ABC News’ Jake Tapper was named to Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World” list after it was revealed that he sent “suck up” emails to South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s office calling NBC’s coverage “slimy.” Tapper called an NBC’s Today Show segment on Sanford “insulting” to the Governor in an attempt to get an interview.
“Find cheek, plant kiss,” snarked Olbermann.
An ABC News vice president said Tapper was simply “carry some water for producers who knew he had a relationship with the governor’s office.” Tapper defended himself on Twitter saying, “There was no ‘story’ at the time, just a mystery as 2 where he was. Only 1s who knew about affair-him wife, mistress + The State.”
“The email reflects a clumsy attempt to harm a competitor’s chances of getting an interview, nothing else,” tweeted as defensive Tapper.
But Tapper later came clean in an email to Politico. “Busted. In retrospect, the [NBC] story I was referring to wasn’t slimy enough – at that moment the only ones who knew of the affair were Sanford, his wife, his mistress and The State newspaper. But I shouldn’t have said that, and I’ll try to leave the media criticism to others from now on.”
On that point, Olbermann and Tapper agree. “Good thinking,” said Olbermann. “Because what’s slimy is for a news organization to offer to not cover some of the news as part of an agreement with a newsmaker.”
This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast July 15, 2009.