Tapper: Hillary Could Get Coverage Like Trump's If She'd Do As Many Interviews

During an appearance on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday night, CNN’s Jake Tapper pushed back against the idea that the media fueled Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and instead stressed that there “is a chicken and egg thing there.” 

Jimmy Kimmel brought up the theory that the press has created the Trump phenomena and wondered “whether their covering Donald Trump is making Donald -- I wonder if it's fueling itself in a way. You have to cover him because he's the biggest story but he's also the biggest story because you're covering him.” 

Tapper, who is scheduled to moderate CNN’s Republican presidential debate on Wednesday, maintained that Trump’s frontrunner status has forced the media to devote so much attention to his candidacy. The CNN host pointed out that Trump’s willingness to give interviews on a regular basis, unlike Hillary Clinton, fuels such coverage: 

[H]e's the front-runner. I mean, that's the bottom line. He is the front-runner. And he says what he says. The voters in polls say that they like it. And so we keep covering him. If Hillary Clinton did -- were willing to do as many interviews as Donald Trump we would be covering her as much, as well.

Kimmel joked that Trump has received so much attention from the media because unlike Hillary Clinton who is “boring” “[l]et's be honest and Donald Trump is not.” 

Earlier in the interview, Tapper discussed his preparation for tonight’s debate, which includes mock debates that feature a “very smart and charming gentleman we have working at CNN” to play Trump. The CNN host also explained that if a candidate does poorly during the debate he or she is “going to complain about it and probably hold it against the moderator, or CNN, or whoever.” 

See relevant transcript below. 

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live

September 15, 2015

JIMMY KIMMEL: People kind of -- there's this debate as to whether CNN and Fox and MSNBC news channels, whether their covering Donald Trump is making Donald -- I wonder if it's fueling itself in a way. You have to cover him because he's the biggest story but he's also the biggest story because you're covering him.

JAKE TAPPER: There is a chicken and egg thing there. And I have read media studies about if covering him, even if we're doing so in a critical and fair way, if that fuels it. And look, he's the front-runner. I mean, that's the bottom line. He is the front-runner. And he says what he says. The voters in polls say that they like it. And so we keep covering him. If Hillary Clinton did -- were willing to do as many interviews as Donald Trump we would be covering her as much, as well.

KIMMEL: Right, but she's boring. Let's be honest and Donald Trump is not. Yes? I can read your mind. 

TAPPER: I would never say that. 

KIMMEL: Never say that. You don't have to. Your face says it all. 

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Debates Jimmy Kimmel Live Jake Tapper Jimmy Kimmel Donald Trump Hillary Clinton

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