Steyn: Tapper’s promotion to CNN a lesson for the ‘J-school zombies’ in the WH press corps
On Thursday in his weekly appearance on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, National Review columnist Mark Steyn explained what was to be learned from Jake Tapper’s decision to leave ABC, where he had been the network’s White House correspondent, for an anchoring position at CNN.
Steyn, author of “After America: Get Ready for Armageddon,” said that while the rest of the reporters in the briefing room at the White House have very uninspiring approaches to their questioning of the president, Tapper is the exception.
“People think it’s odd that Jake Tapper, who is nobody’s idea of a right-wing nut or anything, but he’s the guy in there, the only guy in there, that’s worth having in there who ever asks anything interesting in the hope of eliciting an interesting answer,” Steyn said. “And look at how much fun that guy has. If I were one of those nothing — those robots in the room, those J-school zombies filing up the room alongside Jake Tapper, that’s what I’d be saying. I’d be saying, ‘Look at the fun this guy is having.’ That’s the only reason to go into journalism. It’s a lousy paying profession. It’s dying in the United States. I mean, it’s dying in a lot of places. But it’s dying faster here, and he’s having so much fun.”
To Hewitt, author of “The Brief Against Obama: The Rise, Fall & Epic Fail of the Hope & Change Presidency,” the promotion was one that mainstream journalists should think about if they want to succeed.
“I think Tapper’s promotion is deeply subversive of the MSM, Mark, because CNN, which is desperate has turned to the only honest — he’s not a conservative,” Hewitt said. “He’s not even close to being — but they’ve turned to the only honest reporter as a means of restoring their credibility, which does message to the rest of them if you want to rise, you’re going to have to be like Tapper.”
Steyn agreed with Hewitt, calling it a lesson to all the “deadbeats” covering the president.
“I think that’s the lesson here,” Steyn said. “He’s the only — if you happen to be in an airport somewhere, and a White House press conference comes on, he’s the only guy whose question and answer you’re the least bit interested in following. And he’s been rewarded for that. That should be a great example for to all the other deadbeats in the room. I don’t understand why guys don’t get it. There are great reputations to be made. He’s the prime example of it.”
In addition to hosting his own show for the network, Tapper will also become CNN’s Washington bureau chief.
Follow Jeff on Twitter