Hats off to Jake Tapper for this exchange:
The temperature in the White House briefing jumped up Wednesday afternoon as Jake Tapper and Jay Carney vented some of their frustrations with each other publicly.
At one point, Tapper dissed Carney by saying he could provide a “room full of straw men” for the White House press secretary.
Here’s what went down (video is above):
Tapper, the White House correspondent for ABC News, asked Carney to shed some light on Libya conversations that are happening “behind closed doors.” Carney, not exactly willing to pop open the lid on private talks, noted a “kind of what-problem-haven’t-you-solved-today aspect to this.” After he recited talking points on “the international community” and the U.N. resolution, Tapper said that “the situation on the ground has changed” quickly.
In response, Carney pulled out a familiar dodge, saying he wouldn’t give a “play-by-play” of what White House officials are talking about on Libya.
Tapper tried again: “What is going on behind closed doors?”
And Carney shot back: “Who’s talking about what’s going on behind closed doors?”
At that point, Tapper adopted a tone similar to that of a politician as he berated Carney. “In the name of candor and explaining to the American people what’s going on, what we’re talking about doing,” he began, “you guys have been criticized for a lot of quick action that you had to take —”
On that cue, Carney knew where to hit back. He interrupted Tapper and asked sarcastically, “After being criticized for moving too slowly?”
Tapper sighed. “If you’d like me to get a room full of straw men, we can do that,” he said.
Then he kept going: “If we can have this conversation for a second, and that is, what are the — what’s the debate, what are the issues? I’m not saying one side is right or one side is wrong. I’m just saying, can you explain to the American people what are some of the considerations you guys are weighing?”
It strikes me that every press interaction with the WH Press Secretary should be like that. We’d be a much healthier democracy if every politician and every spokesman was aggressively challenged.
Good morning, Mr. Cole. How are you today?
If it were someone other than Tapper, Maddow maybe, my response would be more unambiguous.
@eemom: Fabulous. Yourself?
They’re only doing this because the WH is controlled by a Democrat. If the Republicans take control, it’ll be back to nonstop press fluffing so fast your head will spin.
Until Tapper does the exact same thing to a Republican, complete with condescending snottiness, fuck him.
Jake sure is asking more questions about Libya than he ever did about Iraq.
John, one thing though…if you have followed my previous posts then you will know that I have been fairly critical of Obama on Libya.
But it seems to me that these mainstream journalists always seem to grow a pair when its Democrats in power. Otherwise they put their tail between their loins and curl in fetal position when Republicans are in charge…
not saying Tapper shouldnt have done what he did, i wonder if it would have been same with Bush
1. Glad to see the press doing its job.
2. Would have been nice to even see a hint of this during Bush’s eight years.
Suck It Up!
oh please. the WH press corp gets the treatment they rightly deserve.
but then your cocktails are watered down, and your hors d’oeuvres are cold
Carney used to be a reporter. Might be a history of rivalry there.
But let’s not get carried away. Getting a wee-bit aggressive with the Press Secretary is nothing. Getting tough with the Preznit is where all the beans are boiling. I’m not holding my breath.
Hi John. Apparently some your commenters have access to the internet but, mysteriously, not Google.
Here’s some of my coverage of the Iraq war within its first few months, when much of the media was fairly gung-ho and rah-rah.
Just for kicks, here’s one about Afghanistan:
Hope all’s well.
John Cole @ Top:
Intead of just the Democratic ones? I agree.
"Fair and Balanced" Dave
Yup. The villagers happily fluffed Dubya while he and his cronies flagrantly lied us into the quagmire in Iraq. Somehow I have the feeling that if John McCain had won the election in 2008, Tapper would be throwing softballs like a little league coach.
When your dog does something you want it to do and want it to continue doing in the future, do you:
A.) Say “good doggie” and give it a treat.
B.) Yell at it and say “Why the hell haven’t you ever done that before you worthless piece of shit” and then kick it.
To which I would reply: We’ve already got that, Jake.
Somewhat. The WH Press Briefing is now and has always been an elaborate Kabuki show. Jake Tapper has no more interest in the truth than Chuck Todd or any of the other knob-burnishing village idiots who are in there most every day. They kicked out Helen Thomas and replaced her with the FOX “news” lackey, ferpetesake.
We’d be a much healthier democracy if the reporters stopped even listening to the politicians and spokesidiots and just reported facts that were readily available.
Except that we know that this dog isn’t going to change whether you kick him or reward him. The next time a Republican is president, Tapper will go right back to uncritically writing down every word he says.
So what do you do when you have a dog that doesn’t respond to you no matter what you do?
@MBunge: Sadly, he won’t, the press will forget they have a spine by then.
@John Cole: It depends…did that dog sit on its ass and do jackshit as robbers cleaned my house out over and over again for the past eight years?
Maybe if they get in the habit of hitting a Democratic president hard (which habit they’ll never develop, of course, with a Republican president) some of that assertiveness will remain when there’s an R administration. Not much, no. But a trace?
And even if not, I’d rather have a semi-functional press corps half the time than none.
That said, one of the reasons that the press suck so badly is the right plays the refs. If Tapper pulled this with Bush, he’d get buried in email and vilified on Fox, and letters to the editor, etc. When he does it to Obama, lefties like me applaud. So his incentives are what, exactly?
