Accuracy in Media

CNN host Jake Tapper criticized President Donald Trump and his political supporters for “launching an unprecedented smear campaign” against his political opponents but ignored his own partisan rhetoric during the Trump presidency.

“President Trump and his team are launching an unprecedented smear campaign against rivals, leveling wild and false allegations against critics in the media and politics, ranging from bizarre conspiracy theories to spreading lies about pedophilia and even murder,” Tapper wrote on Twitter.

In a following tweet, he added, “These smear campaigns are unmoored from reality. They’re deranged and indecent and seem designed at least in part to distract us from the horrific death, health, and economic crisis caused by the pandemic.  The pandemic, which impacts you, is what we will continue to focus on.”

Tapper was specifically addressing Trump’s “Obamagate” comments, when the president accused his predecessor, Barack Obama, of spying on his 2016 campaign with government resources. Tapper’s tweets also ignored the fact that there is emerging evidence that the “Obamagate” scandal is credible, such as internal FBI notes that suggested FBI agents entrap former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn.

But Tapper ignored how he has previously conducted partisan attacks on the political right and has called some of Trump’s past rhetoric a “smear.”

Earlier this year on January 13, Tapper accused Trump of hiding evidence behind the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. CNN titled the video segment, “Jake Tapper calls out Trump’s smear” after Trump retweeted a photo mocking Democratic lawmakers’ criticism of Trump’s actions.

Conservatives also highlighted Tapper’s history with smear campaigns included his reporting of the false “gang rape” charge against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh by accuser Julie Swetnick and CNN’s town hall after the Parkland, Florida mass shooting.

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