Accuracy in Media

Jake Tapper of CNN and the Daily Caller are having a war of words over Tapper’s reporting on the New York City terrorist incident on Tuesday.

A segment that featured Tapper and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper discussing the crime and response began with a lead-in from Shimon Prokupecz, a CNN justice correspondent, in which he says police are investigating this as a terrorism incident.

Witnesses “are telling police that they heard the driver saying, ‘yelling Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar,’ during this incident,” Prokupecz reported. This is “now leading authorities to believe that this is as a result, that this now a terrorism case. And I’m just getting an update now that the FBI is taking over this case because it appears now that it is terrorism.”

Tapper then took over. “The Arabic chant ‘Allahu akbar,’ God is great. Sometimes said under the most beautiful of circumstances, and too often we hear it being said in moments like this. General Clapper, when you were director of national intelligence, you had afternoons like the one that the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats is having right now. What goes through your mind? And what are the actions that you’re ordering the intelligence agencies to take?”

The Daily Caller posted a video, and Fox News followed up with a story about Tapper’s remarks that was labeled “Outrageous” in a corner of the screen.

Tapper lashed out at Fox, the Daily Caller and InfoWars, which also ran an item on the remarks.

“@FoxNews chooses instead to deliberately lie about what I said,” Tapper responded. “Following the slime-coated path of @DailyCaller and @infowars. Disgusting. And yes, I know they do this all the time. Still, literally the day after this horrific attack that they would launch this smear – it’s sick.”

In a later tweet, he said, “There was a time when one could tell the difference between Fox and the nutjobs at Infowars. It’s getting tougher and tougher. Lies are lies.”

But Geoffrey Ingersoll, editor in chief of The Daily Caller, wrote that it is Tapper who needs to apologize.

“I like Jake Tapper,” his piece began. “I like what he’s done for veterans, and how he’s covered conflict and the military. I think he’s generally, to include Anderson Cooper, one of the more straight-laced, genuine and principled broadcasters CNN has. I also know bulls–t when I see it.”

That was just the beginning. “At 4:47 p.m., just more than an hour after the attack, before going any further, he felt the need to genuflect before Islam,” Ingersoll charged.

“Any rational viewer or reader is likely to take Tapper’s words here as an attempt to launder ‘Allahu akbar,’ just an hour after the attack, just seconds after a CNN correspondent said it was used in conjunction with the killing of his American countrymen, for what we could assume at the time. Worse yet, this kind of bending of the knee has become almost necessary prior to highlighting a crime perpetrated by a member of one of the media’s protected classes, in this case, Muslims.”

Tapper claims he was taken out of context – that the whole statement must be taken together.

But others disagree. Cheryl Chumley of the Washington Times pointed out, perhaps Allahu akbar is sometimes said at beautiful times, but “So was Heil Hitler.”

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