#37 Jake Tapper and Ilana Dayan - Speaking truth to power

Jake Tapper is one of the 10 journalists targeted with the most online antisemitic harassment, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

September 20, 2017 13:42
2 minute read.
CNN's Jake Tapper (Left) and Channel 2's Ilana Dayan

CNN's Jake Tapper (Left) and Channel 2's Ilana Dayan. (photo credit: REUTERS/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)


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For better or for worse, 5777 has been the Year of the Journalist.

US President Donald Trump coined the now-ubiquitous term “Fake News,” which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gleefully adopted. Both leaders like to blame their troubles on the media, an easy target in the sense that it has very low levels of public trust and approval.

On the other hand, investigative journalism is thriving in both countries, between the Trump administration’s dysfunction and Netanyahu’s corruption cases. CNN’s Jake Tapper and Ilana Dayan of Channel 2’s investigative show Uvda are both prime examples of this trend, speaking truth to power, while facing vitriol that’s rooted at the very top.

Tapper, the chief Washington correspondent and anchor of The Lead with Jake Tapper and State of the Union, has become known for keeping politicians honest, no matter where they are on the political spectrum. He’s a live-on-the-air fact checker, who doesn’t hesitate to tell politicians where they’re being inconsistent or flat-out lying. Last year, he challenged Trump to condemn white supremacists and other overtly racist supporters more than 20 times in one interview, and this year he said Trump’s reaction to neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville and killing a woman was “un-American.”

Tapper is one of the 10 journalists targeted with the most online antisemitic harassment, according to the Anti-Defamation League. But he doesn’t hesitate to take on people on the other extreme of the political spectrum, like anti-Israel Women’s March organizer Linda Sarsour, who bizarrely called him a member of the “alt-right,” and pointed out that the marauding, violent anarchist collective Antifa has assaulted journalists.

Dayan, known as Israel’s premier investigative journalist, became a prime target of Netanyahu’s barbs in late November, after airing a report on the role his wife Sara plays in his administration. The Prime Minister’s Office sent a tirade against Dayan, saying she has “no professional integrity,” and in an unforgettable television moment, she read it on the air, which took a full six minutes.

Unlike Tapper, Dayan doesn’t have as much success in targeting both political sides. Her show is often criticized for having a left-wing slant. Last year, it aired the first part of an investigation into extreme left-wing organizations, which included a clip of activist Ezra Nawi bragging that he reports collaborators with Israel to the Palestinian Authority – essentially sentencing people to death – but did not air the rest of the investigation, in a move that faced right-wing criticism as giving in to left-wing pressure.

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