Griffin's comments drew a wave of criticism across social media, with many pointing out that Tapper had notoriously pushed the "Russia Russia Russia hoax," and has even been rewarded with the Merriman Smith Award for his coverage of former President Trump and Russia, granted to him by the White House Correspondents’ Association. He also won the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism in 2017.
While Tapper has since admitted that he was wrong and that the findings of the Durham Report did exonerate the former president "to a degree," he was cast aside by the right as nothing more than a propagandist.
Griffin made his seemingly positive comments about Tapper's journalistic skills to the New York Post in a story about the Tapper-DeSantis sit-down interview that ran on Sunday.
"There are people within the media who are still seeking the truth," he said. "We will engage with them. We look forward to getting our message out there to the American people."
"The corporate media has gotten a lot wrong, and many outlets have an agenda. Therefore, we don’t consider them entitled to time or access," Griffin went on to say. "Nonetheless there are many good journalists and truth-seeking reporters, including in mainstream media outlets, and we will work with them on our terms. That’s always been the plan."
Federalist Editor-in-chief Mollie Hemingway slammed Griffin for what she interpreted as priase for Tapper, providing a laundry list of just a few times the CNN host had strayed from "seeking the truth."
"I hope [DeSantis] is prepared to take on Jake's propaganda," she said.
Hemingway's sentiments were shared by fellow Federalist journalist Sean Davis, who said he hopes DeSantis uses the opportunity to "destroy" Tapper and the rest of the "degenerate liars" at CNN.
Others questioned why Griffin had felt the need to compliment Tapper, suggesting it would have been fine to simply point out that DeSantis was doing the interview with the intent of taking on the "dishonest media."
Trump strategist Alex Bruesewitz pointed out that just two months ago, DeSantis surrogate Bill Mitchell branded Trump a "RINO" for daring to take part in a CNN town hall.
Just last year, DeSantis' rapid response director Christina Pushaw urged conservatives to "stop talking to liberal media," specifically naming CNN.
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