At this rate, Jake Tapper might want to think about getting a bigger office.
ABC News’s senior White House correspondent was recently named the winner of the Merriman Smith Award for Broadcast Excellence in Presidential Coverage for the third year in a row.
Believed to be the first “three-peat” White House press corps champ in the prestigious award’s history, Tapper — who puts each of the plaques he receives on the walls of his study — says of the honor, “It’s just really humbling. It’s really nice and what’s great about this award is that it’s from your peers.”
Tapper, 43, is poised to be honored during Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel. The journalist says he’s psyched to head to the celeb-infested festivities with some Hollywood hitmakers who are attending as guests of ABC News: “Paul and Julie Rudd will be coming. And they were my guests last year and they’re my guests this year. They’re actually friends in addition to being big, famous movie stars. So they’re always fun to hang out with.”
Tapper explains that socializing with actors is about as far as he’ll go — don’t expect to see him pop up in one of their films, deadpanning, “No, they’re looking for their movies to make money. And be good.”
But he does leave the door open to one particular flick, saying with a laugh, “There is that sequel to ‘Anchorman’ coming out that Paul will be in. Although I don’t know if there’s a cameo that would be appropriate.”
Another thing that might be borderline appropriate — having your phone ring during a White House press briefing. That’s what happened to Tapper a few weeks ago, when his colleagues playfully outed him on Twitter after his cell started blasting a classic theme song: “I have a special ringtone for different people who call me. And yes, the ringtone for my wife is the theme song for ‘Wonder Woman.’ Which is, if you ever met my wife you would know, entirely appropriate.”
Tapper claims his wife isn’t “nerdy enough” to search for a ringtone for her husband.
But the award-winning reporter says he’s handpicked a few other ringtones for a select few in his phonebook: “There’s a line from ‘The Godfather,’ the speech from Moe Green … for when my brother calls. ‘The Imperial March’ [Darth Vader’s theme] plays when my bosses from New York call.”