According to his blog site, "Jake Tapper is ABC News' Senior National Correspondent based in the network's Washington bureau. He writes about politics and popular culture and covers a range of national stories."
He also recently got his head handed to him by our Patriarch of the Airwaves, Hugh Hewitt in a recent interview. Jake tried to do an ambush piece on Hugh and it backfired very badly. His assistant had sent Hugh a memo asking for an interview about Hugh's new book, A Mormon in the White House? Jake didn't seem that interested in discussing the book and the first question from Jake was about Louisiana Republican senator Vitter and his involvement with the DC madam.
Hugh answered the questions honestly, but about halfway into the interview, Hugh finally unsheathed his claws and went to work on the very unprepared Mr. Tapper. When confronted with the contents of the memo asking for the interview, Jake claimed no knowledge of it. That was like leaning into a left hook. His best bet was to apologize for the mistake and try to get off the subject as fast as possible. Instead, he tried to act like it was no big deal. What a moron. Hugh shredded him and rightfully so.
Look, either he knew about it or he didn't. If he did, then he's a liar. (I'm shocked, just shocked to find that the MSM isn't transparent about its methods!) If he didn't, then the vaunted advantage of the MSM over the blogospere, organizational cross-checking is just junk. (Like we didn't know that already, right Mr. Rather?)
Can you imagine ABC sending its senior correspondent to interview a nationally syndicated talk show host with an audience between 1 and 2 million and not having a prep meeting where they discussed the topic and the invitation they would send? That's total nonsense. When my organization sends invitations out to VIPs, we typically send out a draft agenda or at least a full list of topics we want to cover in the meeting. It allows the VIP to prepare. Meetings with unprepared people are a waste of time.
Unless you're trying to ambush them. Then unprepared people are exactly what you want.
My favorite portion of the interview was the one where Hugh asked Jake about how he voted in previous elections. Jake went off in a direction that sounded like it came straight from the Empress Jadis, out of C S Lewis' The Magician's Nephew. Compare the two and see if you can hear it.
The answer is because I am conflicted about whether or not it is appropriate for somebody whose job it is to be an arbiter, a truth teller of these elections, whether or not it is appropriate for that person to ultimately step into the voting booth and choose. I do understand those who say that it’s not appropriate to vote, and that’s how I felt in the last election, and that’s generally how I’m coming to feel.The Empress Jadis:
You must learn, child, that what would be wrong for you or any of the common people is not wrong for a great Queen such as I. The weight of the world is on our shoulders. We must be freed from all rules. Ours is a high and lonely destiny.Borrowing from a James Lileks analogy that I've come to love, I left this comment on Jake's blog.
For the love of God, Jake, get over yourself. You're not some kind of superhero whose identity must be kept a secret for the safety of us all. You're a reporter and a commentator and in the era of the new media, you're just one of us. I have a blog, too, Jake. I do news stories and analysis, too, Jake. It's not a big deal...You're an ant who thinks he's an elephant.For a while, I regretted the comment as too snarky. As I started to imagine the planning meetings at ABC that must have gone on prior to the interview, I realized that Jake's whole line about "I had no idea the memo had gone out" and also his claim that Senator Vitter's steamy indiscretions were somehow important enough to ask Hugh about were just a load of manure. He ambushed Hugh and was trying to humiliate him by asking questions about a Republican scandal. Jake deserves nothing but scorn and derision.
Update: Jake Tapper wants to fuss about Senator Vitter. Good choice. There might be a better one. Read this and then do a Google news search for any MSM stories about it. Find any? Neither did I. Jake Tapper, ABC senior national correspondent, call your office!
Links: Hugh and his blogging team have since followed up with a series of broadsides that leave Jake's protestations in tatters. They're glorious. Simply glorious. Why don't you wander on over and take a look. I don't think you'll be disappointed.