CNN’s Jake Tapper is using traumatized children as human shields, rather than apologizing for mishandling last week’s anti-gun town hall event.
Last Wednesday night, Tapper, a former anti-gun lobbyist and Democrat operative, moderated what many saw as an “abusive” spectacle and “show trial” disguised as a town hall event. The criticism against Tapper has been widespread and focused not only on the event’s obvious anti-gun bias, but Tapper’s silent consent as his guests and a rape survivor were verbally abused.
As Tapper said nothing, one of his invited questioners, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Cameron Kasky, compared Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to the mass murderer responsible for killing 17 defenseless innocents the week prior:
Cameron Kasky, who survived the school shooting at CNN Town Hall: “Sen. Rubio, can you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA?”
Rubio: “People buy into my agenda, and I do support the Second Amendment” #StudentsStandUp https://t.co/qQxIFWNaEX
— Deena Zeina Zaru (@Deena_CNN) February 22, 2018
As Tapper remained silent, this same student questioned the motherhood of NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch. “I wish I could have asked the NRA lady [Loesch] a question,” Kasky said.” I would ask her how she can look in the mirror, considering the fact that she has children, but, you know, maybe she avoids those.”
Loesch was not even in the room to defend herself:
Video: Absolutely despicable behavior by Parkland student Cameron Kasky comparing @MarcoRubio to the guman and questioned @DLoesch's motherhood and whether she cares about her children. @JakeTapper does nothing. How un-American. Simply unacceptable #CNNTownhall #StudentsStandUp pic.twitter.com/Y68sPTOBOe
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) February 22, 2018
As Tapper remained silent, another student, Emma Gonzalez, also attacked Loesch as a mother. “I want you to know that we will support your two children in a way that you will not”:
— Andrew Jerell Jones (@sluggahjells) February 22, 2018
Tapper’s worst moment, though, came from his silence as a rape survivor was roundly booed:
Tapper’s response to the fury of criticism for his silent consent has been to compound his shameful behavior with even more shameful behavior. In response to the criticism, he has decided that the best course of action is to hide behind the victims, using them as shields for his unprofessional behavior.
In an interview with the left-wing entertainment site Variety, Tapper said, “Normally at a debate or a town hall, I would be quick to say to someone, ‘That was rude’ or ‘We’re going to try to keep it civil here,’ or ‘Let’s not have personal attacks,’ Tapper dissembled. “But in this situation, who am I to tell someone that just lost a daughter or a friend, ‘Don’t talk that way’?”
The idea that he could not ask for some civility, either from the students or the audience, is, of course, absurd. To use the children’s trauma as an excuse for his own behavior is beyond the pale, especially from a man who regularly uses his public platform to lecture others about decency.
Nevertheless, nearly a week later, and although in the past he has chastised others for their silence after dealing with a similar circumstance, Tapper has yet to disavow or denounce the hate it was his job to moderate — has yet to come out from behind the children and acknowledge his own indecency.