Tapper’s critics believe he suggested to “Lone Survivor” Marcus Luttrell that his fellow soldiers depicted in the movie “died for nothing”
CNN’s Jake Tapper appeared to upset Marcus Luttrell, the real-life Navy SEAL who Mark Wahlberg plays in “Lone Survivor,” during an interview that aired Friday and Saturday. “The Lead” host began battling back on Twitter against viewers and media critics who were upset by his questions.
Tapper told Luttrell and Wahlberg during his interview (above) that he felt “hopelessness” while watching the “horrific” situation unfolding in the Peter Berg film about a military operation in Afghanistan gone wrong, and then said he was torn by the message, because the loss of life seemed “senseless.”
“We spend our whole lives training to defend this country, and then we were sent over there by this country,” Luttrell responded. “And you’re telling me because we were over there doing what we were told by our country that it was senseless and my guys died for nothing?”
The media outlets and viewers, alike, echoed Luttrell’s interpretation of Tapper’s comments, and began criticizing him on Friday.
Tapper responded — and is still responding — to those who felt he suggested the soldiers “died for nothing.” He took particular issue with TheBlaze reporter Oliver Darcy’s version of the interview.
@oliverdarcy don't think 1st paragraph is accurate. No one said they died for nothing. Are you at all familiar w my reporting on the war?
@oliverdarcy there is a big difference between saying a death is senseless and saying the person died for nothing
@oliverdarcy then quote, don't mischaracterize.Spent yrs reporting on heroes like these. said clearly I wasn't saying they died for nothing
Darcy denied Tapper’s request for a correction, and instead offered this update: “Tapper said in several tweets early Saturday morning that he disagrees with TheBlaze’s characterization of his comments in the first paragraph of this story.”
Despite Tapper’s insistence that he never said the soldiers “died for nothing,” it didn’t stop dozens of other Twitter users saying he did. Here’s just one example.
@Ericb1980 I didn't say they died for nothing.
In the interview, Tapper eventually eased the tension by saying “maybe it’s just the difference between what a civilian feels when he watches this versus what a soldier feels.”
“Absolutely,” Wahlberg said. “I completely agree.”
Tapper has said that while he knew the interview would risk “misinterpretation,” he felt it was important to start the discussion of the “disconnect” between civilian and solider.
@trscoop that's why I included it. That disconnect between soldier/civilian is important. Even if it risks misinterpretation.
Plenty have also come to Tapper’s defense, noting his in-depth reporting on the troops and the war they’re fighting, as well as his book, “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor.”
As a journalist and a veteran, Im thankful for the wonderful work and support from @jaketapper He's one we all should try to emulate.
— Nate Rawlings (@NateRawlings) January 11, 2014