This week on the podcast, new minted CNN Chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper stops by to discuss his new book The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor as well as the politics of covering…politics. Then, our old friend Bill Kristol joins for a bracing conversation about no less than the future of the party and the conservative movement. Nothing like a little light conversation for your earbuds.

Music from this week’s episode:

The Ricochet Podcast opening theme was composed and produced by James Lileks

EJHill is the cure for whatever ails us.

Get a free audio book on us. Go to AudiblePodcast.com/Ricochet

Members have made 70 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Franco Inactive

    Somehow, we conservatives are supposed to get all excited that a former ABC news /CNN guy actually wrote a book about US soldiers in Afghanistan and it wasn’t critiquing the actual war! Wow, what progress we have made, such inroads!

    Way too much of the interview focused on the book. Other podcasts I listen to, when someone is on to plug a book, they get a minute or two and a couple of mentions. I don’t know what the dynamic is trying to get people on podcasts, but Ricochet may be over-promising plugs for guests. I’d rather just hear the three of them talk than have guests this non-substantive and this focused on their narrow product. 

    I am extremely saddened what has happened in Afghanistan and Iraq, and much of the blame falls on leftists and the media who made it all supremely difficult. That our soldiers are still there in the deteriorating environment is painful for me to think about. It’s too bad for Tapper’s book sales that by now we are involved in a meaningless war, and people might not want to be reminded of the travesty it has become.

    • #1
    • January 10, 2013 at 1:01 am
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  2. Profile photo of Franco Inactive

    Bill Kristol didn’t say anything of much substance either. I honestly can’t remember anything I took away from this that I didn’t already know or know he thought.

    With the exception of learning that people like Krauthammer are locked into contracts with Fox and therefore could not go on other networks if they were to be invited.

    I can add that to my list of the unintended consequences of Fox news.

    I had fun on the live chat though! I’d recommend it.

    • #2
    • January 10, 2013 at 1:08 am
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  3. Profile photo of Franco Inactive

    Tapper was extraordinarily dismissive of the Fred Barnes piece, which in my view was devastating in it’s facts and coherence as an argument. It is actually insulting that Tapper, who is one of the better reporters, dismissed the piece and then basically changed the subject and dissembled. No one would know who i vote for – in fact i don’t vote.. more deflection. It’s so transparent. Does he really think people are that stupid?

    The issue isn’t really how journalists vote themselves, it’s just one vote, the issue is what they choose to cover, how many follow up questions they ask and about which issues, how they frame the issues, which scandals they choose to pursue etc. So talking about knowing how someone votes (even when they don’t vote at all) is just time-wasting filler and avoidance of the issue. Of course the White House is mad at him, he’s not a stenographer like the rest. And Why did Tapper leave ABC and the WHPC spot? This WH can be pretty vindictive, so that thought come to mind…. 

    • #3
    • January 10, 2013 at 1:27 am
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  4. Profile photo of Edward Smith Inactive

    What rank is James Lileks?

    And how many seconds into the scene would he be killed by the alien monster?

    • #4
    • January 10, 2013 at 4:04 am
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  5. Profile photo of Boymoose Inactive

    Is that a dot matrix printer in the background Peter?

    Just kidding

     P90X?

    Really I’m just kidding …

    • #5
    • January 10, 2013 at 4:12 am
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  6. Profile photo of EJHill Contributor
    Edward Smith: What rank is James Lileks?

    It’s the red shirts that get it.

    • #6
    • January 10, 2013 at 4:17 am
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  7. Profile photo of Edward Smith Inactive

    I am glad to hear that James Lileks will Dif-tor heh smusma.

    EJHill
    Edward Smith: What rank is James Lileks?

    It’s the red shirts that get it. · 9 minutes ago

    • #7
    • January 10, 2013 at 4:32 am
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  8. Profile photo of Troy Senik Editor

    Actually, James’ outfit sort of suggests a Star Trek leisure suit, which opens up a fantasy world too rich to comprehend.

    • #8
    • January 10, 2013 at 4:41 am
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  9. Profile photo of Edward Smith Inactive

    This sounds like a lead in to a “Who would you want to share a hot tub with?” questionnaire at a Trekkie Convention.

    I can see someone bringing their laptop loaded up with images and a template selling Photoshopped images to the fans.

    Don’t we have someone who specializes in Photoshop?

