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Jake Tapper’s Delusions of Grandeur

I don’t need to see any more of that.  [Trump’s] trying to turn it into a spectacle and into a campaign ad.  That is enough of that. … We’re not carrying his remarks live because frankly, he says a lot of things that are not true and sometimes potentially dangerous.”Jake Tapper calling for his own network, CNN, to stop broadcasting Trump’s town hall in Miami after Trump was arraigned on federal charges of mishandling of classified documents.


            Jake Tapper of CNN appears to think that somebody died and made him King.  It is not clear why he thinks that what he “needs” has any significance to anyone but himself.  Trump received 74 million votes in the 2020 election.  Tapper has never received any votes.  Perhaps he should run for president and we can see how many votes he gets.

Tapper appears to have forgotten that in the United States we have, or in the recent past used to have, this thing called a democracy in which political opponents are permitted to state their case publicly as they see it in order to let the voters decide which side is correct.  Indeed, this system in which each side has equal rights to state their views is necessary for the functioning of a democracy.  Without this system the democracy is a sham.  By contrast, Jake seems to feel that his side of the aisle should get to decide what the other side is allowed to say in venues he controls. 

            Jake’s specific charge that Trump is turning the indictment into a spectacle and a campaign ad is particularly amusing because CNN has turned Trump into a spectacle for the past 7 years in order to boost their own viewership.  Further, CNN generally and Tapper in particular have not done particularly well in the truth department over that period.  To take just one example, Jake pushed the Russia-collusion hoax for years before admitting that the Durham report was devastating for the FBI.

            But actually, Jake, it was devastating for the legacy media, CNN and yourself for pushing this story without evidence for years.  CNN and Tapper himself were significant contributors to this hoax.  As the Washington Post reported,

CNN was also a frequent contributor to the worst reporting … For instance, in a quadruple-byline piece, Gloria Borger, Eric Lichtblau, Jake Tapper, and Brian Rokus reported that Comey would testify before the Senate that he did not tell Trump that he wasn’t a target of the pending Russia investigation. CNN was dead wrong and in his testimony, Comey confirmed just what Trump had claimed—that the former FBI director had assured the president that he was not a target of the investigation.

And, no Jake, the Durham report does not exonerate Trump “to a degree”.  It found not evidence whatsoever that Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election that sent your side of the aisle into an frenzy from which they have not yet recovered.  Haven’t you heard that Hillary Clinton and the DNC funded the dossier that became such an important impetus to the hoax that did so much damage to our nation?   You and CNN do understand the legal principle of the “presumption of innocence” in the United States don’t you Jake?

            One would think that Tapper and much of what passes for our “news” media would have learned a little humility from the lessons of the Inspector General Report and the Durham report but it appears that they have learned nothing.  Among other things Inspector General Horowitz found that

Crossfire Hurricane team failed to comply with FBI policies, and in so doing fell short of what is rightfully expected from a premier law enforcement agency entrusted with such an intrusive surveillance tool.  In light of the significant concerns identified with the Carter Page FISA applications and the other issues … the OIG has initiated an audit that will further examine the FBI’s compliance with the Woods Procedures in FISA applications that target U.S. persons …

And the Durham Report found that “the FBI ‘failed to uphold’ mission of ‘strict fidelity to the law’ in Trump-Russia probe.”

One would think that Tapper and the “media” would have learned how easy it is to convince oneself of something when one wants to believe it.  Psychologists call it “confirmation bias.”  A few years ago, they convinced themselves on the basis of no evidence whatsoever that Trump colluded with Russia: “The walls are closing in! The walls are closing in!”.  Now they have apparently convinced themselves that Trump is guilty of espionage and mishandling classified documents.  Are these people even capable of learning anymore?  Have they never heard of Thomas Kuhn and the view that people have “paradigms” that colour the way they see things, so that they literally cannot escape their own prejudices? 

            Even Tapper’s way of expressing himself is telling: “I don’t need …”.  Jake would appear to have forgotten that in a democracy the only thing that matters is what the people need.  And what the people need from the “news” media is as fair and neutral a presentation of the facts as possible.  To be specific, it is the American people who get to decide what is a “spectacle”, what is potentially dangerous, and what is an inappropriate campaign ad.  It is not for spoiled self-appointed demi-gods to decide such matters.  What passes for our “news” media should rededicate themselves to getting the facts right if, that is, they can manage that for a change

            It is revealing to remember that Tapper was the Washington Correspondent for Salon.com from 1991-2002.   Unfortunately, Salon.com is not a mainstream news outlet.  Salon.com generally calls themselves “progressive” but they are in fact a socialist-friendly organization that foolishly praised Hugo Chavez’s “economic miracle” in Venezuela.  That was, of course, before the more recent Venezuelan economic miracle in which their people have been forced to eat their dogs, cats, parakeets and trees in order not to starve.

            Needless to say, Tapper is not the only member of the “Legacy” news media to suffer from such delusions of grandeur.  One could say the same for Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper, Joy Reid, Rachel Maddow, Bill Kristol, Rick Wilson, and many others who suffer from similar delusions.  Part of the problem is the fact that the media generally attracts and fosters narcissists who want to use their platform to pontificate on the issues.  And part if it is likely the fact that living in a bubble of like-minded “progressives” and establishment sycophants does not tend to foster the one thing narcissists need most: the capacity for self-reflection

It is entirely fair to criticize Trump.  He is by no means perfect.  However, because of the massive dominance of progressives in the “news” media, they, like children talking themselves into the idea that the shadow in the closet at bedtime is a monster, talk themselves into the idea that Trump is a monster.  But it wasn’t Trump that oversaw the record number of dead people at the southern border (856), including children, in 2022.  “Frankly,” it is the news media that “says a lot of things that are not true and sometimes potentially dangerous.”

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Richard McDonough

Richard Michael McDonough, American philosophy educator. Achievements include production of original interpretation of Wittgenstein’s logical-metaphysical system, original application Kantian Copernican Revolution to philosophy of language; significant interdisciplinary work logic, linguistics, psychology & philosophy. Member Australasian Debating Federation (honorary life, adjudicator since 1991), Phi Kappa Phi.

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