UN Ambassador Susan Rice busted ABC’s Jake Tapper for offering up bogus Republican talking points as facts about the situation in Libya and the Middle East.
Transcript from ABC’s This Week:
TAPPER: Look at this map, if you would. There have been protests around the world over the last several days. And President Obama pledged to repair America’s relationships with the Muslim world. Why does the U.S. seem so impotent? And why is the U.S. even less popular today in some of these Muslim and Arab countries than it was four years ago?
RICE: Jake, we’re not impotent. We’re not even less popular, to challenge that assessment. I don’t know on what basis you make that judgment. But let me — let me point…
TAPPER: It just seems that the U.S. government is powerless as this — as this maelstrom erupts.
RICE: It’s actually the opposite. First of all, let’s be clear about what transpired here. What happened this week in Cairo, in Benghazi, in many other parts of the region…
TAPPER: Tunisia, Khartoum…
RICE: … was a result — a direct result of a heinous and offensive video that was widely disseminated, that the U.S. government had nothing to do with, which we have made clear is reprehensible and disgusting. We have also been very clear in saying that there is no excuse for violence, there is — that we have condemned it in the strongest possible terms.
But let’s look at what’s happened. It’s quite the opposite of being impotent. We have worked with the governments in Egypt. President Obama picked up the phone and talked to President Morsi in Egypt. And as soon as he did that, the security provided to our personnel in our embassies dramatically increased. President Morsi…
TAPPER: It took two days for President Morsi to say anything about this.
RICE: President Morsi has been out repeatedly and said that he condemns this violence. He’s called off — and his people have called off any further demonstrations and have made very clear that this has to stop.
RICE: Now, and — and same, frankly, in Tunisia, in Yemen, and, of course, in Libya, where the government has — has gone out of its way to try to step up security and express deepest remorse for what has happened. We are quite popular in Libya, as you might expect, having been a major partner in their revolution. What transpired outside of our consulate in Benghazi was not an expression of deep-seated anti-Americanism on the part of the Libyan people. Quite the contrary. The counter-demonstrations, the outpouring of sympathy and support for Ambassador Stevens and for the United States, the government of Libya and — and the people on the street saying how pained they are by this, is much more a reflection of the sentiment towards the United States than a small handful of heavily armed mobsters.
TAPPER: That certainly, according to polling, is the case in Libya. Not the case in Egypt. And since you brought up President Morsi, let me try to get some clarification on something. President Obama was asked about the relationship with Egypt on Wednesday, and this is what he said.
Jake Tapper shamelessly echoed the Republican talking point that the Obama administration is impotent in the Muslim world. When Ambassador Rice asked Tapper on what basis he made his judgment, he answered with another Republican talking point about how the United States is powerless.
When Rice correctly pointed out that the people of Libya did not support the killing of Ambassador Stevens, Tapper moved the goalposts to Egypt. The attack that killed four Americans did not occur in Egypt. It happened in Libya, and the only reason why Tapper was so eager to change the subject away from Libya was because he had zero evidence to back up the basis for his questions.
What Jake Tapper did was a prototypical Fox News style interview. He took partisan talking points and used them as the foundation for his questions. That’s how conservative media bias works. When Republican talking points are converted into facts, and the media asks loaded partisan questions, they are infecting the viewers with a built in partisan bias.
As the Romney campaign slips into a death spiral, Jake Tapper’s other motivation was to help Mitt Romney. It is no secret that mainstream media desperately wants to ignore the mounting evidence of the likely November result, and keep this election as close as possible. There are still billions of dollars in political ads and ratings derived revenue out there. The corporate media’s mission is to try to keep the American people interested in what could become a one sided election for as long as possible.
Jake Tapper’s questions were loaded with the word “seems.” He wasn’t asking anything based on fact. He echoed the Republican mantra that feelings trump facts. Questions based on Jake Tapper’s feelings belong on Fox News style propaganda outlet, not on a supposedly neutral Sunday morning public affairs program.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association