This web site has not been kind to ABC News' Jake Tapper. We have called him a tool, a dick, and a hypocrite. We mercilessly tracked every self-regarding outburst and ridiculed his periodic diversions into empty political chum stories. Then something funny happened.
Maybe it was Tapper. Maybe it was us. Maybe we both had some growing up to do. But somewhere along the way, Tapper seems to have dropped the smug mannerisms and begun leaving the Politico stories at the side of the road. He started focusing on meat-and-potatoes White House coverage. And then he filled in as host of This Week in the interregnum between George Stephanopoulos and Christiane Amanpour last year and...did a good job.
He was solid, projecting a genuine curiosity in newsmaker interviews rather than an interest in barreling through a list of questions. He knew when to follow-up and when to drop unfruitful lines of inquiry. He corralled the pundit panels with a bemused, wry bearing and brought on newer faces. He did stupid things like live-Twittering and inviting Politifact to politifact-check everything that his guests said, but the show seemed fresh and interesting and curious in a way it never did under Stephanopoulos' jaded insiderism. For all his bouts with pompous cluelessness, there's an earnest Dudley Dooright quality to Tapper that suits a Sunday morning format.
Which is all by way of saying that, now that Christiane Amanpour (who was terrible) is getting out of the Sunday morning game, Tapper is the rightful heir. The other options ABC News is said to be considering—Jonathan Karl, Terry Moran, Matthew Dowd, or Stephanopoulos himself—would be disasters. We have some pull with the boss there, so we're pretty sure we can make this happen.