Most people in today’s “mainstream media” almost never admit they have a liberal bias when covering the news, but Jake Tapper -- host of CNN's The Lead -- did just that during an interview with Andy Greene of the Rolling Stone magazine that was posted on Tuesday, August 15.
“President Obama said things that weren't true and got away with it more for a variety of reasons,” the CNN anchor stated, “and one is the media was much more supportive of him.” However, the Obama White House “thought I was self-righteous and a huge pain in the ass.”
Greene also noted in the interview that Tapper’s tough questioning of President Donald Trump and the people in his Republican administration have “turned him into a hero on the left, and probably a big part of the reason why Trump attacks the network on such a regular basis.”
“He goes after us because we matter,” the CNN anchor asserted. “He goes after people who try to hold him to account, whether it’s the FBI director or the federal judiciary or oversight committees in the House and Senate or CNN. He … does not want oversight."
“There's a perception you've become more radical given your decision to call out Trump's falsehoods, but maybe it's just that people are simply more aware of it now,” Greene noted.
“A lot of people on the left didn't like it before, and now they like it,” Tapper responded. “I don't want to compare President Obama and President Trump on these issues because they're different and the scale isn't even remotely the same.”
Greene began the article by stating:
Tapper wasn't on the phone with Rolling Stone for more than 30 seconds when another line rang, and he had to go to take a call from a Republican senator who agreed to talk to him on background.
"Sorry about that," he says when he calls back a few minutes later. "Donald Trump just gave an interview with the New York Times where he attacked the attorney general, the deputy attorney general, the former FBI director, the acting FBI director and the special counsel.”
“It's just another crazy afternoon in the life of the CNN anchor at a time when the chaos of the Trump administration means that big news breaks seemingly every hour,” Greene continued.
Tapper “has the difficult task of interviewing slippery Trump administration figures live on the air,” the interviewer stated, “sometimes sparring with them for over 25 minutes without a commercial break.”
“Do you feel more cynical about politics after covering an administration that lies so blatantly?” the interviewer asked.
“I actually don’t think I do,” Tapper replied. “I think it's possible that this all ends up with a commonality of spirit and purpose among Americans of all political stripes.”
“The other day,” he continued, “a conservative television host [Sean Hannity of the Fox News Channel] told his viewers to send me mean tweets.”
Instead, “people from left, right and center came on Twitter and rallied to my defense in ways I never thought possible,” the CNN anchor added. “I think that the indecency and the falsehoods are outraging enough Americans that maybe … something good [will] come out of this era.”
“Look,” Tapper stated, “I was the kid that would go into the library and read The Nation and The American Prospect and more left-leaning magazines, Rolling Stone a lot of time, and then I would go read The National Review and more conservative publications since I wanted to know what everyone was thinking.”
Most of the other questions asked during the interview were obvious softballs, such as inquiring who Tapper’s journalistic heroes are.
He responded: “Peter Jennings and Ted Koppel and Tim Russert and Edward R. Murrow, among others, because they were tough.”
“Saturday Night Live did a sketch featuring fake versions of you and (Trump advisor) Kellyanne Conway in a spoof of Fatal Attraction (a 1987 movie in which a married man's one-night stand comes back to haunt him when his lover stalks him and his family). How did your family respond to that?”
“My wife is a fan of SNL and a fan of Beck Bennett's portrayal of me, but she did not care for that skit,” he replied. “She felt it was sexist.”
Greene also asked about the CNN host’s fitness routine, favorite style of music, how he relaxes and if he ever “takes a step back and just feel stunned all of this is real.”
“Only days that end in y,” Tapper joked.
While much of the interview was standard fare, the admission that Democratic President Barack Obama received better treatment than Trump is getting now is a rare comment from someone considered a professional in the press.