As all of you who read this blog know I’ve always liked Jake Tapper, both personally and professionally. In our encounters both online and in person he never treated me with any less respect because I was a blogger and was kind enough to come on my show when invited.

Furthermore during the Obama years he was practically alone in questioning the administration and democrat leaders when the rest of the press gave them a pass. I’ll never forget watching during the election season when the story of Hillary having to be helped into the van broke. When “reliable sources” was one the whole story was treated as if it was a plot from Fox meaning that his was something completely to be ignored, at Noontime Jake came on live and suddenly it was treated as the serious news story that it was, right up until the moment that he went off the air and CNN went back to Clinton defense mode.

Many times I’ve said that Tapper’s conservative fans had better get ready because once the GOP was back in the White House they would find themselves unable to tell the difference between him and the rest of the MSM because he would be just as tough on our side as he was on their.

All that being said Tapper’s statement “…I did fact checks about Barack Obama, too, not at the same rate, nor was there a need for them at the same rate,” was a self-inflicted wound. It suggests that he is deliberately being harder on Trump than the very dishonest and dishonorable Obama administration.

There are two reasons why I suspect this is the case:

1. Literally but not seriously vs Seriously but not Literally

One of the things you will note about American Pols, particularly our Democrat friends is how carefully they parse their words, Bill Clinton’s “It depends on what the meaning of the world ‘is’ is“, Al Gore’s “No Controlling legal authority” or any of the carefully worded denials of wiretapping by Obama era officials concerning the Trump campaign immediately come to mind.

Donald Trump is the completely opposite of this. He tends to talk like a normal person because his background is not political. Because he is less exact about what he says the political press has a field day fact checking words while missing the valid points he is constantly making. As Salena Zito put it

“The press takes Trump literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.”

If you spend your career looking for falsehoods in carefully parsed words a guy like President Trump is going to completely overturn the standards by which you judge what a pol says.

That’s just life as it is.

2. The fat pitch that was missed.

The second reason has to do with the infamous interview with candidate Trump before Super Tuesday when Jake gave him the “Denounce David Duke” question.

This frankly was pretty much a pro-forma question, a slow pitch over the plate that Candidate Trump should have hit out of the park with no problem. As I said at the time:

Forgetting all the circus that has come since, the bottom line is you don’t get a much fatter pitch in the game of politics than: “Do you denounce the KKK and David Duke?”

He didn’t

It was also a very odd error as I said at the time:

It’s doubly confusing given that in the past he had no problem disavowing Duke in his reform party days and even did so on Friday when Chris Christie endorsed him.

Frankly given that past and the fact that Trump isn’t stupid, I presume his performance with Jake Tapper was the ultimate brain fart

However double standards (Where was the Obama denunciation of terrorist Bill Ayers in whose house he started his campaign) bad mics brain farts or whatever it was an unenforced error that not only is still being used to portray Trump as something he’s not made, in my opinion a huge impression on Jake. Look at his face during that exchange and it speaks volumes.

Now you might say that’s unfair, you might say (as I do) that the racism and antisemitism charges against Trump are ridiculous on their face but I’ll not deny Jake the right to make a judgement based on what he himself heard (I don’t know if they actually see each other during such exchanges) at the time during his own interview.

All that being said I think it would be a good idea for Jake to clarify and modify his remarks because what he said doesn’t reflect well on him (I’d say it doesn’t reflect well on mainstream journalism, but mainstream journalism doesn’t reflect well on mainstream journalism so this remark won’t make it any worse). He’s a good guy and a fine journalist and should no more be defined by this mistake that Donald Trump should by is gaffe of last February.

Now there may be some readers here who object to this, but as I said, I like Jake Tapper, both personally and professionally and I would no more throw him under the bus over a single gaffe than I was willing to throw Donald Trump under the bus when the Bush tape came out when everybody and I mean EVERYBODY wanted Donald Trump with a rope around his neck.
That’s not how I work.

Closing thought. Be aware that if Mr. Tapper is still in the field of journalism the next time a Democrat is either in the White House or Senate Majority Leader or Speaker of the House, rest assured that my conservative friends who are now having a fit will suddenly find themselves warming up to him when he once again becomes the only member of the mainstream press who questions a word they say, unless by some miracle the rest of the media develops ethics by that time.