    Troy Senik, Ed.: Actually, James’ outfit sort of suggests a Star Trek leisure suit, which opens up a fantasy world too rich to comprehend. · 22 minutes ago
    • #9
    • January 10, 2013 at 5:07 am
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  10. Profile photo of Edward Smith Inactive

    You guys closed with the wrong cover of Fever!

    oye buddy, nomás quiero decirte que no se debe hacer eso, it’s not nice, entiende? mírame a mí cuando te hablo, éste es mi número y si tú me fastidias más te voy a dar una gaznata que te va a dejar bobo.

    Let’s raise a glass of Tea w/ Lemon to Rita Moreno!

    This is her in 2008, aged 77.

    • #10
    • January 10, 2013 at 5:43 am
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  11. Profile photo of Crow's Nest Member
    Astonishing

    I thought Lileks was exquisitely cutting with his sly remark (at about 37 and half minute mark) about how many supposedly broad- and open-minded political journalists are married to government muckety-mucks or to muckety-mucks who work for organizations that suck money off the government. It so happens that Tapper’s wife Jennifer is a semi-bigshot with Planned Parenthood, which (as Mollie H just pointed out) received a record amount of taxpayer money this past year.

    I didn’t know that about Tapper, but I appreciated James’ point too (as an aside, Tapper is one of the better reporters in the MSM, and generally even-handed so far as I can tell).

    Does anyone not suspect that if reporters stayed in DC or NY a few days a week, and then flew home to live in, say, Nebraska or Montana (for example) on weekends that their view of things might be just a bit more down to earth? As Tapper himself admits, there is definitely a bubble–of class, education, background, and place–among many journalists. James’ point is dead on: their marriages only serve to reinforce that tunnel-vision.

    • #11
    • January 10, 2013 at 6:24 am
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  12. Profile photo of Late Boomer Member

    There was a reference early on to somebody having a mea culpa moment on GM food. Is there a link to that article?

    • #12
    • January 10, 2013 at 6:33 am
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  13. Profile photo of Yeah...ok. Inactive

    Lileks – you rock!

    You’ve probably got more chance helping your daughter choose the right man than you do helping your country choose the right path for its citizens.

    Good luck with both.

    • #13
    • January 10, 2013 at 7:42 am
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  14. Profile photo of Trace Inactive

    Is it possible that the live chat is distracting the pod casters and detracting from the discussion?

    • #14
    • January 10, 2013 at 8:03 am
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  15. Profile photo of Franco Inactive
    Trace: Is it possible that the live chat is distracting the pod casters and detracting from the discussion? · 2 minutes ago

    I sincerely doubt it. 

    • #15
    • January 10, 2013 at 8:07 am
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  16. Profile photo of Franco Inactive
    Trace: I feel like Jake Tapper was let off too easily. I know there is a desire for everyone to be congenial, but he dines out on the fact that he is the least-liberal mainstream journalist – it’s his entire calling card and the reason he now has an anchor desk. For him to demur and pull the aw shucks routine was too much. He walks a crazy tightrope. It was fine for the talk to be friendly, but it might have been a bit more frank.

    I am one of your likes here. But I have to answer, unfortunately, that Rob didn’t even want to ask the question, either procrastinated or deliberately asked Jake while he was on his way out the door so he could say anything he wanted and then leave, and he obviously hates (his words) this subject.

    I can’t believe he considers it “whining” but somehow he does. How the MSM steers the low-information voters away from anything resembling conservatism is the single most pivotal factor in this last loss, as well as previous ones. The bias is obvious and the effect of it is obvious – and devastating.

    • #16
    • January 10, 2013 at 8:18 am
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  17. Profile photo of Franco Inactive

    I can’t believe a creative person who is basically conservative in my view. Not a RINO squish as Rob calls himself, but a fairly conservative Republican – cannot see the level of bias in the media across the board and especially the effect of this bias. It is more propaganda than bias. It is active. It is willful and it is blatant.

    Something isn’t right here….

    • #17
    • January 10, 2013 at 8:25 am
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  18. Profile photo of Astonishing Inactive

    Rob, European-style socialism is not a “stable” alternative.

    Western Europe is circling the drain. The only reason it has stayed afloat this long is because the USA has subsidized its existence militarily, educationally, economically, and (not least) morally.

    As to the latter, Rob, if you can’t see the connection between moral decline and economic decline, you are part of the problem. You want it both ways: fiscal conservative and social liberal. You cannot have it both ways–not for long. Well, I suppose you personally can have both ways (if you can afford it), but the country cannot.

    As to the more ephemeral question, with which I think you are overly obsessed (i.e., How to grow the Republican Party as a “brand”?), the fastest way to shrink the GOP is to alienate social conservatives. Thought experiment: Imagine how fast Ricochet would shrink if you alienated social conservatives?

