper also accused any reporter at Fox News who went along with the network’s alleged dictate to not call Joe Biden “president-elect” as votes were still being counted of being a disgrace to the journalism profession.
“You might as well hand in your press credential at the same time,” he proclaimed at the time, “because you can’t be taken seriously as a journalist.”
A few months later, Tapper noted that he would no longer allow guests on his show who believed there were irregularities in the 2020 presidential election, especially any potential guest who he claimed would not take his questions about it.
“How am I supposed to believe anything they say?” Tapper said during a segment of CNN’s least-watched program “New Day” during a May discussion about the so-called Big Lie at the time. “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?”
Sadly, we must report that the supposed moral arbiter of acceptable programming – or in this particular case acceptable printing in newspapers – is at it again. In response to a tweet from liberal Washington Post media reporter Jeremy Barr on how “the Wall Street Journal is declining to comment on their rationale for publishing this letter-to-the-editor from Donald Trump, which claims that ‘the election was rigged,'” here’s what Tapper wrote:
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 27, 2021
As I’ve said before and will repeat here, lectures from Tapper on what is or is not acceptable to report 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. In addition to that has been his and his network’s repeated coddling of election denier/Democrat Stacey Abrams, who to this day still has not conceded that she lost the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election to Brian Kemp.
Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe, also an election denier, has been given the guest treatment at CNN as well, where their biggest issue with him was not his 2000 and 2004 election denying but how much he bashed Trump (because that’s CNN’s job, not his, apparently).
In addition to that, there have been numerous other regular CNN commentators and guests who have serious credibility issues themselves like white nationalist Richard Spencer among others. This did not stop CNN from having them on their network, however, except in the case of serial fraudster and frequent CNN guest Michael Aventatti – but then again I hear virtual interviews from prison are a little tough to coordinate.
Is it good for media outlets and online publications to have standards in what they’ll report? Yes. No pun intended, but it’s the standard operating procedure at most journalistic outfits to put some in place, to draw lines in the sand on what they will and will not allow on their news pages and/or TV/online programming.
Where the big problems come in when is those standards are not applied equally to both sides of a discussion. And that goes double when those standards don’t seem to apply to the actual hosts/media outlets themselves.
There’s also 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.
Thanks, but no thanks, Jake. Facts first and all.