I was going to comment about difference in the press corps during R and D administrations but it seems others got there first. Instead, I will just comment about how I was going to comment about something but others did it first, rendering my proposed comment superfluous.
Speaking of Libya…
it’s refreshing that Tapper is actually doing what he should do in other situations. Usually he’s being confrontational in the service of whatever concern troll republican talking point is in style that day.
Judas Escargot (aka "your liberal-interventionist pal, who's fun to be with")
Until Tapper does the exact same thing to a Republican, complete with condescending snottiness, fuck him.
I bet Jeff Gannon would ask Obama some hard questions, too, if he got his press pass back.
It has been theory of mine for a long time, that most journalists being liberal, or at least dems by personal belief on most issues, like members of a family, have an easier time getting frisky with family members. Where they would be more inhibited, like most people, with non family members. There are other factors of course, but I think that is a prime one for their willingness to show their bad ass, and take it a step further. Sort of like a version of sibling rivalry.
It also doesn’t encourage them to get tough with repubs when they mostly work for media mega corps, and those mega corps are run by business friendly republicans.
Opening Day – GO Reds!
That deserves whatever award Sully gives out for dumbest comment of the year.
The things you write live forever on the internet.
@Jake Tapper: Mea culpa for me. Keep it up. I read salon back then as one of the few places that knew how to question.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Jake Tapper: Can’t help but notice all those links are to Salon. Interesting.
Was FoxNews your “sister” back then, or was that part of your adoption by ABC? Around the same time you became Rush Limbaugh’s favorite non-Fox correspondent?
This also assumes that most of the reporters who finally arrive at the WHPC gig are actually liberal. I’d wager many of them are not by this point. Witness the AP’s Fournier as head of the DC Desk.
ETA: Isn’t Tapper the “This is good news for John McCain” guy?
Shit, you guys will rally around the leader over pretty much everything, huh?
Even irrelevant flareups between irrelevant actors in an irrelevant press conference that you didn’t watch and wouldn’t have heard anything about if Cole hadn’t posted about it.
@Jake Tapper: Sorry Jake you aint fooling no one ..could you write what you wrote for Salon on ABC`s website
They are still liberal upon getting to the WHPC, but the fact they made it there, means they are also very ambitious and their liberal leanings get the back seat on that bus.
edit – and Fournier is wingnut, and an exception to the rule.
The press only has balls when the democrats are in power because they know the dems are a bunch of pansies. Once the repukes are back in power they will be back to their regular lapdog selves
In Malaysia the mainstream media outlets, including the newspaper I worked for, are all owned either by the state or by business proxies of parties in the ruling coalition; and editors with career ambitions often seek political patrons. You can imagine what kind of pressure that puts on a reporter’s objectivity.
Far be it from me to excuse reporters for not daring to be persistent in seeking answers. But I suspect that, among other reasons, the Cheney/Bush administration might well have been the sort to bear a grudge against reporters just for asking awkward questions, let alone pushing for answers. And if your management were politically sympathetic to his party, you’d have some reason to worry about your performance evaluations — not to mention your job security.
The Obama administration, and Democratic administrations in general, might not be as prone to acting like that.
Whatever anyone else might think, I, for one, think it’s quite awesome that we can get a senior reporter at a major media outlet to come at here openly and snark at us like that. Cheers, Jake.
And, FWIW, I would repeat my idea (and others) from the last time we all kicked around the WHPC. Make the whole thing a daily lottery with any journalistic outlet in the nation that wants to try to get in. Draw names out of a hat the night before and send an e-mail to the winning entrants. “Guess what, tomorrow you get to ask the WHPS questions. Be there at 9!”
@Jake Tapper: Yes, 8 years ago you wrote some skeptical stuff on Salon…which was read by HOW many people 8 years ago? I’d be more impressed if you could point to a situation where you were as face-to-face confrontational with a Republican as you were in this case with Carney since you started to get paid by ABC.
Jake Tapper should spend more time reporting news and less time checking his Google Alerts for people saying his name…
You know what strikes me?
It strikes me that they don’t give two shits about such things unless the president is a democrat. Had this been GW’s press secretary, Tapper would have just started masturbating and said “thank you sir, may I have another?”
That was Mark Halperin.
And by the way, Jake, do you still defend Fox as a legitimate news organization, no different than ABC?
The Ancient Randonneur (formerly known as The Grand Panjandrum)
Thanks for reminding that ABC is still on the air. Maybe we should give Tapper a break. Unlike other Dartmouth grads (Tim Geithner and Hank Paulson) he’s in a rather innocuous position where he at least can’t give away billions to the banksters. That does count for something, no?
@Sentient Puddle: thanks. they all look alike.
i say “why the fuck haven’t you ever done that before, dumbass?” and give him a treat.
Oh, no! The reputation of the world’s
oldestnoblest profession has been besmirched by foul pyjama-bloggers! Know your place, peons!
The WH press corpse is not a bunch of dogs, and behaving as though they can be trained the same way isn’t going to work. If you praise them for challenging Obama, the message they’re going to get is that it’s open season on Democrats. They’re not going to make the connection that they need to challenge Republicans just as hard, because they’re just not wired that way.
@arguingwithsignposts: No, I’m pretty sure that’s Halperin. Jake, whatever his flaws, isn’t that vapid.
