In a recent interview with The New York Times’ Kara Swisher on her podcast, “Sway,” CNN host Jake Tapper said that when it comes to certain Republicans — Rep. Elise Stefanik in this case — he is “not asking for the interview”.
Maybe Tapper’s not asking Republicans for interviews, but someone on his team sure is.
Tapper went on to talk about the “struggle” he grapples with every day in booking for his show, saying he won’t book anyone who’s engaged in election lies. When it comes to drawing a hard line, Tapper claimed he would not book House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Steve Scalise or Rep. Elise Stefanik.
“It’s not a policy but it’s a philosophy where I just don’t want to deal with it,” he explained.
Luckily for Tapper, he doesn’t have to deal with it– his bookers do.
Stefanik tweeted out screenshots from three separate emails from booking producers on Tapper’s team asking for an interview.
Shot….. chaser, chaser, chaser
Drink up, @jaketapper! 😂 You’ll need it with your plummeting ratings!
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) June 4, 2021
One email read: “Hey -redacted-, hope you’re doing well! Wanted to check in to see if the Congresswoman might be available to join Jake this week in the 4-6 PM hour. Happy to get her on the phone with Jake prior to committing. Thank you!” The signer’s name was also redacted, but the title of Senior Planning Producer could be seen.
Another email read: “Can you keep us posted if you think she’s doing anything Sunday, even if it’s for a different show? Of course we’d love to make it ours though! ;)”.
This was followed by another requesting Stefanik for a Sunday show.
While it’s unclear whether Stefanik’s staff responded Tapper appears to be lying about his booking policy.
He fired back on Twitter, writing “I can’t account for every email from my excellent bookers whose job it is to present me with as many options as possible.”
I can’t account for every email from my excellent bookers whose job it is to present me with as many options as possible. I have just refused to allow any of the Liars, such as Rep Stefanik, on air. Kind of stunning to see her proudly identify as a conspiracy theorist. https://t.co/Whn3KiwEFQ
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 4, 2021
Numbers don’t lie and it seems Tapper’s “philosophy” of only booking guests who concur with his views doesn’t make for good television. CNN’s rankings have been steadily declining. Deadline reported that CNN went from more than 2.7 million viewers in primetime in the first month of the year to an average of less than 800,000 on May 7th.
Twitter users did not mince words in criticizing the host:
Jake passing the buck cause he feels like it…until he doesn’t want to and can throw punches like a loyal Zucker footsoldier. https://t.co/g1x6pThgTG
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) June 4, 2021
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) June 4, 2021
Take the L dude. It’s your “senior planning producer” in the email. Are you seriously suggesting they don’t know about your supposed ban? You got caught. Admit it and move on. https://t.co/iJnOQh0RhS
— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) June 4, 2021
Conservative journalists called back to a time when CNN was headquarters for peddling the debunked Russia collusion theory in an attempt to oust former President Trump. Equating legitimate concern over election integrity to lies didn’t seem to add up for most:
This guy, and his colleagues, religiously pushed the Russia collusion lies for years. Those lies were believed by nearly 100% of his audience. He can sit down. Caring about election integrity is a bare minimum requirement of elected officials, not disqualifying, not a lie. https://t.co/FbE4CoxOdf
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) June 4, 2021
CNN was conspiracy-theory headquarters for four years. Glad to see they’ve finally gone in a different direction! https://t.co/USCL8xRxBq
— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) June 4, 2021
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