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There are two major things that should concern the American people about mainstream media. We’ve seen one of them very blatantly rear its hypocritical head since the start of election season in 2015: major left-wing bias. The other is even more dangerous and if we don’t take hold of the first, we’ll be faced with the second.

Before we get into the more severe threat of mainstream media, let’s focus on the one that’s clear and present. Mainstream media has been “left-leaning” for over four decades. Some may remember a time when the media was actually right-leaning. Those days are obviously behind us; anyone who doesn’t qualify for Social Security benefits has likely never seen right-leaning mainstream media (other than arguably Fox News and WSJ) in their adult life. The major shift that we witnessed in the most recent election cycle is unabashed bias. There was still a semblance of subtly in their bias during the Bush43-era. Today, they’re loud and proud about being leftists.

There are righteous cries by conservatives to do something about this problem. The Democratic Party’s propaganda wing has become so engrossed with their own rhetoric that they’re having a hard time understanding why there’s any opposition to them at all. It’s imperative that conservatives do what they can to simultaneously denounce mainstream media’s bias and to promote independent and conservative media that needs help in being the countermeasure to liberal talking heads.

It must be the people who bring about this change. It cannot be the government. This brings us to the bigger threat that could engulf us: state-run media. Today, it’s practically impossible for anyone to imagine a press that’s controlled by the government. It’s never been the case in America (despite rumored efforts by the “Deep State,” the CIA, and other powerful government entities) for the government to have control over the media, so very few are concerned about it. We should be.

If recent history has taught us anything, it’s that the sentiment of the American people can be shifted very quickly. In the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency, nearly 70% of Americans opposed same-sex marriage. Even Californians outlawed it for a time. Today, less than 40% of Americans oppose it. In less than seven years, the sentiment on this topic was changed through liberal indoctrination in colleges, massive propaganda campaigns in the media, and pressure put on those who would oppose the practice.

What we’re seeing happening with the media is not indoctrination from one side. Both liberals and conservatives are starting to see needs for “restraints” on the media. Not to sound too conspiratorial, but the rise of the “fake news” narrative is designed to get us to not trust ANY media. There has always been fake news. In fact, it’s not any worse today than it was a decade ago. The difference is that we’ve put more of an emphasis on it through social media. We’ve given it a tangible name and defined it as a bogeyman to be feared.

Tearing down the 1st Amendment freedom of the press concept won’t start off as state-run media. It will start as “limits” to what can be reported. It has already started with calls by powerful people in government to rein in their reports by forcing verification before news can be published. This comes in the form of strengthening libel laws that yield consequences if reporters get a story wrong. All of this is being packaged in a way that the people can get behind without realizing that they’re supporting restraints that harm the Constitution itself.

The problems of fake news and liberal bias are real. The battle must be waged by the people, not the government. If we call for the government to take action, the only way they can solve the problem is by taking us several steps closer to the bigger problem of state-run media. Instead, we have the power as Americans to fight it through our voices and our dollars. I would love to help lead this effort, but there’s already too much on my plate. Someone needs to do it. Someone needs to step up and start directing the grassroots to fight the liberal bias and fake news problem without the government getting involved.

Mainstream media outlets must be made aware that if they’re going to be biased, they won’t get our money nor our page-views in the form of clicks. That’s not to say that there’s not room for commentary or op-eds, but those must be clearly delineated. Smaller media sites, particularly those who adhere to neutrality, need our support. As for conservative media, we’re currently outnumbered and outgunned. We need help to be the commentary that opposes our liberal counterparts.

All of this sounds hard. It will be. The alternative is for the government to step in and take action. That is not a valid solution. Once they start, history tells us they cannot help themselves. They’ll take it further and further until the media is a shell of what it once was. To those who say that this would be a good thing, remember that if they’re just a shell, someone will be pulling the strings. I’ll take a left-wing mainstream media over a government-controlled media any day of week. At least bias can be countered through discernment and spreading the word. Once the government gets involved, it quickly turns into oppression. If that’s allowed, it will be almost impossible to reverse.

The only righteous way to tackle the problems we’re seeing in the media is for the people to address it from the grassroots. Calls for media oversight from DC will not end well for Americans. We need a free press to stay free. We need free Americans to change the media’s ways with our voices and our dollars. We do not need anything that will harm the 1st Amendment regardless of how appealing that may seem to some today.