@Jake Tapper: And this constitutes exactly what percentage of stories you have written?
apparently you don’t know the difference between getting testy with the WH press secretary and blogging at salon.
i don’t care how much blogging reporters do. blogging is, in general, stupid. i do want to see reporters take politicians and their spokespeople to task in the press room, but for some reason i never really saw that at all during the bush years, because you guys were all too afraid to raise your voices. so you blogged instead, whoopdee-shit.
and for that we got iraq. thanks, guys. heckuva job.
a little to quick on the draw posting that list of creds, me thinks. Almost like it was already made and on speed dial.
But I basically think Tapper is Ok, better than most, and at least he bothered to give us a list.
Tapper was within his rights to try and get an answer.
Tapper did nothing wrong.
Listening to NPR the other day and Republicans were very concerned about the costs in Libya. Troop safety. How long the mission would last. They are just very, very concerned. And of course, now the press is too.
They must realize how much they have to make up for the continuous BJ to the Bush admin they gave for 8 years.
Doesn’t mean criticism and questioning should not be done by any means, but I’m still very conflicted between what could be seen as more a humanitarian mission and less an attempt to realign Middle East power like Iraq/Afghanistan. I honestly just don’t know what to think…
Judas Escargot (aka "your liberal-interventionist pal, who's fun to be with")
OMG! Jake Tapper is Kibo!
I will retract what I said about Mr. Tapper, Iraq and Libya. I had forgotten the reason we liberals were all pissed off at him in the first place: his interesting, questioning reporting at Salon turned into stenography and Fox-defending once he moved to ABC.
I realize that following the soccer ball kicked by Republicans is what journalists call reporting these days, but it was very sad to see the transformation.
Not so much “rally around the leader” as an opportunity to tell Mr. Tapper how we feel about his “reporting” from ABC during the Bush years. This has been a very sore point for a lot of us, especially the “Fox News is our sister network” bullshit.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Even before Jake appeared, I was going to mention that he indeed questioned the Bush administration decisions several times. It’s easier to remember his lack of follow-up.
At least to the best of knowledge, he didn’t offer McCain donuts with sprinkles on them.
I think John’s mistake is putting any faith at all in an infotainment personality like Jake Tapper.
He “cares” about Libya because it gets ratings right now. The next time a Republican lies to him about Social Security he won’t give two shits about repeating that lie because the “controversy” gets more ratings than the truth.
Remember when David Gregory used to yell at Tony Snow? That same “tough reporter” is now on MTP tossing softballs at John McCain every other week. The whole industry is made up of people who would rather be famous journalist than good ones. They should all DIAF.
There’s more. Now he’s using the “i” word…
[[ A shocking piece of contempt for democracy and the constitution from the secretary of state:
[[ The White House would forge ahead with military action in Libya even if Congress passed a resolution constraining the mission, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a classified briefing to House members Wednesday afternoon… ]]
That’s a gauntlet for anyone left in the Congress not in thrall to the emperor’s growing power-grab. I fear, as Yglesias notes, that the Congress doesn’t even want to exercize its powers or even go on the record … because they’re a bunch of pansy-ass losers. But I hope that some of them actually care about the Constitution (hello, Tea Party!) and fight back. If the Obama administration is refusing even to abide by the War Powers Act, then the Congress really needs to vote to defund their adventurism at least or impeach them if it comes to that. Going to war outside even the War Powers Act qualifies as an impeachable offense, it seems to me. ]]
And Another Thing…
The subject being discussed is an effing war. The Administration needs to be pushed for answers. If Jake Tapper is doing it, well, damn, good for him. You can’t bitch about a subservient press corps for Bush’s wars & then whine about press questioning Obama.
I watch the daily press briefings and the front row is inordinately impressed by their knee-jerk attempts at cleverness. In reality, they sound like pathetic attendants of Frank Luntz.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@agrippa: It’s not so much what he did here, but what he (and his colleagues) didn’t do for eight years. It can’t have escaped your notice that wars, even comparatively minor military actions, now cost money, that we’ve suddenly gone from “Reagan taught us deficits don’t matter” to deficits being the issue that trumps all others combined.
I haven’t seen any TV news in the last couple days: How much coverage did Judy Biggert’s “can we stop talking about jobs?” comment get? Is Scottie Walker’s assault on unions still being called a budget issue? are the historically low approval numbers of recently elected Republicans getting as much coverage as the “shellacking” of four months ago?
And if Tapper was right to question Carney, Carney was also right to point out the turn-on-a-dime media coverage. It’s not a strawman.
And it is, so long as it’s a Democratic administration.
One reason reporters (whether they are smart or not) play hard ball with Dems is that they are paying attention and actually care about criticism, and governing.
With the GOP in the WH, they just get tired of talking to a wall.
This is why the GOP so often gets a pass: they just don’t give a fuck what the press thinks.
@Jake Tapper: hey Jake, dont know if you know this, since you are so worried about your image, but you had won an award on this website
Check it out!
First I want to state that I am heartened to see that you are paying attention to what happens here at Balloon-Juice–it shows that you are looking around and not just talking to the same ten people and using their views as a proxy for all of America.
Second (since I may have your ear) why are you and the large majority of the national political media such a batch of feckless douchebags? I don’t want to play “duelling Google” but how about an in depth conversation with Bob Somerby? Bonus points if you avoid reflexively defending the antics of the rest of the villagers.
