A cautionary tale. If you follow ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper on Twitter there are a few things you mustn’t do even if you do sound like you come straight out of a Beavis and Butt-Head casting call. 1. Blame him for his network’s choices. 2. Call him a cheerleader for those he interviews.
On Sunday afternoon a follower named “Jash” (a.k.a. jashsf on Twitter) got into it with the hardcore tweeting TV journo by accusing him of being a sellout. Tapper swiftly blocked him. From what we can tell, Jash’s buddy, Eric Pollard (a.k.a. ActualWolf on Twitter) nearly got himself blocked as well, not only from guilt by association with the loser Jash but by calling Tapper a cheerleader. Pollard, though mildly grammar-challenged, soon sucked up to Tapper and saved himself the demoralizing fate of being blocked by the White House Correspondent.
Meet the Complainers…
Jash: When did our beltway journalists start worrying more about being friends than writing real stories? Gotta get the party invites eh guys?
Pollard: @jashsf There is NO real journalists anymore? Journalism is a huge back patting session. More ass kissing than a coke party.
Jash: That might explain why he blocked me for suggesting as much. Truth hurts. …Should I be proud @jaketapper is blocking me? How old is he that he can’t take any criticism?
Pollard nearly got himself blocked too, but let’s watch as his messages move from acid-toned to the ass kissing coke parties he spoke of moments earlier.
The cheerleader accusation…
Pollard: “WOW! Get over yourself @jaketapper I’ve seen a bunch of your interviews lately? You act like a cheerleader in all of em.”
Uh oh…did I screw this up?
Pollard: @Jaketapper Heard you blocked @jashsf for attacking journalists? It’s Twitter, could’ve gotten my stories crossed?
At this point Tapper pipes up and defends himself, asking Pollard, “What ‘cheerleading’ are you talking about? …You said I had been doing that in several interviews. When? Where?” He also explains why he’s blocking Jash: “When ppl throw out rude insults, sometimes I block them. Life is too short. Constructive criticism fine, of course.”
Pollard warms to the ABC journo…
@jaketapper Right on. Yeah folks can be real dicks in the twitterverse. Just do me a favor and really bust people’s balls when ya can. … Journalists sometimes come across as cheerleaders in interviews. They push the interviewed [sic] along and fail to call them out.
He promises to conduct meaningful searches on Tapper’s work.
@jaketapper I will search through some stuff and try to find some examples. Sorry. Balancing. Twitter, lunch and football all at once. …Get back to you in a few. Promise.
The apologies roll in…
@jaketapper Sorry bud. Not only am I apologizing to you, but I douched out on this. Went thru some. Ur a ball buster! #endprematuretweeting. …Don’t worry. Respect your journalism. There’s not many folks out there like ya.
Then the mother of all make-up tweets arrives: Pollard now thinks Tapper ought to have his own program. In fact, why not replace MSNBC’s Chris Matthews?
@jaketapper Shake the tree of Washington politics and get your own political roundtable show. Chris Matthews could stand to be replaced?
All’s well that ends well. Tapper unblocks Jash.
Tapper: @jashsf You’re no longer blocked, thanks to [Pollard]. But let’s take it easy on rude eruptions. And to Pollard: Happy to unblock your friend, just pls, let’s be civil. We can argue or challenge each other politely! Before moving on to commentary on the Muppets Jash got in one last dig: “Hey, I’m a fan but I won’t hold back when I feel like you guys are out to win friends vs write good copy. Sorry.”
UPDATE: Tapper actually blocked Jash a few days prior to Sunday’s episode for something far more rude than Sunday’s words.