If one were to listen to Jake Tapper tell it, he is a man who keeps it real.
And keeping it real as of late has involved becoming one of Trump’s most effective critics in the mainstream media, both on his show and on Twitter.
One of the works that has earned Tapper such an uptick in fans and followers was his rough interview with Trump’s Counselor/Spokeswoman KellyAnne Conway, which can be seen here:
In an interview with the CNN host, GQ Magazine reports about the popularity his interview with Conway had among Trump-haters:
The Internet went nuts before the interview was even over. Blogs reported that Tapper had “crushed” and “taken down” Conway. Samantha Bee tweeted, “We are all that crease between Jake Tapper’s eyebrows.” Van Jones tweeted that Jake Tapper “is a GOD.” Alyssa Milano tweeted to him, “You are giving me hope. Thank you for all you do.” (His reply: “Are you saying I’m the boss?”)
However, in this interview Tapper also addresses the impermanent nature of his fans:
“I think that I’m doing my job, and it’s nice to be recognized, but I also know that a lot of the people who are happy with me now are not going to be happy with me in four to eight years and that I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing. A lot of people sending me nice tweets today were cursing me when I was asking questions about Benghazi in 2012.”
Indeed Tapper does have some history of challenging President Obama – a rare quality among mainstream media journalists.
On Benghazi, for example, Tapper pointed out in 2012 that “the Obama Administration is holding no one responsible” for the attacks.
He was also a lonely voice in 2009 when he criticized Obama’s attacks on Fox News.
As Tapper put it:
“President Obama was not friendly to the press, but the press was very friendly to President Obama.
I mean, President Obama did not like me, and I understand why. I was a pain in his ass and I didn’t drink the Kool-Aid, and, you know, a lot of other people did.”
Tapper’s claims on impartiality may be exaggerated in the eyes of many right-leaning Tapper viewers.
It is in fact difficult to recount evidence that he was as hostile to Obama as he is to Trump.
However, it is clear that it his intent to be impartial, which is laudable.
As he says on an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, as quoted by GQ, “My job is not to be liked. My job is to tell the truth.”