CNN anchor Jake Tapper suggested on Thursday that he himself has not changed as a journalist since the pre-Trump era and that it’s the GOP that has deviated from “normal political behavior.”
During an interview on The New York Times podcast “Sway,” Tapper was asked about how he views the news industry changing but seemed to indicate that the Republican Party’s transformation is more seismic than he and other members of the media have experienced.
“I see what the role I played from 2015 to now as more a manifestation of the deviation of the Republican Party and Donald Trump from normal political behavior than I do the deviation of me from normal broadcasting,” Tapper told podcast host Kara Swisher.
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Tapper did, however, acknowledge that he has become “opinionated” on certain subjects he believes it’s “fine” for anchors like himself to have an opinion on.
“I see my role as not being particularly opinionated except for things about which I think it’s fine to have an opinion such as truth and facts and just basic decency,” Tapper explained. “But I’m not out there saying, this tax bill needs to be this or this particular legislation needs to pass. That’s not my style.”
The “Lead” anchor then blasted Republicans for pursuing what he claimed was a “path of lies.”
“I mean look, we can’t pretend the last four or five years have been normal in terms of the players and the people that we’ve been covering and what they’ve been saying and what they’ve been doing. I would like to go back to a time when we could just have more normal politicians come on,” Tapper said. “But the Republican Party has decided to pursue this path of lies. Not everybody in the Republican Party, but too many in the Republican Party. All three house leaders of the Republican Party where they’re just saying things that are not true.”
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He continued, “The reality has changed. And that’s why The Times and me and others, I think, have changed. And I think it’s important that we not go too far. I think it’s important that we say, these are the lines. And again, I don’t think anchors should have positions on policies per se, but I think we can have positions on hypocrisy and lies.”
Tapper may say that he hasn’t had a transformation as a news anchor, but his constant condemnation of Republicans would indicate otherwise. After it was projected that President Trump would lose the 2020 presidential election, the CNN anchor declared that the “long national nightmare is over.”
More recently, he didn’t bother hiding his vitriol towards House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik over her support for Trump as she was vying to replace Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., as the third-ranking Republican in the caucus.
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“A lot of people who used to work with her in the Bush White House say that they don’t recognize her,” Tapper said. “And they don’t know if it’s an act or if she, you know, got a lobotomy.”
And while he may claim to be the champion of “truth and facts,” that didn’t stop Tapper from promoting conspiracy theories being pushed by Rebekah Jones, the ousted Florida health official who claimed that Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis was altering the state’s COVID data.