To CNN’s Jake Tapper: You HAVE Wasted Enough of Your Viewers’ Time, So Stop Doing It

On Sunday morning’s episode of CNN’s State of the Union, there was a remarkable interview by Jake Tapper. His guest was Donald Trump’s senior advisor for policy, and thirty-two year old man still stuck in a temper tantrum he began as a five year old, Stephen Miller. The segment (video below) was a train wreck due to Miller’s relentless interruptions and shameless Trump-fluffing.

CNN Stephen Miller

Tapper took a fair amount of abuse from Miller who accused him of being condescending, snide, and joyful for opportunities to “stick the knife in.” These personal insults were designed to evade the actual questions that Tapper asked. For instance, Tapper inquired twice whether Trump met with the people that attended Don Jr.’s meeting with Russians at Trump Tower, as Steve Bannon said. In the course of Miller’s evasion, he never denied that Trump met with those Russians.

The majority of the interview consisted of Miller fawning over his boss. He described Trump as a political genius who “took down the Bush dynasty, took down the Clinton dynasty, took down the entire media complex.” Miller’s adoration of Trump was all-consuming and more than a little nauseating. He refused to allow a question to interrupt his arrogant filibustering. Which led to Tapper reclaiming control of his show and muzzling Trump’s unhinged attack dog:

“Okay, you’re not answering the questions, I get it. There’s one viewer that you care about right now and you’re being obsequious, you’re being a factotum in order to please him. And I think I’ve wasted enough of my viewers’ time.”

With that, Tapper went to a commercial. This was exactly how a journalist with integrity should behave under these circumstances. It’s one thing to assure that all sides have an opportunity to be heard, but it’s something else to permit a political shill to hijack a news program for the purpose of force-feeding propaganda to the audience. If an interview subject is more interested in spewing talking points than honestly answering questions, then the interview should be terminated. One measure of Tapper’s correctness is the rage-soaked and delusional response he got shortly after from Trump:

While Tapper did exactly the right thing in this instance, he and most other TV reporters too often let themselves be exploited by partisan mouthpieces. It’s a game that Trump has benefited from since his first day as a presidential candidate. Every news network routinely broadcast his rallies in their entirety, despite the fact that they rarely contained anything that was newsworthy. And as President, Trump has dispatched surrogates like Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders who view their jobs as being willing to lie without restraint in the service of Trump’s ego.

The media needs to reevaluate its relationship to this presidency. There has never been an administration that was so openly hostile to the press. Nor, ironically, one that so flagrantly exploits the press to deceive the public and advance such a brazenly dishonest agenda. Trump loves to bash the media that he relies on to disseminate his hatred for it. And there is no reason that the media should tolerate that.

The press needs to cut off right-wing trolls more often, and refuse to host those who repeatedly lie. They have to stop hiring bootlickers (like CNN’s Jason Miller and Jack Kingston), who add little substance to any debate and are as predictable as the sunrise. The media must recommit itself to its core mission of informing the public and exposing the truth. Hosting people like Stephen Miller does not advance that goal. CNN isn’t helping itself or the country by hosting pathological liars. That’s what Fox News is for.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

WATCH: Assaulting a CNN Reporter is Hilarious to Tucker Carlson of Fox News

On Wednesday the White House press briefing briefly turned into rhetorical warfare. Donald Trump’s senior advisor, Stephen Miller, went ballistic on CNN reporter Jim Acosta. The issue was Trump’s latest xenophobic position on immigration reform. Acosta, the son of Cuban immigrants, asked if Trump’s policy amounted to “trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country.” Miller appeared to take the question personally. He lashed out at Acosta, calling him “outrageous, insulting, ignorant and foolish.”

Fox News Tucker Carlson

Miller’s juvenile response typifies the emotional immaturity of the Trump administration. We should probably be grateful that Miller didn’t hurl profanities or feces. But the worst reaction to this exchange came from Fox News on the program hosted by proud Trump Fluffer, Tucker Carlson. Carlson’s guest was right-wing crackpot Mark Steyn, who unleashed a tirade of vitriol and bile (video below). He said that:

“One of the reasons we need immigrants to come here and do the jobs Americans won’t do is because one of the jobs Americans won’t do is drag Jim Acosta out of there, kick him to the sidewalk, and say ‘If you wanna do the Jim Acosta Show there’s a rusting boxcar round the back of the freight yards with three semi-comatose hobos who are interested in it. But nobody else here is.'”

So Steyn ignored everything that Acosta said and dismissed all of the substance of the debate. However, he did propose physically assaulting Acosta and denying him the free press rights guaranteed in the Constitution. The notion of violently attacking a journalist struck Carlson as hilarious. He repeatedly laughed at the thought of a beaten reporter being kicked out of a press briefing. This is what tickles the pro-Trump media during an era in which even the President has encouraged violence against reporters. Trump famously denigrated the media as the enemy of the American people.”

Steyn went on to adopt a view of the Statue of Liberty that has been a staple of white supremacists for years. He said that:

“The French gave the Americans a pretty great Statue of Liberty. And then the Americans hammered a lousy poem by Emma Lazerus onto it and turned a pretty great Statue of Liberty into a Statue of Immigration. I regret that.”

Steyn is joining the Hate America First crowd by insulting the contributions of a poet whose “lousy” work was used to finance the pedestal of the Statue. But he is also echoing the White House. Miller made a similarly belittling comment at the press briefing, saying that:

“The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of liberty and light in the world. It’s a symbol of American liberty lighting the world. The poem that you’re referring to that was added later is not actually part of the original Statue of Liberty.”

And both of those comments reflect the abhorrent views of avowed white supremacist Richard Spencer:

For the record, the poem “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus made a simple plea of compassion and acceptance:

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Notice that there is nothing in there about skilled labor, education, preferred language, or personal wealth. It is plainly reaching a hand out to people in need. It’s a standard based on the necessity of the immigrant rather than the greed of the host nation. Unfortunately, the only standard recognized by Fox News and Tucker Carlson is personal self-interest and unfettered political power. And if that means committing assaults against journalists with whom you disagree, well that’s just hysterical, isn’t it?

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.