Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wherein Jake Tapper expresses opinions on air

Unlike many of his critics, I'm rather fond of Jake Tapper. He was one of my first twitter follows and over the three or so years since, I've come to like him as a person. But as a journalist, not always so much. This wingnut radio interview is disturbing:
In an interview on Tuesday with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, ABC News’ White House correspondent Jake Tapper addressed many of the concerns that Republicans have with the media. Tapper said that he was concerned that key issues, like the economy, were being ignored in favor of political issues like Mitt Romney’s tax returns. Tapper said that he hopes the media does not unfairly cover this election and favor one candidate over another, as he says the institution did in 2008.

Ingraham asked Tapper if he was happy with the substance of political media coverage thus far. Tapper replied that he was not, saying that the state of the nation’s economy and the high unemployment rate are voters’ paramount concerns and that he would like to see “more action taken and more emphasis given to this issue.”
How sad. If only Jake Tapper knew some well placed media figure on the network news, he could get that person to cover those issues. In depth. Instead of say, obsessing about a single dog joke that was completely in context with the actual issues President Obama was speaking about. Which issues were not covered in any depth at all. But the dog joke was.

To put that last bit in context, I wandered on to the twitter the other night and found Jake defending his emo-tweets about POTUS daring to make a joke about poor old Seamus.

I would have thought as a dog lover, Jake would have been more relaxed about it, but instead he told Ms. Laura his concerns about media hysteria:
Tapper on Romney's tax returns: "I was surprised that the tax issue got as much coverage as it did."
Oh really? How shocking since the last polling I saw showed 63% of Americans wanted to see Romney's tax returns. What? Asking for credentials from an applicant for the most important in America is too over the top? You can't get money from a bank with the amount of disclosure Romney's made so far.

I get that Jake has a new book to promote and is making the circuit. I get that he'd want to slant his conversation to appeal to Laura's wingnut audience. I know at heart he's a conservative. I don't hold that against him. But he's ventured pretty far from savvy neutral journalist into pure opinion in this interview. I don't find that to be a good thing.

Addendum: And this why I think it's a bad thing. Ms. Laura's fans respond:
OTOOLEFAN: RT @ravgames: It took @jaketapper 4 years to REALIZE the media elected Obana, or 4 years to ADMIT it?
The slightest validation fuels the darkest conspiracy theories of the far right. Pretty sure this won't improve the status of the press or remedy the much lamented bi-partisan co-operation in the public square.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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