Happy 50th Birthday To CNN’s Dapper Jake Tapper

    Mazel tov to CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper, who turned 50 on Tuesday. The silver fox covers some of the world’s biggest stories. He’s charming, a bit snarky and unabashedly intense when it comes to gathering the truth.

    Let’s celebrate with some of his highlights from the last year, starting with the most recent, the cake at his office party, which sent him into sugar shock.

    He published his first novel.

    Just after his last birthday, Tapper debuted the political thriller, “The Hellfire Club.” It went on to become a New York Times’ bestseller.

    He shut down Stephen Miller on air.

    When White House adviser Stephen Miller failed to answer Tapper’s questions on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Tapper dismissed him. “I think I’ve wasted enough of our viewers’ time,” he said. Miller eventually had to be escorted out of the studio.

    Tapper pushed Keith Ellison to admit his ties to Louis Farrakhan.

    The interview became contentious when Tapper confronted the former Minnesota congressman over his past support of Farrakhan, the the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader. “You’ve been decrying President Trump’s bigotry,” Tapper said. “Obviously you used to follow somebody who continually expressed sexist, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-Semitic bigotry.” Ellison got defensive — he denied the claim and went back to the topic he was brought on to discuss. “I have denied this because it is not true,” Ellison said. “But here I am on your show having to talk about this when the Supreme Court just upheld what the president said was a Muslim ban from the very beginning. And so now I have to defend myself when that is not what the context of this discussion is about at all, Jake.”

    He also grilled Sheriff Scott Israel following the Parkland shooting.

    “There’s 17 dead people, and there’s a whole long list of things your department could have been done differently,” Tapper said, following scrutiny over the failure of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

    Tapper defended Kaitlan Collins.

    After President Trump banned CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins from attending his Rose Garden announcement at The White House, for asking hardball questions at a press event, Tapper proved he has his colleague’s back. “Just step back for a second and contemplate the notion of anybody associated with President Trump thinking a reporter is rude,” he said, commenting on the reason given for singling Collins out.

    Yet, he’s still human — and some are worried he could break at any moment.

    Happy Birthday! Let’s hope it’s not one of outrage.

    Alyssa Fisher is a writer at the Forward. Email her at fisher@forward.com, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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