CNN anchor Jake Tapper appeared on the show Late Night with liberal NBC talk-show Seth Meyers in the early hours of Friday morning. Unsurprisingly, Meyers gave Tapper a kind of victory lap for the contentious Sunday talking-over-each-other interview with Trump aide Stephen Miller.
Meyers asked if it was important to allow people with “certain hateful rhetoric” in the White House to be interviewed on CNN. Tapper said Trump and the Republicans are in charge and it is important to “speak truth to power” and get information on what is happening.
The backdrop of the Stephen Miller interview was Fire and Fury, the wild Michael Wolff book on the Trump White House. While Tapper has insisted Wolff’s book is not up to professional journalism standards, he conceded to Meyers that there’s “poetic justice” in Trump being undone by someone who is descending to his level of standards.
Then Tapper oddly suggested that if he called Trump something insulting like a “flunky,” that Seth Meyers would be disappointed and wished he hadn’t done that. Excuse me? Seth Meyers, who called Anthony Scaramucci a “human pinky ring”? And compared Trump to a serial killer like Hannibal Lecter? This is how it transpired:
SETH MEYERS: there is a parallel because I feel as though Donald Trump sort of burned a lot of people on his way to the White House and then, I think you can justify it by saying, “I got to the White House. Whereas, Michael Wolff did the same and I think he would justify it by being, "I'm the number one book on Amazon."
JAKE TAPPER: There is a poetic justice to it.
TAPPER: That this is the book so far that defines the trump presidency with somebody who has -- yeah, who has just upended all standards. And yet, we in the media, journalists, are supposed to uphold standards.
TAPPER: We're not supposed to lower them, just according to -- I mean, you know. If we - if I responded to -- this is the world we're in. If I responded to president trump the way that he writes about journalists, I mean, calling me a flunky or whatever, you would be like, oh, I can't believe Jake did that.
TAPPER: You would! You would be disappointed.
MEYERS: I'm glad you hold the standard up.
TAPPER: You would be like, "well, I wish he hadn't done that." I wish you hadn't -- The president did it! The president -- the president did it -- you know. But we are expected to uphold these standards. So, I mean, that's why I'm not, You know, reading the book on-air, as gospel. We have to be skeptical about it.
In fact, Tapper did use the equivalent of “flunky” in his interview with Miller. Liberals cheered him for saying “There is one viewer that you care about right now. And you're being obsequious, you're being a factotum in order to please him.”
And Meyers only laughed about that a few minutes earlier, when Tapper said “I said factotum! That’s a word!”
Tapper also responded to Miller saying CNN airs “24 hours of negative anti-Trump hysterical coverage” by sneering “I think the viewers right now can ascertain who is being hysterical.” So let’s not pretend he doesn’t lob insults at guests, that he doesn’t meet jab with counter-jab. That’s how he got invited for the Seth Meyers victory lap.