Observing the slow but steady deterioration of Jake Tapper, whom I once cited as an example of an ethical, objective and trustworthy journalist—it seems so long ago—has been excruciating to watch. He signaled yesterday that his transformation into just another AUC hack (That’s the Axis of Unethical Conduct: Democrats, the “resistance,” and the progressive mainstream media) is complete.
Tapper was interviewing Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on his “State of the Union.” She blathered, as she is prone to do,
“We’re hearing every step from this administration- first, we were hearing it was a hoax, then we were hearing that everything is fine, then we were hearing that the fundamentals of the economy was OK – until the crash comes.”
Jake, from CNN, not State Farm (that’s him on the left above; yes, he used to be white) just let all of that go.
Well, as has been shown again and again to be of no avail as far as the Big Lie-masters are concerned, the President did NOT say the virus was a hoax. (he also never said that “everything is fine,” but never mind). I most recently explained this two days ago, here, and I’m sick of repeating it, frankly.
When he was properly criticized for allowing a false “resistance” narrative to go out over CNN’s imprimatur (whatever that’s worth these days) without uttering a peep of protest, Tapper issued this damning excuse via Twitter:
“I thought about it, because the president did not call the virus a hoax,But I didn’t because he *did* call a hoax the concerns of those saying that the response from the president was insufficient and that he was downplaying the gravity of the crisis. And that too was a lie. I guess that’s the problem with a politician who lies so often; while I agree that Democrats are mischaracterizing what he said, what he did say was also false so it’s tough to justify taking the time for a fact check when it’s not taking a stand defining the truth.”
At this point, I think I’d rather get news from the Jake at State Farm:
- An outright falsehood of serious and material significance was uttered by a member of Congress on Tapper’s show, and he “thought about” correcting it. Gee, that’s nice! Jake thought about doing the responsible, fair and necessary thing. Is this yet another new rationalization for the list? “I thought about doing the right thing”?
That’s worse than not addressing unethical conduct you have the power to correct because in the moment you didn’t recognize it. Tapper is admitting that he deliberately allowed anti-Trump disinformation to spread, after considering and rejecting doing what he, as an allegedly objective journalist, is ethically obligated to do.
- What Trump called a hoax were not “concerns”. Tapper was equivocating to defend the AUC (not to be confused with AOC). They were accusations. Accusations are not “concerns.” The President said that the allegations by Democrats that he had not acted swiftly and competently were part of a hoax, just as the claims that he had colluded with Russia or abused his power in his phone call to the Ukraine were “hoaxes.” (I’m not convinced that “hoax” is the proper term in any of these instances, but you know: Trump. Language.)
Nor was it a “lie” for the President to include the accusation that he was dishonestly “downplaying” the crisis in his “hoax” list. This is another one of those fake “lies” that clog up all the lists of the President’s alleged “lies.” The President was attempting to tamp down public panic, which statements like the WHO’s exaggerated 3% plus mortality rate carelessly encouraged. Stipulated, he’s no FDR. However, by the standards President Trump’s rhetoric is held to, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” would have been judged a “lie.” As Roosevelt knew too well, we had nothing to fear but a complete collapse of the economic system, riots, revolution, starvation and disease. Was he lying?
- Tapper’s last tweeted statement is so wrong and obviously a lame rationalization for his abdication of journalism ethics that it ought to haunt him to his grave. “[W]hile I agree that Democrats are mischaracterizing what he said, what he did say was also false so it’s tough to justify taking the time for a fact check when it’s not taking a stand defining the truth.”
Translation: “Yes, I knew what she said was untrue, and we always harp on mispresentations by the President as we see them, but since she was lying about a lying President, I decided that he deserved it.”
Despicable, Jake from CNN.