Tapper Golden Age Speech CSPAN

CNN’s Jake Tapper described some of President Donald Trump’s policies as being built on “racism” while praising what he said was today’s “golden age of journalism.” He made his remarks last Thursday at the American Society of Travel Agents convention in Washington, DC.

Tapper said that some of Trump’s policies are occasionally built on “racism,” “in the views of many people” [emphasis added]:

How are these policy disruptions being implemented? Just from a purely journalistic standpoint, I think it’s fair to say that bureaucratically — I don’t mean that pejoratively, but just the idea of how it’s functioning — a lot of times these proposals are done impulsively, a lot of times they’re done without explaining why they’re being done, a lot of times they’re done without interagency discussion, a lot of times they’re done without any sense of diplomacy, a lot of time they’re done without any sort of communication with experts or even cabinet secretaries that are relevant to the policy, and sometimes they’re built on foundations that are, shall we say, made of sand. Whether it is built on lies, facts that are not accurate, or racism, in the views of many people, callousness, or even just a lack of understanding.

Tapper framed himself as a voice for “basic facts, basic truth, and basic decency,” while implicitly accusing Trump of not condemning “white supremacy”:

Where it is difficult to be a journalist today is when it comes to what I perceive as standing up for basic facts, basic truth, and basic decency. These are the only things and principles I try to take a stance on, because as a journalist, I don’t think it’s my position to say, ‘This tax bill is good. This tax bill is bad. This candidate is good. This candidate is bad.’ But when it comes to basic decency, I think we can all agree that white supremacy is horrific and an outdated and anachronistic ideology that should be condemned by polite society.

Tapper cast Trump as a violator of “norms” and “decency”:

I’ve never seen this kind of disregard for norms as pervasive as it is. … In my lifetime, I have never seen the disregard for norms of this is true, this is not true, this is decent, this is not decency.

Tapper praised the broader news media landscape, describing today as a “golden age of journalism”:

I see a lot of excellent journalism being done. This is a golden age of journalism in a lot of ways. The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times; there’s some really great journalism being done, right now. I think we’re doing a lot of great journalism at CNN.

CNN markets itself as a politically objective and non-partisan news media outlet. It brands itself as “The Most Trusted Name In News” with the slogan “Facts First.”