Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., appeared to rejoice at the ratings feel fall that CNN anchor Jake Tapper has suffered in recent months, mocking him and his “unwatched show.”
“The Lead with Jake Tapper” has shed a staggering 75% of its audience since the liberal network experienced a January spike in viewers.
Tapper’s program averaged 2.8 million viewers in January but settled for only 706,000 in the 4 p.m. ET timeslot from May 31 through June 23, losing three-quarters of its audience in the process. Tapper’s second-quarter viewership is down 49% compared to the first quarter.
CNN’S ‘THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER’ HAS SHED 75% OF ITS AUDIENCE SINCE JANUARY
Stefanik, who’s had long-running beef with CNN’s prominent anchor, took to Twitter and reacted to the viewership exodus.
“No amount of his secret begging of Republicans to appear on his unwatched show will change this trajectory,” Stefanik wrote. “Americans are tuning out #FAKETAPPER for good reason. I’m sure he will throw his producers and bookers under the bus again….”
Stefanik’s comments allude to a viral dustup that stemmed from an interview Tapper gave last month he repeatedly suggested that he refuses to invite any GOP lawmaker who fed into what he and other liberals have dubbed the “Big Lie,” which is in reference to former President Trump’s claims that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen.” His blacklist apparently included all three leaders of the House Republican caucus and anyone who challenged President Biden‘s election victory.
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Among the lawmakers he cited that were allegedly banned from his shows were Stefanik, who is now the third highest-ranking GOP lawmaker in the caucus, as well as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and GOP Whip Steve Scalise.
However, Stefanik revealed that Tapper’s staff had invited her onto his CNN programs just weeks prior as she was ascending to House leadership amid the ousting of Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., as the GOP Conference Chair, sharing screenshots of email exchanges her office had.
Tapper fired back at the congresswoman all while seeming to shift the blame on his bookers, one of whom promised Stefanik that she could chat with the CNN anchor by phone prior to committing.
“I can’t account for every email from my excellent bookers whose job it is to present me with as many options as possible,” Tapper wrote. “I have just refused to allow any of the Liars, such as Rep Stefanik, on air. Kind of stunning to see her proudly identify as a conspiracy theorist.”
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Fox News previously reached out to CNN to ask why Tapper would have his staff reach out to politicians he refuses to have on-air. A CNN spokesperson pointed to Tapper’s tweets but did not address any inquiries.
Tapper was accused of throwing his staff “under the bus” with his response to Stefanik.
Other critics pointed to guests who Tapper has featured on his programs including Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who infamously claimed he had seen “evidence” of Russian collusion that never surfaced, Michael Avenatti, the disgraced anti-Trump lawyer who touted a “gang rape” allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation, and white nationalist Richard Spencer.
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However, no guest seems to undercut Tapper’s election integrity sanctimony than former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who has been invited onto his CNN programs numerous times despite never having conceded her 2018 defeat in Georgia.
Tapper previously suggested Stefanik was either putting on an “act” or had a “lobotomy” for her outspoken support for Trump.
Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.