CNN journalist Jake Tapper called out his fellow reporters for their fawning coverage of Barack Obama. In an interview for GQ posted on Tuesday, he indicted, “President Obama was not friendly to the press, but the press was very friendly to President Obama.”
Explaining his own relationship with the Democrat, Tapper added, “President Obama did not like me, and I understand why. I was a pain in his ass and I didn't drink the Kool-Aid, and, you know, a lot of other people did.”
The GQ piece, by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, included the journalist’s frustration that those who love him holding Trump to account didn’t appreciate the same for Obama:
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He's aware that many who love him today used to criticize or, worse, ignore him. And maybe that's what's bothering him now—how fair-weathered we are. He's been doing this all along, but now that we have a president who is polling astoundingly low, we suddenly approve?
I asked him if he understood why he was in such high demand these days. “It's because I'm feisty or whatever,” he said. And again, “But I was always like this.”
NewsBusters has chronicled Tapper’s battles with the Obama White House. In 2016, he chided the then-President for “lecturing” journalists about doing their job, explaining, “Many believe that Obama's call for us to probe and dig deeper and find out more has been made far more difficult by his administration than any in decades, a far cry from assurances he offered when he first took office.”
During the 2016 White House Correspondents Dinner, Obama singled him out, joking that “Jake Tapper left journalism to join CNN.”
In 2015, a rally in Paris in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings drew 1.5 million people. The United States government was not well represented. In an opinion piece on CNN.com, Tapper wrote:
The United States, which considers itself to be the most important nation in the world, was not represented in this march -- arguably one of the most important public demonstrations in Europe in the last generation -- except by U.S. Ambassador Jane Hartley, who may have been a few rows back. I didn't see her. Even Russia sent Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
I say this as an American -- not as a journalist, not as a representative of CNN -- but as an American: I was ashamed.
I certainly understand the security concerns when it comes to sending President Barack Obama, though I can't imagine they're necessarily any greater than sending the lineup of other world leaders, especially in aggregate.
In 2017, Tapper called out Obama, saying he “went to war against Fox News.”