Apparently desperate to make sure everyone knows that he’s just as big a piece of trash as anyone else on the network, CNN’s Jake Tapper had some questionable criticism for Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), an Army veteran who lost both his legs to an IED in Afghanistan. Upset at Republicans who didn’t vote to impeach President Donald Trump, Tapper said that we should start regarding those conservatives as belonging to the “QAnon caucus.”
Then he said this.
“Congressman Brian Mast, a Republican from Florida — who lost his legs, by the way, fighting for democracy abroad, although I don’t know about his commitment to it here in the United States,” Tapper said.
How does something like that come out of your mouth and you don’t immediately take a breath, look at the camera, and say, “Oh, sorry, I’m not sure what I was thinking there!” We get that things are said in the heat of the moment that you wish you could take back, but from all available evidence, Tapper is perfectly pleased with himself for casting doubts on a war hero’s patriotism.
“Representative Mast, along with myself and many others in Congress and across the country, served in the military so Americans can have freedom of speech, regardless of how repulsive or disgusting it may be,” said Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AK).
Political commentator Dave Rubin said, “This might be the most vile thing ever said on cable news. Tapper was CNN’s last hope and he turned out to be the absolute worst.”
Mast himself responded to Tapper in a tweet later on in the day: “I lost two legs for @jaketapper’s right to say whatever the hell he wants, but that free speech also protects the Republicans he is so eager to condemn for asking Constitutional questions about the election.”
Instead of simply apologizing, though, Tapper took the route of doubling down on his original assertion.
“You’re a hero for your service and I’m grateful, as I’ve said before,” he wrote. “And yes I question the commitment to democracy of anyone who spread election lies, signed onto that deranged TX AG lawsuit, and voted to commit sedition. You were not just asking questions.”
We don’t believe that veterans – even those who left a part of themselves behind on the battlefield – are magically exempt from criticism for the rest of their lives, but unless they’ve bombed a federal building or committed some other egregious act of treason, their commitment to patriotism and democracy is probably best left off the table. Tapper would do well to rethink his position on this one.