CNN’s Jake Tapper was hit by a wave of criticism on social media Sunday after he accused President Donald Trump of “launching an unprecedented smear campaign against any rival,” with many accusing him and CNN of hypocrisy.
Tapper, commenting on former President Barack Obama’s recent criticism of Trump’s leadership during the coronavirus pandemic, added during a monologue on his show:
The criticism from Obama comes at a time when President Trump and his team are launching an unprecedented smear campaign against any rival. Leveling wild and false allegations against critics in the media and political rivals that range from bizarre false conspiracy theories to spreading false allegations of pedophilia to even suggesting one TV anchor committed murder. These smear campaigns are unmoored from reality. They’re deranged and indecent and seem designed to distract from us from this horrific health and economic crisis.
Tapper made similar comments on Twitter:
President Trump and his team are launching an unprecedented smear campaign against rivals, leveling wild and false allegations against critics in the media and politics, ranging from bizarre conspiracy theories to spreading lies about pedophilia and even murder. 1/
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) May 17, 2020
2/ These smear campaigns are unmoored from reality. They’re deranged and indecent and seem designed at least in part to distract us from the horrific death, health, and economic crisis caused by the pandemic. The pandemic, which impacts you, is what we will continue to focus on.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) May 17, 2020
Tapper did not mention specific examples, though the “murder” claim appears to refer to an intern who died in MSNBC host Joe Scarborough’s office when he was a congressman. The death was ruled accidental, caused by a heart condition that had previously been undiagnosed. Trump has ribbed Scarborough over the incident, referring to it as a “cold case.”
But critics were not having it, noting that Tapper and CNN had relentlessly pushed a variety of smears against Trump and his administration, including the false claim of Russia “collusion”; the uncorroborated claims of sexual assault against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and many more besides — without ever offering any sort of apology.
Says the man at the center of the biggest smear campaign in history. Repeatedly telling the American people- under the guise of news – that their president was being controlled by a foreign adversary. https://t.co/g6LElVSV2Y
— Tom Shattuck (@tomshattuck) May 17, 2020
Jake should watch of the CNN archives from the last 4 years. https://t.co/RWwtbsaeFu
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) May 17, 2020
Did CNN not lie about Russia collusion?
Did you not let Adam Schiff repeatedly lie on your show?
Did CNN not have to fire people for producing #FakeNews?
Did CNN not prop up soon to be felon Avenatti?
Did you not smear Kavanaugh on zero evidence?
Should I keep going? https://t.co/IM3etB2759
— John ‘Murder Hornet’ Cardillo (@johncardillo) May 17, 2020
The problem w Tapper is that some on the right hype him up as one of the “reasonable” leftist journos but like this is as unhinged a statement as any other conspiracy theorist on that network who also promoted the Russia and Kavanaugh hoaxes (like he did) Guy’s a total hack https://t.co/IlyGoGmyRt
— Jon Miller (@MillerStream) May 17, 2020
Jake Tapper and his CNN colleagues have launched an unprecedented smear campaign against working class Americans, accusing them of being neo nazis, racists, sexists, and grandma killers for wanting to work and provide for their families. https://t.co/WFbYgU5x5e
— William Davis (@WillDavisDC) May 17, 2020
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) May 17, 2020
Are they as crazy as speculating that Melania Trump is missing? Or as crazy as claiming the President is mentally declining? How about diagnosing the President via tv? Was is that level of crazy? https://t.co/8Eszq7Vzui
— Chris Barron (@ChrisRBarron) May 17, 2020
maybe CNN can bring michael avenatti back on to discuss these unprecedented smear campaigns. https://t.co/EFIrnO7Qj2
— Logan Hall (@loganclarkhall) May 17, 2020
I'm not holding my breath… pic.twitter.com/m7BAh34QAT
— Joel Fischer (@JFNYC1) May 17, 2020
Last week, CNN’s media reporter, Brian Stelter, complained that conservative media were emphasizing the Michael Flynn story — in his view, at the expense of coronavirus coverage. Stelter showed no concern for the role CNN and other networks played in hyping Flynn’s supposed role in a Russia “collusion” conspiracy that never actually existed.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.