Jake Tapper has never been afraid of a tough interview. But the CNN politics anchor says that since the election he’s gone one step further, developing the spine to ask hard questions even if it means a guest won’t come back on his program.
“One of the things that I have found myself more willing to do is have an interview and bear down enough that it’s possible that person won’t ever come back,” he told the Hollywood Reporter, in a rountable with other news hosts, including CBS’s Gayle King and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “It’s an ugly reality of what we do. Even though you want to challenge them, you don’t want to piss them off so they boycott you for years or forever.”
He cited as an example an interview he did with Vice President-elect Mike Pence during the transition period. Tapper pressed Pence hard over Michael Flynn Jr., the ex-national security adviser’s son whose tweets endorsed the Pizzagate conspiracy theory. Pence has not returned to Tapper’s show on CNN since.