@Guster: I think you have made a very good point. Rachel Maddow and Keith Olberman will be applauding Tapper, not asking why isn’t being fired. And with a Republican President, there is a definitely a lot more heat, especially with the instruments they have in Fox, Limbaugh, WSJ, and Breitbart, that would call for one’s head if you challenge a Republican President’s war policy. Even before Fox and the right wing noise machine was up at full gear, the Republican PR people were good at putting the scews to corporate media when they were displeased with their reporters product as journalists from Dan Schorr, to Dan Rather, Peter Arnett, and Ashleigh Banfield can attest. Nixonland has a rather good discussion on the subject.
This is aggressively challenging? Sounds more like some pampered crybabies who don’t know how to dig to get a story and expect to be spoonfed their daily pablum, and a nice tummy rub afterwards.
@Jake Tapper: And why, exactly, would we google you writing some things on a liberal blog?
What does that have to do with press behavior toward a press secretary?
More illuminating how people like you treated Bush’s press secretary in real time. Here you are covering for your buddy Scott McClellan by pretending he never said Bush would fire the people who illegally blew Valerie Plame’s covert status.
right-o. if tapper’s reporting at ABC were anything close to as antagonistic and questioning as the earlier stuff he points at, it would be really nice. instead he took the cushy job and gave up any journalistic rigor he used to have, with on occasional bout of spine growth. and we’re supposed to shout hurray?
probably sleeps pretty well on a big pile of money tho.
I know people are piling on Tapper right now, but this Telegraph article is a bit disturbing: “Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links”.
Though it’s not really news for those who have been paying attention, it’s still disconcerting and worrisome.
Gimme a friggin’ break, Cole! Hats off to Tapper??
Show me a single time in the past 2 years of Obama in office where Tapper has pushed back in this same way to ANY Republican?
In particular, Tapper has NEVER challenged Sarah Palin or John Boehner in this way.
He’s pushy with Obama because the WH doesn’t push back and is a bunch of sissies. He knows he can get away with it, while he would get SLAUGHTERED if he pushed like this on Palin or Boehner.
Tapper’s comment above is interesting. I was a big fan when he was at Salon, but his reporting went waayyy downhill almost the moment he moved to ABC. He *was* an excellent reporter who asked the right questions of the Bush admin. But for the last few years he’s been a pretty run-of-the-mill beltway hack.
I don’t really care about his exchange with Carney, but I’m not sure he deserves much credit for “challenging” the white house. Asking Carney to tell him what was being discussed behind closed doors is kind of pointless. What kind of response was he hoping to elicit? Tapper was grandstanding, nothing more.
Nope, not this time.
All this does is reinforce the Village’s habit of spending the years the Republicans are in charge proving they’re non-liberally-biased patriots by giving reacharounds in the WH briefing room, then spending the years the Democrats are in charge proving they’re tough, non-liberally-biased inheritors of the tradition of journalistic confrontation by petty bickering with the briefer.
Taken in isolation, or all else being equal, I’d agree with you. But you can’t take the now-corrupt dynamics of the WH press in isolation and all else is not equal.
@Joe Beese: yeah…I missed the part where Obama actually went outside the War Powers Act. Because he hasn’t. So Sully is hyperventilating over shit that hasn’t happened yet. And so are you.
@agrippa: So you are going with the blind squirrel explanation?
Tapper’s a putz who’s trying to get Carney to find his story for him. If he wants to find out what’s happening behind closed doors he should have better people to ask than the press secretary who’s job it is to protect the integrity of the concept of “behind closed doors.” Why the fuck does he think the doors are closed in the first place?
and, Tapper, we come here so we don’t have to hear what you have to say. Take your links to Salon and shove them.
Ah, that takes me back…
“He hasn’t reversed his telecom immunity vote yet.”
“He hasn’t given up on the public option yet.”
“He hasn’t escalated in Afghanistan yet.”
Let’s wait and see what happens…
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Right. Where are all of Jake’s links to him doing something other than for Salon back then?
Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937
Tapper is an ass. The press secretary should answer specific questions not general trolling “What is going on behind closed doors?”. I don’t know Jake, tell us about your morning dump first.
I think you might not know how the Internet works.
Tapper’s retarded. “What’s going on behind closed doors?” What kind of a question is that? The proper response would be “I’m shagging your mother, prove me wrong.”
Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937
From Tapper’s first link above:
“Both Democrats and Republicans have displayed a constantly shifting rhetorical pattern that makes it impossible to figure out what, if anything, either side ever concretely knew about Saddam’s weapons programs. ”
See, both sides do it.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@El Tiburon: I’d have to google to check, but I’m pretty sure the Iraq War and the Bush administration were still going on when Tapper left Salon for CNN, and even when he left CNN for ABC.
@Jake Tapper: Kudos, Jake, for responding to your critics here.
As several people have mentioned, though, articles and posts at online magazine are a rather different media than television. Can you point us to any video of you confronting a Republican politician or spokesperson as aggressively as you have Carney and other Democrats?
If not, you may have some soul-searching to do.
I have a forrest I would like to show you, but apparently, you are a bit preoccupied at the moment scoping out the trees individually.
@And Another Thing…:
I think you can, actually, when there is no substantial proof that the underlying dynamic–Our Failed Media Experiment–has experienced any fundamental change. That’s the point people are making. Bully for the White House Press Corps for getting after it now, but considering the empirical history of their recent behavior, it is more than fair and merited to ask why the pronounced shift to a more antagonistic behavior with a new administration, which also happens to have a different political affiliation.
