Friday, November 2, 2012

Jake Tapper and Social Media

   Jake Tapper has an impressive resume. I have long-respected Jake Tapper and I have read the Political Punch blogs as a regular routine. I follow a very diverse group on Twitter and I've always considered Tapper a valuable resource of information. But as of this morning, Jake Tapper has blocked my Twitter account.
   I'm not writing this to garner sympathy or accolades. I'm just relating my frustration with high profile "media personalities" that pretend to be engaged in Social Media, while quietly censoring criticism and sincere differences of opinion. I had always thought of Jake Tapper as a Journalist. I understand that political bias is the accusation being tossed around at all political news reporters, but Tapper has always kept me engaged in his writing and reporting by asking the questions raised by both sides of any particular debate. You might disagree, but that's been my experience.
   What did I do to receive the reward of a "block"? I made a joke that Jake Tapper had fallen for the Benghazi hype "campaign" conducted by and Fox News. I was referring to the "Drip, drip, drip" article that played on the theme that the President is hiding something and there's new "proof" from Doornbos that security requests were ignored. It just so happens that I have been reading the "drafts" that Doornbos collected from the Consulate following the FBI sweep. The drafts have been rescued from piles of ash and burnt documents. I emphasize that these were "drafts" because Doornbos and independent reporting confirms that the FBI removed "Documents". The difference? A document has been sent and received, while a draft is just like it seems, an unpublished written work. The drafts are important, of course, as a window into the thought processes leading up to the attack. They are intriguing, as well as contradictory and supporting (depending on the assumptions of the reader). Jake Tapper reported that the draft showed security had indeed been requested. But as I understand the draft (and other independent reporting confirms), the request was directed to the Libyan Government. I didn't get quite the same impression from Tapper's article and the hoots and hollers from the Breitbart crowd indicated they were pleased with Jake's interpretation.
   So I made my joke, with a heaping helping of sarcasm and even a "wink" for good measure. Jake asks me if I object to the substance or is ANY reporting on Benghazi considered offensive. He added, "read the article". I explained his article had "fed the trolls" in my opinion, and the Breitbartians were making a "bank shot" off of it. The bank shot being "credibility in the MSM". He added, "I did my job". I did reply by trying to explain my different point of view regarding the Doornbos "evidence", but 140 characters can be limiting. I didn't hear back, but I figured we had just agreed to disagree and move on from there. I was left wondering if I had completely misread his article. I considered a reply to his "I did my job" tweet. I was honestly thinking I should tweet, "I understand that" or something, but it struck me as too much "brown-nosing" and it wasn't like he would block me or anything...
   I looked for other articles he had written to retweet, but again I was hit with the thought that he doesn't really need my apology or anything, he's a journalist after all. But this morning I checked the Punch and clicked on his Twitter link to see that I no longer "follow" Jake Tapper...because the journalist had decided he is really a media "personality" that can't be bothered with any opinion that might challenge his judgment.
   Granted, I'm just a guy on Twitter to those who don't know me in the real world. I'm also just a guy that Jake could have ignored. My joke was actually a reply to another "tweep", but I don't like the idea of "tweeting behind people's virtual back" so I included the @. I obviously "struck a nerve" as we like to say, but I certainly didn't expect the "face of ABC" to pull the plug entirely over a "misunderstanding". Would a true Journalist with ABC plastered on his bio and a big blue check next to his name really alienate a regular follower, reader and viewer? No, but a media "personality" might.

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