Throwback Thursday is the new Mediaite project dedicated to exploring the careers and past highlights of media talent, anchors, and journalists before they became major media stars.
CNN viewers are well aware of the fact that Jake Tapper is one of the strongest news personalities the channel has to offer. With a combination of sass and diligent reporting, Tapper has delivered hard-hitting coverage that has earned him respect from both sides of the political aisle.
One of Tapper’s best moments among his conservative followers took place in 2009, when he stood up for Fox News while he worked as ABC News’ White House correspondent.
During a press gaggle that year, Tapper approached then-Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and asked why President Obama‘s administration was shuffling Fox from the press pool and saying the network was “not a news organization.” Gibbs pointed to Fox’s punditry shows with Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, but Tapper asked him how he could dismiss the many other individuals who also contribute to the network.
Here’s a transcript for the conversation:
Gibbs: Jake, we render, we render an opinion based on some of their coverage and the fairness that, the fairness of that coverage.
Tapper: But that’s a pretty sweeping declaration that they are “not a news organization.” How are they any different from, say –
Gibbs: ABC –
Tapper: ABC. MSNBC. Univision. I mean how are they any different?
Gibbs: You and I should watch sometime around 9 o’clock tonight. Or 5 o’clock this afternoon.
Tapper: I’m not talking about their opinion programming or issues you have with certain reports. I’m talking about saying thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a “news organization” — why is that appropriate for the White House to say?
Gibbs: That’s our opinion.
Tapper’s questions at the time were applauded by Fox, along with other figures in conservative media. Tapper defended Fox on multiple occasions since that day, two examples being the Obama Administration’s repeated conflicts with James Rosen.
In a certain sense, Tapper is now in the reverse situation since President Trump consistently praises Fox while blasting CNN. Trump referred to CNN as “fake news” yesterday, and there have been reports that the Trump Administration was “icing out” the network and attempting to delegitimize it.
To the Trump Administration’s credit, Press Secretary Sean Spicer still takes occasional questions from CNN’s White House reporters, and Tapper had an interview yesterday with one of Trump’s advisers on The Lead.
Watch above to see how Fox & Friends reacted to Tapper’s questions at the time.
[Image via screengrab]
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