This isn’t a question being asked in some kind of real world experience void. People vividly remember the rabid open season that was the Clinton years, and the brtual enabling acquiescence of the Bush years.
It is absurd to pretend that people challenging whether the overall dynamic has been constructively altered are someone placing unreal standards and expectations on the White House Press Corps.
Thank you for your concern.
Rest assured, I will make my own judgements.
The whole question is why do we need Jake Tapper (or anyone else) to ask questions to a professional liar who is just going to duck them anyways if they have any substance?
In the meantime, there are indeed things going on behind closed doors-and we don’t find out about it until the war criminals write books after they leave the administrations.
@Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937:
To be fair, that one is completely true. At least as far as the likes of John Kerry in 2004 and Hillary Clinton in 2008 are concerned.
It still irritates me that not one politician retired or otherwise from either party has admitted that they knew full well they were voting for a bullshit war and apologized for it. Not for “being wrong” or “being misled,” but for willfully enabling wanton destruction for crass political calculations. But I suppose that would require those sociopathic fucks to feel actual guilt over their actions for a change.
I appreciate the intelligent question though, keep probing!!
Good things about JT
a. Tapper WAS within his rights.
b. Tapper did do nothing wrong – in this case.
c. It was good that Tapper was skeptical about Iraq, back in the day.
d. It is pretty awesome that Tapper comes here, and engages, even to ‘put us in our place’. Who woulda thought?
a. I notice those articles were POST March 2003. Starting in June. There was some ‘wtf’? going on about Iraq at that time, especially about WMD’s. does Tapper have anything about ‘this is a stupid war’, prior to March 2003? (He may, I don’t know).
b. Has Tapper done something like this since, and to a press secretary? He was at ABC since 2003 – any history of so strongly pushing back, live, to Bush and his cronies – with such condescension? where is the LIVE ‘roomful of strawmen” moment, with a Republican official?
that’s the big thing – not that he’ll read this, but can anyone find Tapper, live, being so confrontational and acidic – “roomful of strawmen” – with an important Bush official?
Yeah, I’m going to go with this being the most important thing that has been or will be said on this thread.
All the rest of you stuck whining about how the media presses Democrats but not Republicans or some other weird shit really need to step up your game.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Every crime stands on its’ own.
I am very well aware what the press did not do during eight years of GWB. The press failed. It usually does.
That does not negate the value of Tapper asking questions now. But, if Tapper thinks that this exchange is the end of the matter, he is very mistaken. It was, merely, the start. He needs to start ‘digging’ to get progress on answers to his questions. I expect that he will let the matter drop. The press usually does.
+1. Thinking that a question such as “What is going on behind closed doors?” is a probing, insightful, challenging question is why our national discourse and our media coverage sucks so much right now.
It is worse now; but, reporting in the past has seldom been great.
probing, insightful and challenging questions are pretty rare in any era.
The White House Press Corps is a joke. Glorified stenographers, the lot of them.
Occasionally, you get this kind of outburst from Tapper, where he bangs his fist and stomps his foot and shouts out a defiant “Give Me News, Now!”
As though the WH PR guy even knows what is going on behind closed doors, much less is willing to tell a report just because he asked really angry-like.
I mean, for christ’s sake, imagine if the FBI operated like this? “Well, we went to the mob’s PR guy and asked where all the bodies were. But he said they were a legitimate business. So we asked louder. Same answer. So we asked in a sarcastic tone of voice. The mob PR guy told us to piss off. I bet they’re up to something, though.”
Fucking worthless prima donas.
Nonsense. I’m sure we’ll see a thirty paragraph Op-Ed in a week or two, saying how the WH PR team is full of mean meany mean-heads. Maybe Carney won’t get an invitation to the next killer cocktail party.
“DATE WEALTHY WOMEN” featuring a slinky model in her underwear? What kind of scantily-clad, attractive, rich woman needs to troll Balloon Juice for dates?
The more I think about it the more Tapper’s questions seems like the question my two year old asks me reuglarly – “what is daddy doing?”
That’s all he asked; What is Obama doing [that I don’t know]? Sweet fancy moses that is pathetic.
So a reporter for a major news network comes in to the blog comments, and rather than take the opportunity to ask questions or to learn something, you spend the entire time insulting him.
Awesome. You people suck.
Hey Jake! Thanks for stopping by! (1) How much do you get paid?; (2) Do you have any non-Salon links confirming your alleged skepticism about the Iraq War?; (3) What happens “behind-the-scenes” in ABC editorial meetings? (4) How come you regard Fox as a legitimate news source? (5) Where was Obama born? (6) Are you in a union?
Please enlighten me.
I like Jake Tapper well enough, as one early ’90s Dartmouth guy to another, but “What’s going on behind closed doors?” is really not much of a question. I dunno, Jake, it was hard to tell, in that the fucking door was closed.
Death Panel Truck
Like he’s actually sticking around to answer questions. Those links appeared awfully fast. Almost as if he prepared them well in advance. He’s concerned with his image, as are all teevee talking heads. Don’t be so rock-fuck naive, Cole.
@Shoemaker-Levy 9: The best kind!
@Death Panel Truck: Hey, Glenn Greenwald drops by and sticks around… stays long enough to call everyone brainwashed with adulation for Dear Leader Obama.
@patroclus: “What kinds of secret confidential information has been discussed, and can you speak it clearly into this microphone?”
