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The Daily Beast reported on Monday that Jake Tapper tested positive for COVID-19 on site in May and then went on to host his 4 pm program instead of leaving CNN headquarters.
Since the release of the report, various media outlets have chastised Tapper. The left-wing sites cannot believe a prominent member of the corporate press would dare work in a public environment while carrying the COVID-19 virus.
The press has framed this story to look as though Tapper refused to leave the studio, thus putting his co-workers at severe risk.
An outlet can make several appealing headlines out of that bit of news. However, once you dig past the headline, the context of the story debunks that synopsis.
In fact, Tapper followed CNN protocols.
“Testing is voluntary to enter our offices. It is mandatory to enter the studios. He tested shortly before his show,” a CNN spokesperson said. “When [Tapper] was notified of the positive result, he asked CNN execs what to do and then followed it to the letter—he double-masked and isolated, did the show solo in a flash studio (single-person enclosed room) and went home immediately after.”
CNN notified Tapper’s entire staff from the pre-show call that day that he had tested positive for COVID. Plus, Tapper had already been in contact with his producers before the test results and did not come in close contact with the others following the test.
So rushing out of an isolated studio, as the media suggests Tapper should have done, would have proven unnecessary, especially since Tapper took the following day off and then returned to the air from a home studio the next day.
Tapper did nothing wrong. He put no one at risk after he learned he had contracted COVID.
More interesting than the report is the motivation of the reporting: the Daily Beast doesn’t like Tapper, even though it is otherwise simpatico to CNN in general.
As the outlet links in this story and elsewhere, Tapper has supposedly direct messaged its media writers on several occasions to object to their coverage of him. Apparently, that greatly bothers the Beast staff since they’re still reminding us of these messages years later.
Like Chuck Todd at NBC, Tapper is not as left-wing and loyal to the progressive cause as other mainstream news anchors, and the watchdogs in the media will not stand for that.
That leaves me — of all people — to defend CNN. The network is phony and out of touch, even with its own base. CNN promotes itself as a news operation while highlighting devoted zealots like Don Lemon, Jim Acosta and Brianna Keilar.
And yet, critics are overplaying their hand when they drum up outrage over Jake Tapper testing positive for a mild virus and then going into an isolated studio, per his boss’s request.
For today, I got your back, CNN. See you tomorrow.
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