Terry Moran: Rush Limbaugh Would Call Jake Tapper a Traitor if He Attacked Bush

"Nightline" co-anchor Terry Moran appeared on the Media Bistro's "Morning Media Menu" podcast on Friday and simultaneously defended an ABC colleague and attacked Rush Limbaugh. While telling host Steve Krakauer that White House correspondent Jake Tapper has been unfairly criticized by liberals for being tough on the Obama administration, he noted conservative praise for the journalist. Moran (see file photo above) complained, "If Tapper was covering Bush, Limbaugh would call him a traitor. And that's just the way it is."

Moran did add, "And it's not just Limbaugh, it's the other side too." But that is still a rather harsh charge to level against the radio talk show host. He also trotted out the standard journalist talking point that "no matter what you do, one side or the other is going to detest you." It's hard to imagine many liberals being too upset with Moran, however. He has developed quite a habit of fawning over Barack Obama. In another Media Bistro podcast, on February 20, he compared the President to George Washington and said that the White House was a "step down" for the new Commander in Chief:

"I like to say that, in some ways, Barack Obama is the first President since George Washington to be taking a step down into the Oval Office," the "Nightline" co-anchor gushed.

[Special thanks to MRC intern Mike Sargent for transcribing the exchange.]

A partial transcript of the April 10 podcast follows:

STEVE KRAKAUER: You know, the last time we talked, in February, got a little pick-up over at the Rush Limbaugh show. You never really know what does it, as far as why things get picked up or by who, and what aspects of things they pull out. But what was your reaction to what the focus of what Rush Limbaugh had there?

MORAN: Well, you know, I was a White House correspondent for five and a half years at the end of Bill Clinton's White House, and through the first term and more of George W. Bush's, and one thing you learn very quickly is, you have to develop a very thick hide. Because no matter what you do, one side or the other is going to detest you. I mean look at the way, right now, some of the liberal commentators are going after Jake Tapper. Tapper is an outstanding, outstanding White House correspondent. The only reason that Limbaugh is praising him is because, you know, he's giving it pretty good to the White House, when appropriate, and it's a Democratic White House. If Tapper was covering Bush, Limbaugh would call him a traitor. And that's just the way it is. And it's not just Limbaugh, it's the other side too. I mean, whenever you challenge a White House, as you should, the other side, the supporters of that White House will assume that you're wrongly motivated. And that just- that just comes with the territory, and I think no matter what you say about any major political figure, one side or the other is not going to be happy.

GLYNNIS MACNICOL: You know, we didn't mind getting picked up by Rush Limbaugh. So feel free [laughing] to say something that lands us there again.

MORAN: You know, I have a tendency, I'm afraid, sometimes to speak in ways that provoke, and I guess I – that's something I have to work on, the Lord isn't finished with me yet.

MACNICOL: Well we appreciated it. We're fans of thought-provoking Menu podcasts.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org