CNN's Jake Tapper retweets criticism of Rebekah Jones after promoting her fake conspiracies on-air
CNN heavily pushed the narrative that Ron DeSantis was altering Florida's COVID data
CNN anchor Jake Tapper appears to have acknowledged the conspiracies that were pushed by Rebekah Jones, the fired Florida health official who claimed last year that the DeSantis administration urged her to alter the state's coronavirus data, after he himself helped promote her falsehoods on his show.
Last week, National Review senior writer Charles C. W. Cooke wrote a devasting report that concluded Jones "single-handedly managed to convince millions of Americans" that Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis "has been fudging the state’s COVID-19 data."
CNN HEAVILY PROMOTED REBEKAH JONES' FAKE CONSPIRACY ACCUSING DESANTIS ADMIN OF ALTERING COVID DATA
Cooke outlined Jones' history of shady behavior and poked holes in her story, including the major revelation that she "did not have the ability to edit the raw data" in Florida's COVID database. The report also accused her of highly dramatizing the police visit she had late last year as the result of a valid search warrant.
Tapper retweeted the National Review piece last Thursday when it was shared by New York Times columnist Ben Smith to his 3 million Twitter followers.
On Tuesday, the CNN anchor retweeted commentary from local Florida reporter Jay O'Brien.
"The thing about the Rebekah Jones saga: there’s no evidence to support what she’s claimed. Simply none and we’ve all looked," O'Brien tweeted. "But, that won’t stop people on Twitter from taking her at her word. So, this will never truly be over until people just stop paying attention."
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Additionally, Tapper retweeted O'Brien's responses to other Twitter users, stressing that reporters "aren't on ANY side" and that "all we've asked for is hard evidence."
However, while Tapper's Twitter persona appears sober about the conspiracies Jones alleged against DeSantis, he helped promote her narrative as recently as December while reporting on the so-called police "raid," declaring it the "national lead" story of the day.
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"Rebekah Jones was fired in May for insubordination and refused to cover up just how bad the pandemic really was in Florida," Tapper said. "And now she claims the police raid was in retaliation of from the governor, Ron DeSantis."
The report that aired on "The Lead" pushed Jones' falsehood that police took devices that contained "evidence of corruption at the state level" and that DeSantis was using the authorities to "shut her up."
Tapper did acknowledge complaints made by her "detractors" about her "history with law enforcement." But the next day, he drew attention to the judge who approved the search warrant and how it was a DeSantis appointee, fueling the narrative that the police visit to her home was politically motivated.
The anchor has yet to address or walk back his previous coverage of Jones.
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From May 2020 to December 2020, Jones made at least nine separate on-air appearances on programs like "New Day" and "Out Front with Erin Burnett," but no CNN program booked Jones more than "Cuomo Prime Time."
Chris Cuomo landed CNN's first "exclusive" interview with Jones, who he spoke with on at least five separate occasions, most recently in December when the network pushed the narrative that she was the victim of a police "raid" in retaliation of the DeSantis administration when in reality she's been accused of accessing and stealing government data.
Tapper, who is a hyper-active Twitter user, has a history of acknowledging unflattering stories about Democrats on the social media platform while avoiding such them on-air.
Most recently, Tapper retweeted a bombshell report last month from The New York Times about efforts by the administration of Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to deliberately block the release data of COVID nursing home deaths, which the Times had tied to the release of the governor's book that touted his "leadership" during the pandemic.
However, despite having been given a second hour of programming as part of CNN's revamped lineup, "The Lead" anchor avoided the growing Cuomo controversy altogether.
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Conservative commentator Stephen Miller, a vocal critic of Tapper on Twitter, previously told Fox News that CNN's star anchor has a "reputation" of retweeting "damning stories of Democrats" and "that's his way of covering it, and then topics on his show are different."
"He plays the role [CNN President] Jeff Zucker wants him to play, like pretty much everyone else at CNN. Pretty simple," Miller said at the time.
NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck knocked Tapper for his latest retweet.
"If ONLY there were news outlets that could have squashed Rebekah Jones's lies and ended her gravy train before it even began. If ONLY there were hosts who claimed to only have a bias toward the truth, no matter the party. Instead, we get this RT from you-know-who at CNN," Houck wrote on Tuesday.