Jake Tapper let me down on Sunday.
The guy who grew up in Center City, and broke through into the national consciousness after he wrote about a date with Monica Lewinsky before she became a national
disgrace celebrity, has usually been an honest broker on his Sunday-morning CNN show State of the Nation.
Generally, he asks tough questions of both sides.
He failed Sunday.
He was the (pro-choice) bulldog with (pro-life) Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, with Tapper wearing what I call his resting sad face when he hears things he doesn’t like.
After Reeves said people like him are pro-child, Tapper zinged him by asking why, if that’s true, Mississippi spends less on child welfare than any other state.
Kind of a reach, but, in my view, fair. Tapper then moved from Mississippi to Minnesota, with an interview with execrable Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
Tapper was taking a swipe at an mini-controversy more than two weeks old, when Colorado Republican U.S. Rep Lauren Boebert made a joke in front of supporters about a suicide bomber while referencing Omar, who is Muslim.
That was as inappropriate as suggesting, as Omar did, congressional support for Israel “was all about the Benjamins (meaning Jewish money),” but more about that in a minute.
Now with a tragic face, Tapper opened the fawning Omar interview by calling the far-right congresswoman’s remarks (for which she tried to apologize in a phone call to Omar that did not go well), a “shocking, purely bigoted jab.”
Tapper asked the Muslim congresswoman “what is it like to hear that kind of blatant bigotry, blatant Islamiphobia?”
Omar ripped into the softball pitch.
It’s shocking and dangerous, she said, referencing that many thought “America was past it’s post-9/11 Islamophobia.”
Tapper was too kind to interrupt her, but I will.
What post-9/11 Islamophobia?
I remember President George W. Bush making many statements about how Islam is a religion of peace, and how we must not blame American Muslims. The FBI reports far more attacks on Jews than Muslims, because a nation of 330 million has some haters and crazies.
I also remember when Omar was asked about 9/11, she said, “some people did something.”
Some people? How about 19 Islamic suicide terroists?
Something? How about almost 3,000 murdered Americans, people living in the nation this cur represents?
Instead of grilling Omar, Tapper contented himself with attacking Republicans, which is CNN’s default setting — unless they are members of the anti-Republican Lincoln Project.
He called the attacks on her vile and unAmerican. I agree.
But Tapper’s aching concern for Omar did not allow him to ask her about her anti-Semitic remarks, her dismissal of 9/11, as well as the continuing suspicions that she had married her own brother in an immigration fraud. (She has denied that with a marvelously convoluted explanation.)
Tapper used to end his show with a political cartoon, which were very entertaining.
He now often closes with a commentary that seems like he’s channeling Edward R. Morrow.
One difference: I never knew which political party Murrow followed. Tapper is making it too obvious that he, once a Democratic staffer, and is now becoming a Democratic pawn.