News & Politics

Jake Tapper's Lecture to President Trump Is Pure Political Theater

Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Invision/AP

Many people on the right give Jake Tapper credit for being some lone objective observer at CNN. Before the election of President Trump, perhaps that was the case. Now, his behavior when interviewing Trump campaign officials or members of the administration no longer seems like an exercise in trying to present both sides. Instead, the interviews seem like a face-off. His latest interview with Tim Murtaugh, the director of communications for the Trump campaign, is a perfect example.

Of course, Tapper’s interviews of Biden campaign surrogates are just the opposite. In a recent overly-socially-distanced interview with Jill Biden, he could not have been more deferential. When he asked Dr. Biden about her husband’s history of gaffes, Jill went into a rant about President Trump, and Tapper just laughed along with her. President Trump can be bombastic, hyperbolic, and even boorish at times. But he rarely misspeaks and generally knows what state he is in and what office he is running for, unlike Joe Biden.

Now here is Tapper’s soliloquy on his Sunday show, “State of the Union.” The Biden campaign should record it as an in-kind donation. However, if they did, they would likely have to list as donations every hour broadcast on CNN or MSNBC and a fair chunk of time on the major networks. Tapper gave quite a lecture to the president following his admission to Walter Reed Medical Center to treat COVID-19. It is really just a partisan rant:

While he started by expressing sympathy, he went right into the narrative that President Trump had been irresponsible and careless. It is quite hysterical to watch Tapper talk about how so many people have been living by the recommendations for social distancing and masks. He is absolutely correct in one assessment: Law-abiding Americans missed out on weddings, funerals, graduations, and jobs during prolonged and often unjustified lockdowns. And children are not in school in many places.

Then this riff got just precious. “But we’re in the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic,” Tapper asserted.. “Health experts say this is what we need to do in order to get to the other side. Regardless of the sympathy we may feel, we also know the president has been undermining these efforts, expressing disdain for health regulations and those who abide by them.”

He then played a video of Trump asking a reporter to pull down his mask because Trump couldn’t hear him. As someone with mild hearing loss in just one ear, I can confirm that not being able to see people speaking makes understanding them more difficult. The president is 74, and some mild hearing loss is not out of the question. His response to the reporter did accuse him of being politically correct, but the odds of you catching COVID-19 by asking a question outdoors, and then masking again, are near zero. It was pretty ridiculous.

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Of course, Tapper showed a picture of a Trump rally with attendees who were not masked. They are narrow shots, and many wide-angle shots of these events showed a mix of masked and unmasked individuals. But Jake is not so subtly calling all Trump supporters stupid science-deniers who blindly follow the president’s lead. And hey, you moronic rubes, you are making it worse for everyone else by extending the pandemic. At least, according to Tapper.

Then he talked about the Rose Garden event to announce Amy Coney Barrett as a Supreme Court nominee. Perhaps Tapper forgets that everyone who comes in proximity to the president is subject to a rapid test for COVID-19. Trump’s staff and family have reiterated this.

The main event was also outside, where the likelihood of transmission plummets, according to all available evidence. Tapper noted masks weren’t required. They also were not banned. And because those in attendance likely had confidence in the tests they had taken, many did not wear masks.

But the geniuses in the media have decided this was the super-spreader event based on no scientific evidence. Yes, some of the attendees have now tested positive. That test does not mean someone is sick, will become ill, or can transmit the virus. According to the CDC, what it actually means is they could have been exposed any time in the last 90 days and have viral debris in their nasal passages due to a normal immune response. Without genetic analysis, no one will ever know who the index case was or when the asymptomatic individuals even contracted the virus.

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Tapper then criticized the president for going to a fundraiser after Hope Hicks, one of his aides, was diagnosed and symptomatic. If Jake honestly thinks President Trump was not immediately tested and that the test was not repeated often, he is insane. If he also believes the trip was made without consulting the White House medical team, he is simply ridiculous.

Now, you must recall that Tapper is on CNN. The same network had nary a negative word as thousands of protestors rushed into the streets beginning on Memorial Day. The “fiery but peaceful protests” have been going on nationwide for months. These are the same large gatherings that caused COVID-19-positive tests to rise sharply in and around Atlanta, Portland, Los Angeles, and other large cities.

CNN showed absolutely no interest in how those large gatherings have affected the pandemic—because we all know that rioting for racial justice makes you immune to COVID-19. Apparently, you are also immune if you attend funerals the left approves of. There were three massive gatherings—the George Floyd protests, John Lewis’s funeral, and of course, mourning Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. It is also just fine if you are a “protestor” and get two inches from a police officer’s face and scream at him.

Maybe Tapper and his cronies underestimate the number of Americans who are furious at missing their own family members’ funerals, weddings, the birth of their children, and a whole host of other milestone events. They followed the rules and watched the blatant hypocrisy of the entire media class as mobs burnt, looted, and destroyed major cities and smaller towns. Now they will assess their own risk.

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Maybe they know that the CDC put out new infection fatality rates (IFR). For children, ages birth to 19, the rate is 0.003%, and for those aged 20-49, it is 0.02%. Many of us know there is no reason children should not be back in school. Tapper bemoaned school closures as necessary for our very survival. Schools remain closed in places run by Democrats with support from the far-left teachers’ unions. We all heard the Los Angeles County Health Director say schools won’t open until after the election. It almost sounds political, Jake.

It is also not true that all health experts advocate for shutdowns and masks. There is a wealth of information that lockdowns negatively affect public health. Even the World Health Organization says the following about masks:

Studies of influenza, influenza-like illness, and human coronaviruses provide evidence that the use of a medical mask can prevent the spread of infectious droplets from an infected person to someone else and potential contamination of the environment by these droplets. There is limited evidence that wearing a medical mask by healthy individuals in the households or among contacts of a sick patient, or among attendees of mass gatherings may be beneficial as a preventive measure. However, there is currently no evidence that wearing a mask (whether medical or other types) by healthy persons in the wider community setting, including universal community masking, can prevent them from infection with respiratory viruses, including COVID-19.

In short, everything Tapper said is debatable. Science is almost always debatable. And residents in states like Florida, Georgia, South Dakota, and Arizona would have quite a bit to debate with him. Most of our shutdowns ended months ago or never started. Masks are encouraged but not mandated. Kids are back in school. Fall sports are in full swing, and restaurants, gyms, and other venues are open. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said it best, “We will never do any of these lockdowns again.” Never.

Finally, I would like to know what Tapper has to say to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. In late September, he and his wife tested positive for COVID-19. A staff member who worked in their living quarters tested positive before Northam and his wife did. Sort of like how Trump aide Hope Hicks fell ill before the President did. Does Tapper have any questions for Northam about where he broke protocol? It isn’t very likely, but even if he did, Tapper would never ask. Northam is a Democrat.

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