Yeah, I’d be more excited about this if it had ever happened during the Bush years, or if any prominent Republican got any pushback for the lies they’ve been telling…well, since Nixon really, but in the past 2+ years in particular.
I hope the press challenges the Obama Administration on Libya every day. It’s serious shit that’s going on over there and we deserve to know everything possible about it. But it’s fair to wonder if they’d be doing anything but giving a standing ovation if it was McCain bombing brown people for freedom. Hell, we don’t need to wonder. We saw it. That’s what they did when it was the brush-clearing fake cowboy accent guy with the (R) doing it. And that war was clearly based on lies, bullshit and fearmongering from the very beginning. Libya is a little more ambiguous, in my non-expert opinion. That’s not to say the Obama Administration has been 100% transparent about it. Far from it. But the circumstances and execution of this are not all a gigantic fraud.
PS – Sullivan is a day early with the April Fools Day schtick. What a douche. Hey Sully, you don’t get a do-over on your enormous error in judgment and obnoxious cheerleading for Iraq by calling for Obama’s impeachment now. Just stfu. You’re a hysterical moron.
So a reporter for a major news network comes in to the blog comments, and rather than take the opportunity to ask questions or to learn something, you spend the entire time insulting him.
OK, here’s one. Mr. Tapper, what have you and your confidential sources been discussing off the record? There are no cameras here. Go ahead and dish.
You are from a Major News Network and all, just like John Roberts, so I’m sure whatever you have to say is worth listening to.
@John Cole: I didn’t see that Mr. Tapper had made an appearance. When I go back, I see that he mainly popped in to defend his credentials and post examples of his past work.
I ain’t impressed. It ain’t personal, and I certainly have no need to insult him.
And my point remains that aggressive questioning ain’t the same as doing good journalism. The idea is to get the freaking story.
@John Cole: So, let me see if I understand this.
Tapper being confrontational and snotty with Carney = good.
Ordinary people being confrontational and snotty with Tapper = bad.
Do I have the Baloon Juice standard for dealing with “Important People” correct?
@Turgidson: “What piece of information have you been keeping quiet because to reveal it would cause great embarrassment to the administration? Aw, c’mon, tell me! You’re mean!”
Didn’t Paul O’Neil bring out the transcript of what happened “behind closed doors” at a cabinet meeting 10 days after Bush II took office? You know, the ‘find me a way to get into Eye-rack”, papers.
I forget now. What did the WHPC do about that?
@Jake Tapper: Jake, really: I have no doubt that, if you had been the ABC WHC during the Bush years, you would have been kicking ass and taking names. But your comparison between your work for Salon and that for ABC is total fail because the two roles are totally different.
A relevant comparison would be some other network WHC that had been willing to speak truth to power in the runup to Iraq. Good luck with that one.
That happened so long ago that I don’t know how you can expect anyone to remember, but I believe they either ignored it, or called O’Neil shrill.
Am I in the ballpark?
Yeah, getting into a snit with Carney may not qualify as anything productive. Still, even this low bar was rarely cleared during the Bush years. I remember one instance where the Corpse went after McClellan over the Plame controversy for a couple days. And they probably only cared because their girl Judy Miller was in the clink for it.
@Shoemaker-Levy 9:”Date Wealthy Women”.
Wasn’t Eunice Kennedy Shriver about 1923?
Unless a journalist starts every question he asks from Boehner with “Mr. Boehner, where are the jobs?”, I don’t think they are treating Dems and Reps equally.
Considering that we spend a lot of time bitching on this blog about how crappy the MSM is and how much it is in the pockets of the PtB and the MotU, that would seem to be honest feedback?
Or do you prefer that we pay deferrence to one of the courtiers?
The point is to get the story.
if the press does not, another zero for the press.
I do not care about an op ed piece. get me some facts and I will draw my own conclusions.
sorry, john, but we have memories. remember giving this guy the golden mcpenis award for being such an insufferable douchebag? think he’s somehow different now?
just because your broken clock is right twice a day doesn’t mean you should compliment the clock the two times it’s right. it means you should generally ignore the clock.
@Calouste: It seems that sometimes a “hall monitor” is in order after all.
Don’t think the Tapmeister had any interest in staying for tea and a chat. He just wanted to thumb his nose at his inferiors by pointing out that he said some skeptical things back when only a few dozen people knew who the fuck he was. The reaction he’s gotten is no better than he deserved, in my admittedly inferior-to-Tapper view.
I see a storage closet in Jack Tapper’s future…
Is he waiting in there to ambush his evil(?) twin, Jake?
Is this a joke?
@John Cole: Learn something from Jake Tapper. Imagine! What a thing that would be!
@va: I learned something from Jake Tapper.
Mainly that his skin is WAY TOO THIN for the internets.
FWIW, John, I’ll agree with you partway: that Jake Tapper might even deign to direct a glance at some lowly blog is interesting in and of itself: and yes, the response here HAS been somewhat on the nasty side: but in partial defense of the commentariat, let me point out a couple of things:
First: Jake T’s “comment” IS a one-off list-o-links: he’s not logging in for a lengthy Q&A session (not that I blame him); nice to see he keeps an archive of his own “contrary” filings: but it’s ducking-the-issue a bit.
