March 18, 2017

Jake Tapper took a moment last night and spoke directly to his viewers. It deserves to go viral:

The White House, apparently unaware that when the White House, in the world's most powerful nation, cites a news story as proof of what the president of the United States has said, that that tends to suggest to people that you think you believe the story you're citing as proof.

Two weeks ago tomorrow President Trump made a wild claim on Twitter. There's no evidence, nor is there any credible source who knows anything about intelligence, who believes the charge that President Obama tapped Donald Trump's phones at Trump Tower.

In a fevered effort to try and force this outlandish claim into something remotely resembling––passably, perhaps, maybe––the truth, the White House appears willing to actually repeat another wild accusation that potentially could alienate our nation’s most important ally. Does smearing British intelligence make your family more safe? No? So why is the White House doing it? What is the White House defending here? Because it damn sure isn’t national security or American credibility before the world.

The distance of history elevates Edward R. Murrow's words today, and maybe it's too soon to compare what Tapper said last night to the bravery of Edward R. Murrow against Joseph McCarthy in 1954. But the fact is there was a Resistance movement against McCarthy, and it won in part because Edward R. Murrow told Americans what was happening and why it was so wrong.

The question is not whether Jake Tapper is Edward R. Murrow, the question is why aren't more on-air talking heads, knowing what we should know by now about authoritarianism in America, trying to emulate Tapper in calling out Donald Trump.

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