Jake Tapper defends Norah O’Donnell against charges of bias

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Conservative paranoia in regards to media bias is often justified. But paranoia also opens the door for the overzealous to make mistakes. That appears to be what happened today when CBS’s Norah O’Donnell came under fire for comments she appeared to make regarding the debt ceiling deal.

Some outlets, including Commentary, reported that O’Donnell told White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “You gave them everything they wanted and we got nothing.”

The impression was that in saying “we got nothing,” O’Donnell was identifying herself with the liberal side — a clear violation of journalistic ethics.

Because there was crosstalk, it’s easy to understand why some people — especially those already skeptical of the press — might have assumed the worst. But upon a second or third hearing, it appears that what O’Donnell actually said was this: “But you have Democrats saying ‘He gave them everything they wanted and we got nothing.'”

At least one of O’Donnell’s colleagues took to Twitter to defend her.

ABC News’ Jake Tapper called the accusations against O’Donnell a “scurrilous and false attack” and Tweeted that “Commentary should be ashamed.” In response to a Tweet by Commentary’s John Podhoretz, Tapper responded: “we have nothing to talk about until you correct the false report that doesnt even include the full quote.”

Media bias and paranoia may be alive and well, but so is chivalry.


Matt K. Lewis