Second: yeah, it’s good that JT might give a WH Press Sec’y a grilling, but the whole incident hits a real sore spot: when it comes to political issues, the country’s press corps truly sucks: irregularly “tough” on Democrats, but supinely deferential to Republicans: Jake Tapper, however hard-hitting he may fancy himself over Libya (or whatever) is still, at bottom, part of the problem, not a solution to it.
Oop! I feel another apology from JC about his poor temperament and ugly moods coming up by, oh, maybe tomorrow around cocktail hour. There should be a paywall for John’s apologies. Only two a week. He’s over his limit this week.
Tapper could learn something by sticking around and asking the people here some questions instead of being arch and condescending, dropping off a few yellowing old clippings of his earlier work and backing toward the exit expecting a standing O.
@Chyron HR: It’s _Among the Living_ meets _All the President’s Men_!
@John Cole: oh whatever John. First, Tapper was a dumb blogger for years before he moved to ABC and started kissing republican ass. Second, we aren’t supposed to call him on his bullshit because he’s what, famous? Ridiculous.
I personally hate it when mainstream reporters acknowledge and engage with left-leaning blogs and opinions. I like it much better when we’re called “fucking retarded” or “some on the left”.
The mainstream press doesn’t criticize most wars harshly because its not in the interest of their corporate superiors to do so. Explosions, generals on TV and rah-rah-rah flag waving make for good visuals and get the masses eyeballs to pay attention to the flickering screen instead of turning the channel to “America’s Top Nutsack”. That, and most journalists get a hard-on evertime the DoD offers to take them in on a tour inside a tank.
And double for the above if the President is a Republican. There’s a reason that the MSM which is controlled by only 6 companies is noticeably softer on the GOP than Democrats. Tapper can protest till eyeballs bleed, but it doesn’t change the reality we all have to live in every day.
@Shoemaker-Levy 9: I personally hate it when mainstream reporters acknowledge and engage with left-leaning blogs and opinions.
What engagement? Posting links to 8 year old blog posts as though they excuse everything Tapper has ever done at ABC, like his public defense of Fox as a legitimate news network? Forget about liberal vs. conservative, how seriously is anyone supposed to take a journalist who claims that he and Fox News are in the same business?
Yeah, now that you mention it he’d be better off hanging out in the BJ comment section all day with you and General Stuck. Poor guy doesn’t know what he’s missing.
Fuck Jake Tapper.
@Shoemaker-Levy 9: No, but maybe doing the job he’s paid a considerable amount of money to do is something he might consider.
…or get a new clock, and throw the old one out.
So Jake Tapper shows up, fires a one off line of snark and a list of links.
If this was just regular folks, it would be just another blog-whore.
No disrespect of whores intended, by the way.
You’re still a prick.
Heh – I’m really chuckling here, regarding the BJ commentors. “F*ck Jake Tapper, that dude is a moron! And Cole, you suck too!”
We really are the worst sports in the world, is all I’m saying
He’s doing exactly the job he’s paid to do. He’s a top reporter for a mainstream outlet. The vast majority of what he does is within the parameters that such a position demands. In fact, he’s taking a bit of a chance by showing up on a lefty blog to defend his bona fides as a war skeptic, something that’s generally frowned upon in his circles.
I can remember him showing up here at least a couple of times. Has anybody else in the hotshot correspondent league ever done so? Perhaps, but I don’t remember it. I’m by no means in love with Jake Tapper and am not asking anyone else to be, but using an occasion like this to simply heap even more abuse on him strikes me as “fucking retarded.”
@Shoemaker-Levy 9: I can remember him showing up here at least a couple of times. Has anybody else in the hotshot correspondent league ever done so?
Who gives a shit? Seriously, what is the point you’re trying to make? That when someone like Tapper deigns to grace us with his presence we should…what? Line up to suck his dong? Spit polish the hubcaps on his expensive automobile? Tug on our forelocks and bless his little heart?
I don’t think there was anything wrong with what Tapper did, but let me repeat myself. Until he’s as face-to-face confrontational with a Republican, including the condescending snottiness, fuck him.
If all the hotshot reporter supplies is one line of pissiness and 8 year old salon links, then abusing him seems completely reasonable.
The alternative is clapping for him just because he showed up to the party, even if it was to spit in the punch bowl.
Now, if he actually *engaged* like the commentariat and posters here do, that would put him on the same level as any of the other commenariat. Other than that, its “read my links, plebes”
And who, exactly, is setting the demands for that position? Because I would say that is a pretty relevant piece of the discussion you left out. I mean, it damn sure isn’t ordinary, ever day people setting the demands for “a top reporter for a mainstream outlet.” The opinions and interests of those individuals are frequently neglected, or if covered, handled in a dismissive, miniscule manner.
It’s awesome that he showed up to defend his bona fides, but that doesn’t mean his defense is exempt from being critically examined and challenged. His “defense” actually doesn’t even touch on the major issue most people here seemingly have with Jake Tapper, which is his comments about Fox News being a “sister network” to ABC. Moreover, as much as one can appreciate his appearance, the substance and nature of the appearance are just as relevant as the fact that the appearance itself occurred. It is not enough to just show up and offer a tepid defense of your work that is dramatically outside the chronological frame of reference being discussed.
So Tapper gets points for showing up. Fantastic. Now how about we evaluate what he actually did when he showed up?
In fairness, it really isn’t about Tapper himself, who used to do good work for Salon and who is very kind to drop in here every once and awhile to visit (srsly). I used to enjor Chuck Todd’s reporting as well, before he joined the tribe.
