It’s supposed to impress Republicans in Washington that new CNN boss Chris Licht has fired a few people at the channel and demoted some others. It’s probably working, but nothing proves how truly meaningless the changes are than that it was announced Thursday that the highly sensitive and monotonous Jake Tapper will be getting a primetime show.
Axios ran no fewer than three stories promoting Licht’s efforts to assure Republicans in Congress that they should give CNN a chance under his stewardship, come back on air and expect an experience far more fair than anything seen at the network for the past five years.
To demonstrate his sincerity, Licht made sacrificial pigs out of toothy Brian Stelter, who ran a Sunday show, and John Harwood, who offered the most unoriginal political analysis, but while standing on the White House lawn so he at least looked important.
There have been some other marginal changes as well, like moving the always hysterical Don Lemon from primetime to mornings (an equally important time slot) and stripping daytime anchors John Berman and Brianna Keilar of their posts.
That these are supposed to be strong indications of anything at all, let alone make up for the freak show that CNN fashioned itself during the Trump years, is laughable. If anything, that Tapper is getting a primetime show, up from his sleepy 4 p.m. slot, amounts to one giant troll of anyone who took Licht seriously.
If CNN executives were genuinely concerned about the channel’s reputation, Jake Tapper would have been the first shoved out the door without so much as a handshake. That emotional jerk has assaulted the ideas of composure and fairness daily on live national television for at least four years.
Recall that in January last year, Tapper reacted to a news alert about some Republicans in the Capitol declining to wear masks by helpfully referring to them as “selfish dipshits.” This is CNN!
Recall that after then-President Trump recovered from Covid, he innocuously tweeted, “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.” Tapper summoned his bravery. He couldn’t let such a remark go unchallenged. “It’s OK to be afraid of COVID, and it’s OK that it’s dominating your life,” he said on his show. He also called Trump’s tweet “so disrespectful.” (Shockingly, the segment’s producer did not cut to commercial so he could smack Tapper across the mouth for being so dumb, but instead, CNN clipped it and proudly posted it online.)
Recall that Tapper and his colleagues were the first to launch the Russia delirium with an ominous report in late 2017 that U.S. intelligence had “presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him.” After it was finally, demonstrably proven two years later that the Trump-Russia collusion story was a giant fraud, perpetuated in no small part by Tapper, he said, “I don’t know anybody who got anything wrong.”
One part dishonest, two parts moron. He’s like a child found alone in the kitchen next to broken glass, swearing it couldn’t possibly have been he who screwed up.
And when Tapper is not on TV lisping his way through angry, made-up narratives about Republicans intentionally spreading disease or winding his way through another hoax, he’s harassing his critics with private Twitter messages.
Yes, he’s that petty. Ask any journalist in Washington with a blue check on Twitter whether they’ve ever received a worked-up message from Tapper over some minor perceived slight. The answer will invariably be yes.
Tapper is a dork with not an ounce of credibility left to his name. That he is still employed by CNN shows how unsalvageable the whole operation is.
And someone should tell him his oily reverence for veterans reeks of cheap and shallow.