Monday, January 9, 2012
The Gnawing Guilt of Jake Tapper
I've always liked Jake Tapper of ABC news. He is a member of what most Republicans and some Independents call the Main Stream Media or Legacy Media or some other ungracious moniker. He is the White House correspondent and has had the courage to go nose-to-nose with Republican and Democrat communications lackeys. I wish he would be more contentious than he is, I wish that he would point out the naked emperor with more gusto, but the truth is he can't. Not with what I'm sure is a very short leash from his ABC overlords.
But he clearly feels guilty about how journalism has become so agenda driven and that his agenda is to support Democrats and the Obama administration. ABC is no longer even trying to disguise this fact. The embarrassing performance by George Stephanopoulos at the Republican debate in New Hampshire this past Saturday is the most recent example. Hounding the candidates, primarily Romney, about a contraception issue that doesn't even exist, in lieu of discussing the economy, foreign policy tells you all you need to know about what "the agenda" is. The absolute absence of critique of Obama during the ABC evening news while making sure that at least one or two Republicans are made to look foolish also confirms the bias.
But Jake tries every so often. It's clear that if there is at least one broadcast journalist that has trouble sleeping at night it's Jake Tapper. That may be why on this past weekend's ABC Sunday talk show he said, in referring to the 2008 presidential election, "you had the media, perhaps, tilting on the scales a little bit." (one of the factors "going for Obama"). The collective inhalation of air in the room probably wiggled the huge sound drapes surrounding the set.
I once thought that maybe Jake is a closet conservative who might do well taking his talents to Fox News. But I'm sure he's not. He would feel just as upset at the extreme bias that goes on over there. I actually think he may be what the media really needs - an honest guy who is dying to be the kind of journalist that he must have been inspired to become - neutral, but probing.
One has to wonder how many other Jake Tappers there are out there who could improve their sleep with an occasional honest utterance about media bias? Come home honest journalists, it is you more than politicians, who can bring a divided country together.