ABC News' Jake Tapper Wins the Merriman Smith Award for Excellence in Presidential Coverage for a Third Consecutive Year

The White House Correspondents' Association awarded ABC News' Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper the Merriman Smith Award for Broadcast Excellence in Presidential Coverage for a remarkable third year in a row.

Tapper was recognized for his breaking coverage of the Standard and Poor's decision to downgrade the U.S. credit rating, which he broke first on's "Political Punch" blog and shortly after on "World News with Diane Sawyer."  The ABC News audience was given first access to every development and the administration reaction as the decision unfolded.

"As a three-peat recipient of the White House Press Corps' most prestigious award, Jake Tapper sets the pace and standard for all journalists in Washington," said ABC News President Ben Sherwood.  "A modern news machine, Jake keeps newsmakers honest and his audience informed around-the-clock.  We are thrilled that Jake has been recognized again for his excellence and scoops."

Tapper is likely the first member of the White House press corps to receive the honor for the third consecutive year.  In 2011, he was recognized for breaking the news that President Obama would imminently ask National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair to resign.  In 2010, he took home the coveted prize for uncovering Senator Tom Daschle's tax problems that eventually derailed Daschle's nomination to become secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The White House Correspondents' Association will present Tapper with the award for broadcast coverage at their annual dinner in Washington, DC on Saturday, April 28, 2012.