In our experience, it’s safe to say there are a lot of people in the media with personality issues.* There are nebbishes and cranks and control freaks and neurotics and even — we hear — some people who could be described as Total Cocks. But there are only a handful of people who live up to the sophomoric term “tool” quite the way ABC reporter Jake Tapper does. For starters: His big break was selling out the story of a date he had with Monica Lewinsky. He dated a Miss America contestant, once called a college-age reporter a “pussy” and, at the beginning of his career, reportedly handed a Salon reporter a wad of his chewed gum, telling her it would be “worth something someday.” We’re not trying to be mean or anything, or saying he’s a bad person. It’s just true: The man is a tool. If you need further evidence, Howard Kurtz’s profile of him in today’s Washington Post provides several more examples of his stunning tool-osity.
• “He was a garden-variety liberal in college, sporting an earring and a ponytail. Tapper also became a cartoonist for the student paper, drawing such characters as a woman who rips out a man’s heart while breaking up with him.”
• “He spent three years as a publicist for the firm Powell Tate, flacking for such clients as Hooters. Tapper also freelanced for The Washington Post, holding forth on such topics as ‘Stairmaster butt’ and how caller ID ‘has single-handedly changed the rules of romance.’”
• “He’s not one of the wussy, blow-dried TV reporters,” says conservative commentator Tucker Carlson, a longtime friend. Uh-huh. Later: “Certain networks, newspapers and magazines leaned on the scales a little bit [toward Obama]” Tapper says over a vanilla latte at Starbucks.
• From a former editor: “You would hear from him in the middle of the night if he thought a headline misrepresented his story.”
• “Tapper, who festoons his Facebook page with baby pictures … ”
We rest our case. Pick him up and lock him down, VH1!
UPDATE: From the Daily Intel mailbag: “You know, he also authored ‘Body Slam: The Jesse Ventura Story’ and for years was toting around an unpublished manuscript for something he’d written called ‘The Guy-ble’?”
Covering Obama, Pushy Jake Tapper Presses His Points [WP]
*But not at New York! Everyone here is wonderful!