    Rob, you say others are living in a dream world while you like to stick to reality. But the reality is the GOP’s indispensable core is socially conservative. The party cannot survive without it. Wishfully, politely, chanting “center right, center right, center right” will not change that reality.

    • #18
    • January 10, 2013 at 9:23 am
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  19. Profile photo of Trace Inactive

    I feel like Jake Tapper was let off too easily. I know there is a desire for everyone to be congenial, but he dines out on the fact that he is the least-liberal mainstream journalist – it’s his entire calling card and the reason he now has an anchor desk. For him to demur and pull the aw shucks routine was too much. He walks a crazy tightrope. He caters to his right wing audience but then artfully throws absurd bones like pointing to the Californian marines and all the folks in Alabama that are removed from military culture so that he doesn’t stray so far from the reservation that he gets expelled. It was fine for the talk to be friendly, but it might have been a bit more frank. What’s the point of railing against the press week after week when you then lob cream puffs once you finally attract a bonafide member of the press?

    • #19
    • January 10, 2013 at 9:31 am
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  20. Profile photo of EJHill Contributor
    Franco: I can’t believe a creative person who is basically conservative in my view. Not a RINO squish as Rob calls himself, but a fairly conservative Republican

    Rob does not consider himself a conservative. He was asked about in an interview once and denied it, prefering to call himself a “Hollywood skeptic.”

    • #20
    • January 10, 2013 at 9:33 am
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  21. Profile photo of Michael Inactive
    Late Boomer: There was a reference early on to somebody having a mea culpa moment on GM food. Is there a link to that article? · 3 hours ago

    https://ricochet.com/main-feed/Admit-It.-You-re-Wrong

    • #21
    • January 10, 2013 at 9:50 am
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  22. Profile photo of Trace Inactive
    Franco: I can’t believe a creative person who is basically conservative in my view. Not a RINO squish as Rob calls himself, but a fairly conservative Republican – cannot see the level of bias in the media across the board and especially the effect of this bias. It is more propaganda than bias. It is active. It is willful and it is blatant.

    Something isn’t right here…. · 1 hour ago

    Rob sees the bias. He was great pals with Andrew Breitbart after all. He just dislikes the whining. His point is, “so what are you going to do about it?” He’s started a Web site. What about you?

    I think the demurring with Jake was more about his preppy roots and not wanting to be ungracious to a house guest.

    • #22
    • January 10, 2013 at 9:51 am
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  23. Profile photo of Astonishing Inactive
    Franco: . . . I like Rob, but these ‘resident RINO squish” faux-victim card he keeps playing – or hiding behind – is getting old. . . .the way he asked the question about media bias was so timid and afraid . . . .

    Franco, your comments hit the mark.

    I like Rob, too, but sometimes I think RINO squishiness is more psychological than ideological.

    RINO squishes are like a puny kid the neighborhood bully beats up. After the bully takes the quarter the squish brought for milk money, the next day the squish asks his mom for fifty cents. But instead of giving the bully a quarter and keeping a quarter for himself, the puny kid gives the bully the whole fifty cents because he thinks that might make the bully start liking him and stop beating him up.

    Wrong!

    Sooner or later you gotta stand up to the bully or he owns you.

    That’s where we’re at now.

    Yes, Tapper is part of the bully crowd. You’ve heard of soft bigotry, right? Well, there’s soft bullying, too. Tapper’s a soft bully, the kind who steals your lunch money, but pretends (and makes you pretend) that you gave it to him voluntarily.

    • #23
    • January 10, 2013 at 9:52 am
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  24. Profile photo of Mike H Thatcher
    Franco: I can’t believe a creative person who is basically conservative in my view. Not a RINO squish as Rob calls himself, but a fairly conservative Republican – cannot see the level of bias in the media across the board and especially the effect of this bias. It is more propaganda than bias. It is active. It is willful and it is blatant.

    Something isn’t right here…. · 1 hour ago

    I think you’re right, but I also believe most of the media deludes themselves into thinking they are being neutral. And neutral just happens to be somewhere in the middle of the Democratic Party.

    The scandals are covered the way they are because the people who cover them actually feel they are the worst things that are happening. I’m sure the media feel like they are protecting the country from the Republicans. They’ll cover things that are beneficial to the GOP as much as the have to, but they can’t go too far less the low info voters get confused which party is the good guys. And this is all internally reenforced to keep people from veering too far from the collective goal.

