CNN's The Lead host Jake Tapper took part in a raucous debate on Tuesday in which the anchor of The Lead asserted that it would be easier to make a case for the media to be tough on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump if that same standard was applied to his Democratic counterpart, Hillary Clinton.
“Would the argument of reporters,” he asked, “not be stronger if those ridiculously sycophantic questions that were asked of Hillary Clinton yesterday about “I get so teary when I think about a woman nominee” and “Congratulations.”
In an article by Josh Feldman, the Mediaite reporter quoted Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany as saying: “The onus is on the media to balance” coverage of the candidates.
She then criticized “hardball” questions asked during an eight-minute “press conference,” including “I get tearful when I see you becoming the first female president,” and “How do you feel about winning Puerto Rico?”
McEnany also pointed to queries like: “Secretary Clinton, is it setting in that you might be making some serious history here tomorrow?” and “People just come up to you and they get tears in their eyes. Do you feel the weight of what this means for people?”
However, “when Donald Trump walks into an interview and has a press conference, every question out of the press's mouth” is something to attack him, the CNN correspondent asserted.
“Cry me a river,” liberal commentator Bill Press replied satirically before noting:
Donald Trump would not be where he is today without the media, without the inordinate amount of free media that he has received, so he ought to thanking the reporters for that.
And by the way, we know Donald Trump. We know he says “I'm not going to talk about this ever again.” That's until the next question is asked.
Tapper then asked fellow CNN correspondent Mary Katharine Ham a question in Kayleigh's defense: “Would the argument of reporters … not be stronger if those ridiculously sycophantic questions that were asked of Hillary Clinton yesterday about 'I get so teary when I think about a woman nominee,' and 'Congratulations.'”
“Would our case not be stronger,” he continued, “if Trump was asked the same kind of questions?”
Earlier this week, Feldman reported that Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon denied that the Democratic candidate “has avoided engaging with the press and holding press conferences for a while now.”
Instead, Fallon told CNN's Brian Stelter that instead, the campaign is engaging the press “in a variety of formats” by focusing on local interviews some days, press availability on others.
As NewsBusters previously reported, this isn't the first time Tapper has deviated from the liberal talking points that are found so regularly on CNN.
Earlier this year, he called the president out on doing a poor job when it comes to transparency and the press. Barack Obama responded by making the network anchor the focus of a poor joke during the White House Correspondents Dinner.
With a setup that people are leaving the White House, Obama chided: “Even reporters have left me. Savannah Guthrie, she has left the White House press corps to host the Today show. Norah O’Donnell left the briefing room to host CBS This Morning. Jake Tapper left journalism to join CNN.”
Then in June, Tapper presented a thorough takedown of the State Department for “fibbing” about not only aspects of the Iran nuclear deal, but also their lies concerning intentional editing of a press briefing video dating back to 2013 concerning the deal.
That report led to a statement from Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, the organization that includes NewsBusters:
At the risk of ruining Jake Tapper’s career, I have to commend him for looking into the camera and publicly demanding accountability from the State Department during a segment that went over four minutes on his show.
He identified four separate lies told by the State Department and, when he got to the end, he spoke for me and all Americans: “We have a right to know who lied to us, and why.”
“The fact this is such a rare occurrence in the media today is why their public approval ratings are so low,” Bozell added. “Jake Tapper told the truth, he is to be commended, and the rest of the media should follow his lead.”
Since this is a presidential election year, let's indeed hope that Tapper and his colleagues in the media tell the truth about the candidates and the issues voters need to know about.