This weekend, CNN’s Jake Tapper joined colleague Brian Stelter — host of the oxymoronically titled Reliable Sources — to congratulate himself and CNN on handling the various “challenges” posed by President Trump and his administration. First, Tapper claimed that Trump “changed the way that the news media at large behaves.”
“Donald Trump, because of his disruptions and the way he disrupted just how presidents and public figures behave, and his actions too, changed the way that the news media at large behaves,” says CNN’s @jaketapper. pic.twitter.com/JoZTswnUQY
— Reliable Sources (@ReliableSources) December 27, 2020
Then, he directly criticized White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, saying that she “lies the way … most people breathe,” and that he is “not going to put somebody like that on air.”
.@jaketapper tells @brianstelter he won't have @kayleighmcenany on his show because she "lies the way that, you know, most people breathe. There was no value in that…She can’t acknowledge reality. So I am just not going to put somebody like that on air." pic.twitter.com/rHnvIhcZ1V
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) December 27, 2020
Let’s first address the elephant of hypocrisy in the room. Multiple hosts on CNN, including Jake Tapper, have happily offered their platform to demonstrable liars. One obvious example is disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti, whose screen time on CNN was rivaled only by fellow liar, Adam Schiff. Given that some liars are welcomed and others are not, it’s clear that lying itself isn’t an issue, as long as the lies enable a deeper narrative.
Second, let’s address another obvious point. The job of the White House Press Secretary is to act as the primary interface between the media and the president. Because the role exists in the arena of politics, positive stories must be promoted while the audience is distracted from negative stories. And yes, sometimes, this requires — to put it mildly — a liberal relationship with the truth. However, the absurdity of Tapper’s statement is based on the fact that a propensity for lying is far from unique to Republican press secretaries. Yet again, lying is not the issue for Tapper or CNN. The issue is whether the lies help or hurt their agenda.
Lastly, let’s look at the most glaring absurdity of all: the claim that Trump was the one who “changed the way that the news media at large behaves.”
This is utter gaslighting delusional nonsense. The legacy media are the same lying, manipulative and controlling entity they have always been. They are the same legacy media who decried President George W. Bush as a Nazi and President Barack Obama as a hero. They are the same legacy media who laughed when novelist Ben Rhodes mocked them for their ignorance. They are the same legacy media who buried reports of the Holocaust.
It is true that Trump changed how the legacy media are perceived, but it is fundamentally untrue that Trump changed the character of the media. As a result of Trump tearing the veil of objectivity from their lying faces, countless Americans are finally seeing the legacy media for what they are. Caught in the act, instead of acknowledging their wrongdoing, the media is scrambling to blame Trump for their repeated and blatant journalistic malfeasance.
This is not unlike the logic of a man who, after beating his wife, blames his wife. “You made me do this.” Those same horrific words have the same objective as the words of Tapper and Stelter. It’s not that they — the legacy media — behaved appallingly. It’s that Trump made them do it.
Such logic should never be accepted from a man who beats his wife, and it should never be accepted from Tapper, Stelter, or any other member of the legacy media. They know what they’ve been doing, and they know what they’re doing now.
The only difference is that they’ve been caught red-handed. It’s up to us to decide whether we will let them get away with it.
Ian Haworth is host of The Ian Haworth Show and The Truth in 60 Seconds. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.