June 25, 2024

CNN’s Three-on-One Debate

Jake Tapper and Dana Bash are ready to aid Joe Biden against Donald Trump on Thursday.

The first presidential debate of this cycle will be Thursday night on CNN, moderated by Jake Tapper and Dana Bash. It’s only natural that a bit of scrutiny would be applied to these, ahem, journalists to ensure that they conduct themselves appropriately. For hosting duties, CNN says, “There are no two people better equipped” than Tapper and Bash. That depends on their actual mission.

Joe Biden has spent the week at Camp David rigorously preparing for the debate, no doubt with many naps in between rehearsals. He’ll likely be pretty doped up Thursday night, too. This leaves Trump to debate a drug-addled Biden and the CNN moderators — just the way he likes it, which is why he agreed to the Biden campaign’s demand that CNN moderate this one.

Trump spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt appeared on CNN Monday, where she correctly complained about the moderators’ bias. CNN’s Kasie Hunt asked Leavitt “what Donald Trump is going to do differently on the debate stage.” Leavitt instead went straight for the moderators.

“It would take someone five minutes to google ‘Jake Tapper, Donald Trump’ to see that Jake Tapper has—,” Leavitt said before Hunt interrupted to lecture, “Ma'am, we’re going to stop this interview if you’re going to keep attacking my colleagues.”

Undeterred, Leavitt continued, “For example, consistently likened Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler.” Hunt interrupted again, but Leavitt protested, “I am stating facts that your colleagues have stated in the past. Now, as for this debate, the expectation for—”

And that’s when her mic and video feed were cut.

Hunt, whose X bio background picture is her shaking hands with Joe Biden, huffed, “You come on my show, you respect my colleagues. Period.”

Leavitt insisted that the exchange proved her underlying point: “President Trump will not be treated fairly on Thursday.”

Indeed, Trump is counting on it. His rise was fueled by the animosity of the fully unhinged and unmasked Leftmedia, and he thrives when countering it. Trump’s supporters love to hate CNN, which has earned every bit of the ire it receives thanks to the work of people like Tapper and Bash.

To be sure, Trump is hardly the first Republican treated unfairly by CNN. To pick just one example, who can forget when CNN moderator Candy Crowley got the facts about Benghazi wrong in her live “fact-check” of Mitt Romney in 2012?

Still, Trump receives uniquely vitriolic hatred. For example, Bash reported that “unfortunately for America,” the Supreme Court kept Trump on Colorado’s ballot. Of Trump’s presidency, she claimed he “incited battle after battle and even, I would say, war domestically.” When Trump argued that Jews shouldn’t vote for Democrats in light of rampant anti-Semitism on the Left, Bash turned it upside down, arguing that his words were “anti-Semitic and incredibly dangerous” and were the same thing “used in Nazi Germany.”

As for Tapper, a blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut, and I don’t mean that 1997 date he had with Monica Lewinsky. He was among the very few mainstream journalists to call out the Charlottesville lie. Yet to Leavitt’s point about Tapper, in December, he said this:

With four weeks until Iowans cast the nation’s first votes in the 2024 presidential race, the dehumanizing rhetoric of Adolf Hitler is once again alive and well on the national political stage. This time, of course, in the United States. This time, given life by former president and current Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, whose thoughts on immigrants were made shockingly crystal clear over the weekend. If you were to open up a copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, you would find the Nazi leader describing the mixing of non-Germans with Germans as poisoning. The Jew, Hitler wrote, quote, “poisons the blood of others.” … Donald Trump’s language mirrors this directly.

Tapper was one of the original Russia hoaxers. He hammered Trump for contracting COVID because he and the White House “continue to put others at risk” with “reckless behavior” and “a wanton disregard for human life.” He also called congressional Republicans “selfish dips**ts” for not wearing masks. He celebrated the end of the “long national nightmare” when announcing Trump’s defeat in 2020, and he warns that Trump will “kill democracy” if elected again.

Tapper voiced his opinion of one of the 2020 debates: Trump “spent the entire time interrupting, not abiding by the rules that he agreed to, lying, maliciously attacking the son of the vice president.” (Tapper also spent the next year at least insisting that there was “no evidence that Hunter Biden has done anything wrong.”) Bash was hardly better, calling the same debate a “s**tshow” and “disgraceful.”

During Thursday night’s debate, the two Trump-deranged propagandists will undoubtedly work to put Trump in his place. He hopes they try.

Follow Nate Jackson on X/Twitter.

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