Cable News Hosts at Odds Over Booking “Big Lie” Republicans
“Too book or not to book?” That is the question Politico Playbook posed to two of television’s most recognizable news anchors over whether Republicans who continue to push former President Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” that the 2020 election was stolen and that the January 6th insurrection at the United States Capitol was a false flag operation carried out by liberals.
Jake Tapper of CNN’s State of the Union told The New York Times’ Kara Swisher on her Sway podcast last week that “it’s not a policy, but it’s a philosophy where I just don’t want to deal with it. I mean, there’s about a third of the House Republican caucus that I am willing to book. I could name them to you if you want.”
Politico decided to follow up with Tapper and others regarding how they feel about this issue. Although there was no consensus, there is a pattern.
Most cable news hosts, Politico found, have had enough with the GOP’s dishonesty.
“After hearing Tapper’s comments, we were curious whether hosts of the other big political shows have adopted the same practice,” Politico wrote on Friday. “Among those that have are Morning Joe duo Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzenski. Brezinski recently called out media outlets for ‘booking Republicans who support the big lie and tiptoed around it just because they’re so grateful to have a Republican on to talk about other things.’ Those Republicans have not been invited on Morning Joe since Jan. 6.”
Politico also asked Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday – whose on-air grilling of conservatives as well as Trump himself turned him into somewhat of a media foe of the ex-commander in chief – how he juggles supplying liars with a platform while maintaining his fidelity to the truth.
“I don’t think moral posturing goes well with news gathering,” Wallace replied to Politico. “There are plenty of people I would like to have on Fox News Sunday that voted to challenge the election — House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy [R-CA] for one. And I don’t have any rule about what the first question has to be. I have asked plenty of guests about voting to challenge the election and about Trump’s role in the January 6th insurrection. But I cover the news, wherever that takes me.”
Politico shared Wallace’s response with Tapper, who said that while this is an important debate to have, he will not give democracy-destructing Republicans a microphone.
“This isn’t a policy, it’s a discussion I think everyone in the news media should be having. Should those who shared the election lie that incited the deadly attack on the Capitol and that continues to erode confidence in our democracy be invited onto our airwaves to continue to spread the Big Lie? Can our viewers count on these politicians to tell the truth about other topics? This isn’t an easy conversation for some folks — especially for journalists who work for organizations where the Big Lie was platformed — but that’s all the more reason to have this conversation,” Tapper told Politico in a statement.
What do you think? Should lawmakers who knowingly and willingly lie be given a medium? Share your thoughts at HillReporter.