Every week one can find examples of why ABC’s Jake Tapper is one of the best and most fair-minded political reporters in America. (Hugh Hewitt says, “Jake Tapper is emerging as the next serious journalist in whom partisans of both sides will repose confidence.”) The latest example can be found here, in his exchange with Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest over gas prices. Here’s how part of the conversation went:
ABC’s Jake Tapper: “He [Barack Obama] ran a lot of commercials in 2008 about gas prices. It was a big part of his reelection campaign so I don’t understand – there seems to be a tone of indignance from the White House about the fact that people are talking about gas prices – this is one of the reasons why you guys have your jobs.”
Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest: “If I I – I’m showing a sign of indignance maybe it’s because I’m a little nervous in my first time. I’m not trying to demonstrate that there’s some indignance up here – ”
Tapper: “I actually meant the President.”
Earnest: “I appreciate that. It’s very generous of you.”
Mr. Tapper’s point is that even if a president have very little control over gas prices, it’s only fair that the same standard that Barack Obama used against President Bush in 2008 be applied to him in 2012. That’s entirely reasonable. But that kind of scrutiny is often missing in the press coverage of the president, which is why Tapper’s willingness to challenge the Obama White House (just as he challenged the administration preceding Mr. Obama’s) stands out.