CNN's Jake Tapper Battles Back on Twitter After Tense ‘Lone Survivor’ Interview (Video)

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?”

Also read: ‘Lone Survivor’ Producers Have Cocaine Convictions, Russian Ties, Movie Losses

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.

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.”

Also read: CNN's Jeff Zucker: Fox News Is a Republican Front, and Roger Ailes Bio Confirms It

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.

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.”

Also read: Mark Wahlberg: ‘How F—ing Dare You’ Compare Acting to Military’ (Video)

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.

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.”

  • A.L. Hern

    “Tapper responded — and is still responding — to those who felt he suggested the Marine’s ‘died for nothing'.”

    Marines. The English language doesn't use apostrophes to make the plural case, Greg.

    • AJ

      Where were the Marines I this movie anyway? Thought it was about SEALs.

  • JS

    Navy SEALs aren't Marines, nor are they soldiers. They're sailors.

    Oh yeah, Tapper is another clueless ‘journalist.’

  • filmexec

    Jake is ignorant of what a Soldier's thinking is. Greg said that Jake was suggesting that the Soldiers “Died for Nothing”. Another clueless Liberal putting their values on real Men and Heroes! Shame on Tapper he should use his next show to apologize to all the Men and Women that fight and sometimes die for his privilege to insult an American Hero on his low rated show! I thought Markie Mark was being far to diplomatic in defending his friend. He should have spoken out more forcefully but he probably didn't want to hurt the Box office and Piss off the Studios.

    • arealist

      Unfortunately the soldiers in afghanistan and Iraq didnt die for our freedom of speech. They died because some old farts in congress who've never served a day in the military wanted to show the world how “tuff” they are, and to make a lot of money. What, did you think the Taliban was going to hop on a plane and start taking over our country? Quit drinking the Murdoch kool-aid.

      • Kara Mehmet

        suck my d!ck you idiot. You have no idea what these Seals died for. Someone needs to f!st-f u ck you with a broken glass covered glove.

    • SL

      I agree. Unfortunately, in my humble opinion, Mark is a leftist Hollywood liberal and more concerned about his career hence not speaking out more forcefully. Mark had no problem speaking out forcefully against Tom Cruise. It was very interesting to see Tapper continually look at Mark for confirmation or validation because Marcus was giving Tapper nothing but a cold, dead stare. These brave men and woman have nothing but my utmost respect.

  • JWJacobson

    You cannot criticize a liberal journalist. That's just not cool. But you can question a war hero… Jake Tapper is senseless.

  • Robert

    As someone who has read Marcus’ book, I think I can understand perhaps where he is coming from when he gets annoyed with the often inane, insensitive questions asked by journalists who interview him.

    He (and many other SEALs and soldiers) feel like they were sent over to fight by this country. In turn, they also feel like many of this nation's journalists are out to get them … relentlessly searching for any wartime misstep that might make a big story, and a journalist's career, even if it hangs these men and women out in the wind.

    Luttrell believes that over-strict Rules of Engagement are the reason that he and his men could not act in a way that would have saved them on that mountain, and he believes that antagonistic reporting of journalists is one major reason for elaborate and politically-motivated ROEs.

    So it is understandable to see his reaction to asinine questions by media personalities.

    For my part, I understand and sympathize with his point of view. I would not have expected to do so prior to reading his book …

    However, when I see cable news channels hype war for the sake of ratings (“The Syrian Threat” is a recent headline I saw on CNN or MSNBC … really? The Syrian Threat to Whom? Not the USA), and then turn around and try to play real-life gotcha with our own soldiers (again, for IMO the sake of careerism), I have even less regard for the American media than I already did.

  • 13 Bravo

    SI VIC PACEM PARA BELLUM III% = Go too hell, Tapper

  • Dan Hillberry

    I don't care what Tapper has reported on he has never lived the life Marcus and his teammates lived. He has probably never been under real life or death duress in his sheltered little life. He needs to experience something before he starts what he believes to be an “important” conversation. Tapper, just STFU!!!!

  • Cb

    Marcus is not playing !!! He's serious! It was funny watching the puss asking the questions almost shit himself!!!!

  • Sgt. Bob

    I'm a Viet Nam infantry Vet not that that matters but after seeing “Lone Survivor” my mind is racing on what I would have done. I am commenting on the movie plot only for that is all the info I have and I realize that much of it is a blend of reality and Hollywood fiction. So based on that I question the following:
    First and foremost why were the Special Ops Forces used when a drone strike would have done the job. Evidently the targets position was know, It would have been quick clean and deadly. The Intel was bad – they were expecting a force of no more then ten Taliban and they were confronted with a force of more than hundred. their como link failed, both sat phone and unit radio were useless in the mountains. Another intel failure? They were evidently not briefed on the terrain as evidenced by climbing up to a false summit. We had the PRC25 in Nam no sat phones but we were dam sure it was operational and we had excellent terrain maps with elevation and relief and the PL new where we were all the time. These failures should have scrubbed the mission right off the bat. but the worse was yet to come, a face to face confrontation with local goat herders. This situation needs no analysis on my part, it was the one event that set in motion the unraveling of the mission and is directly responsible for its failure.. What would I have done ? I don't know I wasn't there but PO Luttrell is quoted as saying that it was the worse choice we could have possibly made.
    Was it hubris that launched this mission? I doubt if we will ever know but too many good men lost their lives in what seems to me to have been avoidable.
    I know one thing the men and women of our armed forces today are the best we have ever assembled as a nation. They are well trained dedicated and they deserve our full support and thanks for doing what they do. God bless them one and all.

    • Caillier

      Hey Sgt. I haven't seen the movie but I just finished his book. Lots of the stuff you are mentioning are a little different in the book. They actually had no confirmation that the target was in the area. That is what Marcus and his teammates were sent in to do. Observe the village, gather intel, and if they did see the target there then to go in and extract or kill. Also they did have good intel on the terrain in the book…..they just knew it was a real shitty terrain. Lastly the estimate that they got in the book was at a minimum 80 Taliban and could possibly be upwards of 200. Again that is what they were there to do, observe and then strike if necessary. The radio failures were unfortunate in the book but there was no way to predict how they would act inside of that mountainous area. Unfortunately for these men they just landed in a shitty situation and fought valiantly to get out of it. Hope this helps clear a few things up for you

  • Mr. P

    Actually, there is no difference at all between “their deaths were senseless” and “they died for nothing.” And both are completely true, just as it was in Vietnam. The US gained nothing from the deaths of these young Americans. We aren't any safer, our country's enemies are not weaker. It was a total waste. And when we leave, which we'll have to do next year, the Taliban will either overthrow Karzai or he'll make peace with them.

  • Mr. P

    BTW, IMO Tapper has written the best book about the Afghan war that I've read – “The Outpost.” Check it out – it's just out in paper. Three years embedded in a remote outpost in NE Afghanistan, an outpost that the US ultimately left after more “senseless” deaths of young Americans.

  • Reggie Mcveggie

    60 years ago, the majority of the population had either served, or was closely related to someone who served in WWII. Now they're the distinct minority. Few of our elected officials serve anymore. It's no wonder we all speak English but an entirely different dialect.

  • savant

    Tapper is a left-winger, like everyone else at CNN. That's why their ratings are in the toilet.