    • #24
    • January 10, 2013 at 9:58 am
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  25. Profile photo of Franco Inactive
    Trace
    Franco: I can’t believe (Rob)cannot see the level of bias in the media across the board and especially the effect of this bias. It is more propaganda than bias. It is active. It is willful and it is blatant.

    Rob sees the bias. He was great pals with Andrew Breitbart after all. He just dislikes the whining. His point is, “so what are you going to do about it?” He’s started a Web site. What about you?

    I think the demurring with Jake was more about his preppy roots and not wanting to be ungracious to a house guest. · 3 minutes ago

    Please define whining for me.

    I believe it is a disparaging characterization for a real and important issue. If he sees the bias, it doesn’t reflect in his speech or his characterizations. How does one talk about this issue without sounding like whining?

    He started a website, and a podcast, and in that podcast he says he hates to talk about it.

    What am I doing about it? I’m commenting quite frequently here. And Rob has lots of friends, so association with Andrew Brietbart means nothing. Are his websites whining too?

    • #25
    • January 10, 2013 at 10:07 am
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  26. Profile photo of Mike H Thatcher

    I wanted to mention. The point I think Lileks was trying to make at the end before it was turned into “acquiescing to the Democrat’s social democratic dream,” was that he was OK with the idea that the problems of the country are fixed in the right way and Obama gets all the credit. It didn’t sound to me that he was fine with going along with whatever they want, just for the sake of stability.

    • #26
    • January 10, 2013 at 10:12 am
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  27. Profile photo of Franco Inactive

    Trace -What am I doing about it? I’m calling out those on our side who are in some position of influence. I can’t get jake Tapper on the phone. I already acknowledged the difficulty of talking about this with a guest, did you read that part? but I also think the continued avoidance and deference given to media people doesn’t help things. 

    Why have him on anyway? I go to the library, I go to barnes and noble I can watch book TV on C-Span. There are thousands of books about war everywhere and dozens on Afghanistan. What is so interesting about Jake Tapper’s book? Only because its Jake Tapper former WH correspondent, and new CNN anchor. No questions about that aspect at all. He didn’t have to be ambushed. As I said, Tapper is one of the better ones. 

    If all these things are off limits what’s the point?

    Maybe Rob James and Peter don’t realize that I and perhaps many others would be perfectly happy to listen to them talk about politics than having 20 minutes spent promoting a book.

    • #27
    • January 10, 2013 at 10:19 am
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  28. Profile photo of Astonishing Inactive
    Trace: I feel like Jake Tapper was let off too easily. . . . What’s the point of railing against the press week after week when you then lob cream puffs once you finally attract a bonafide member of the press?

    I thought Lileks was exquisitely cutting with his sly remark (at about 37 and half minute mark) about how many supposedly broad- and open-minded political journalists are married to government muckety-mucks or to muckety-mucks who work for organizations that suck money off the government. It so happens that Tapper’s wife Jennifer is a semi-bigshot with Planned Parenthood, which (as Mollie H just pointed out) received a record amount of taxpayer money this past year. Lileks’ cut was so sharp that I don’t think Tapper ever felt it but is now wondering how and where he lost one of his testicles.

    • #28
    • January 10, 2013 at 10:45 am
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  29. Profile photo of

    I think this is a worthy and important discussion. Jake was invited on primarily to discuss his book, which is terrific and everyone should download the free Audible version of it.

    We will have Jake back on in a few weeks and we’ll have the bias in media conversation in more depth. But here’s the thing: we can ask him about it and he’ll give pretty much another version of the Major Garrett story. And then where do you go? Make more accusations that the media is in fact bias? Don’t we all know that on some level? Does anyone really read the NYT or watch TV news and not know their agenda? I’m not excusing it, but at least nows (as opposed to 20 or 30 years ago when it wasn’t even discussed), the bias has been roundly exposed and basically copped to, so readers can make their own judgements about what they are reading. 

    P.S. to Franco’s point about more politics and less book selling: I purposely booked Kristol for the second segment of the show so we’d have an undiluted political discussion to balance the Tapper segment. 

    • #29
    • January 10, 2013 at 10:51 am
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  30. Profile photo of Trace Inactive

    I didn’t mean you specifically Franco — and I definitely didn’t mean to be confrontational. I was just trying to explain where I thought Rob was coming from. 

    Franco: Trace -What am I doing about it? I’m calling out those on our side who are in some position of influence. I can’t get jake Tapper on the phone. I already acknowledged the difficulty of talking about this with a guest, did you read that part? but I also think the continued avoidance and deference given to media people doesn’t help things…
    • #30
    • January 10, 2013 at 11:03 am
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