It’s more about a White House press corps that has some seriously messed-up incentives, which leads them (as a group) to crack harder on Democrats than Republicans, going back to the Reagan administration.
Do they have messed up incentives, or is it an environment that attracts the venal and the opportunistic?
1. Your time would be better spent wondering why people see you as favouring Republicans and failing to provide as much questioning during their administrations.
2. This is excellent news for John McCain.
3. Did us questioning you hurt your feelings? Poor dear. Suck it up.
Obviously quite a few commenters here. Up to 150 comments now, many of them dripping with rage.
…he’d be one of you clowns who spend all day commenting on a blog.
This is a very amusing place sometimes.
Well, in Tapper’s case, ABC News. Was this supposed to be a trick question?
Can’t argue with that, which is why it’s notable when one of them even notice the existence of ordinary, every day people like you and me.
Mm, I think the number of comments in this thread that qualify as a “critical examin[ation]” is not readily distinguishable from zero.
Then most people here need to masturbate more.
Apparently not, what we need to do is instead is dig up everything he ever said in the past that pissed off a BJ commenter. At least that’s what you say most folks here are concerned with.
I look forward to more of this from Carney.
@Shoemaker-Levy 9: Apparently not, what we need to do is instead is dig up everything he ever said in the past that pissed off a BJ commenter. At least that’s what you say most folks here are concerned with.
Why do you care? I still do not have the slightest idea what point or argument you’re trying to make.
Was he one of the tittering twits when GWB was doing his famous looking for WMDs evening entertainment for reporters?
This is the typical celebrity stance. He is so very special and above the rest of us. We must keep this in mind.
It’s duly notable that he acknowledged the existence of the ordinary, no doubt. But if that is the standard we are setting for actual journalists in this country, it is a pretty fucking abysmal standard.
This is just straight up dumb.
It’s weird that you say that when that is literally the only thing Jake Tapper did when dropping by here. He just posted a punch of links from way back in the past and chunked the deuce.
What happens behind closed doors?
Anyone that had to listen to 1970s main stream company knows the answer, as given by Charley Rich
The Pres lets his hair hang down
And he makes me glad that I’m a man
Oh, no-one knows what goes on behind closed doors
Hey folks —
I didn’t come here, make a comment, and leave. I’ve been reading the comments the whole time. Though I have been also working on a spot about GE paying $0 in taxes last year.
To respond to some of the issues raised above:
1) I wasn’t asking: “Tell me what’s going on behind closed doors, Jay.” (The Politico transcriber had at least one of the quotes wrong.) I was asking Jay to illuminate for the public what the general debate is about arming the rebels. Obviously I wasn’t seeking details about who is saying what. I was seeking some transparency about what some of the concerns are.
2) I didn’t “blog,” for Salon, I was Salon’s Washington correspondent. I’m not quite sure why “blog” is being thrown around as an insult above, but at any rate I wasn’t a blogger. I traveled with presidential candidates in 1999 and 2000, for instance, and yes, I asked then-Gov. Bush and his staff many questions they didn’t like, which was and is my job.
3) While without question there are moments from the past decade that given an opportunity I would do differently, it’s not accurate to say I stopped questioning those in power, whatever party.
4) The only reason I would post anything here or interact with the public on twitter or anywhere else — which I do frequently — is precisely to engage with readers/viewers/the public. I often learn a lot from it, and am grateful for the interaction and thoughtful constructive criticism.
@Jake Tapper: So, do you still think Fox is a legitimate news organization doing the exact same thing ABC News tries to do?
And thanks for that, that makes you ok in my book. I try to teach these animals some class around here, but for many, it’s no use. Motherfuckers have no manners.
@Jake Tapper: Bring back “Static Cling”!
Oh, and Claire Shipman is teh hot btw, what she sees in Carney is beyond me.
Actually, if you follow Tapper’s link, you can see him talking to Immelt, and asking tough questions (though not about the zero in taxes, in that brief encounter.)
Good stuff though.
The White House correspondents dinner, and Anthony Weiner’s remarks, reminded me he is now married to Human Abedin.
SHE is the hot.
@Turgidson: No. You hit the glass windshield on the Esplanade parked in the cul de sac over the fence in right center field.
@Jake Tapper: Thanks for dropping by.
When you cut through the noise here, I wish that you would look into the notion that the press is behaving differently than it did nine or ten years ago. While I understand a urge to sidestep such introspection, it seems that enough folks from all sides feel the press has been less than professional. That should make it important for leading journalists to take a look under the hood and see what the fuss is about and report back.
@Omnes Omnibus: Bravo! Encore!
Hey Jake! Thanks for stopping by again! Given that you addressed none of my rather specific questions in any manner whatsoever, is it okay if I (or other commenters) get pissy, condescending and confrontational with you? (Actually, my questions were deliberately designed to bait you into an intemperate response and it seems that you wisely declined to be so baited).
Although my opinion of your journalism is, because you are part of the MSM, not particularly high, I can honestly say that you are not my least favorite journalist/newsreader/hagiographical stenographer of Republicans/snarling pit bull with Democrats/reporter. Bob Woodward has you WAY beat. All I really want is for you to do your job well. And I agree with John that, even though I might not like it sometimes, if you weren’t asking tough questions to powerful people, then virtually nobody would be able to.