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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Matt Lauer is fielding a slew of criticism after his hosting of Wednesday’s Commander-In-Chief Forum on NBC, during which he allowed Donald Trump to get away with blatant lies and focused much of his time interviewing Hillary Clinton on her use of a private email server.

The forum was seen as a bit of a preview by pundits for what is to come in the presidential debates, the first of which comes later this month. Lauer will not be moderating an actual debate, and was accused by journalists and media personalities of being unfair to Clinton while playing softball with Trump. Some even called the Today host’s performance sexist.

Each candidate was given 30 minutes with Lauer at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan.

Lauer spent a significant portion of his time with Clinton on questions about her use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State. He then appeared to rush through more important policy questions and even urged Clinton to make her reply “as briefly” as possible when she was asked about her plan to defeat ISIS by an audience member.

Trump, meanwhile, steamrolled Lauer and was permitted to get away with his oft-repeated lie that he was “totally against” the war in Iraq. Despite Clinton noting that this statement was false earlier during the event — and it is false, Trump told Howard Stern in 2002 that he supported invading Iraq and only came out against in two years later, after the invasion — Lauer simply moved along to the next question, leaving Trump totally unchallenged.

Twitter, of course, exploded with negative commentary on Lauer’s performance, and shortly thereafter, the hashtag #LaueringTheBar was born. Many fellow journalists blasted Lauer for his overall poor management of the forum.

Norman Ornstein, a political commentator, tweeted, “Lauer interrupted Clinton’s answers repeatedly to move on. Not once for Trump. Tough to be a woman running for President.”

Isaac Wright, executive director for Correct the Record, criticized NBC for posting a fact-check of Trump’s Iraq lie online, but not doing it on the air: “Too bad they didn’t when HE WAS BEING INTERVIEWED,” he tweeted, with a link to the article.

Several members of the Clinton camp expressed their displeasure with Lauer, as well. Press Secretary Brian Fallon criticized Lauer for letting Trump’s statements go by “unchecked.” Nick Merrill, another member of the Clinton press team, tweeted, “Imagine if @NBCNews had done its job.”

Other Twitter users also criticized Lauer, with some even calling for his removal from Today:

Photo: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a presidential candidates “Commander-in-Chief” forum, moderated by Matt Lauer (L), aboard the decommissioned aircraft carrier “Intrepid” in New York, New York, United States September 7, 2016.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder

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Copyright 2016 The National Memo

13 Responses to Matt Lauer’s Terrible Forum Earns Him Internet Ire: #LaueringTheBar

  1. What was Lauer supposed to do? He had an impossible task in interviewing Clinton because her name is synonymous with the word “scandal”. Her life is one scandal after the other. And her last stint as Secretary of State was a national disaster, the damage of which will be felt for decades to come. And that’s not counting her email violations of national security regulations and record keeping laws, followed by her ongoing cover up lies and deception that continues to unfold before us each day. What was Lauer going to do, ignore asking questions about her ongoing crime spree and instead bring out the ice cream and lollipops and ask her how she slept last night and what does it feel like to be a woman running for president? When it comes to operating outside the lines with impunity, Clinton is like a smoldering pile of warm manure and anyone who gets near her is going to stink too……poor Lauer found that out. The woman is so deeply corrupt that there is no depth to which she will not sink and what is sad is that she is dragging an entire nation down with her. Does she care? Nope…..the Clintons only care about the Clintons. Anyone who votes for her needs to do a serious self analysis of his or her acceptance of such immorality and lack of even basic ethical standards.

    • I believe the bigger complaint is that he let Trump slide by with an outright lie that’s fairly well known. It doesn’t matter if NBC reports it as false after the fact, because no one reads that kind of thing. Trump knows very well that if he can lie onstage and get offstage without being challenged, he has gotten away with it.

      • Lauer should have asked this question when Trump said he was always against the invasion of Iraq: You told Howard Stern in 2002 that you supported the invasion of Iraq. Now you say that you were always against such an invasion. So were you lying then, or are you lying now? (He could also have asked if he still beats his wife.)

      • As long as I have you, I will always have someone who cares….a lot! I feel like an older brother to you who can’t suddenly stop walking without you bumping into me and hoping I’ll let you hang out with me. Run along little fella, run along!

  2. Indeed.
    Wouldn’t it be amazing if journalists actually pointed out when politicians lie about FACTS.

    Apparently this would be seen as favoritism because one candidate in this debate doesn’t use any. Effectively you’d have to correct him constantly then be lambasted by the Right-wing scream machine for “picking on their fact-free candidate”.

    The problem is if you DON’T do that, then the lies begin to layer and propagate.

    Hannity understands this on a deep level. He, like most Faux News talking heads, spits out so many lies and half-truths in a single statement that you effectively can’t even begin to address them all because it would take a full 10 minutes to break one paragraph of Hannity-spew down into it’s bullsh!t constituent parts and refute each one….
    So interviewees have to pick just one or two points out of 20… effectively legitimizing the rest… and even then he’ll just shut them down/lie/ignore/misdirect and move on.

    But not addressing them, leaves them to become part of the media landscape.
    Then you get ….. Fox News.

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  4. Matt Lauer’s “townhall” meetings with Hillary and Trump may very well turn out to be precursors of what the upcoming debates are going to be. Chris Wallace already acknowledged that, in his opinion, fact checking and challenging the candidates to give straight answers is not the role of the moderators, and that he does not plan to do that.
    What we are likely to see are grillings of Hillary Clinton, along the lines of the 11-hour congressional marathon “investigating” Benghazi, while letting Trump off the hook when he cannot answer questions, and allowing him to wrap himself in the flag to turn the debates into Trump rallies.
    Those who expect the debates to turn into demonstrations of knowledge, and forums where substantive issues are discussed, are likely to be disillusioned. The reason for that is not so much the moderators, but what the public wants, and the media desire to satisfy their viewers. Millions of fellow Americans are not interested in intellectual discussions, demonstrations of knowledge, or detailed solutions to the challenges we face. They want simplistic assertions, bravado, cute retorts, and manifestations of patriotism.
    I hope I am wrong, but the debates are likely to be a concerted effort to embarrass and demonize Hillary, more than the GOP has already done, and turn a an ignorant demagogue into a popular hero determined to fight for our ideals and best interests.

  5. I thought the whole event was a waste of time and energy, all be it somewhat comical watching Hillary invent a NEW LIE about her emails. While headers are common on classified material, classified material can’t be emailed from classified govt server. What that means is that her staff rewrote the stuff, as she requested. It IS STILL CLASSIFIED, even without the header. Hillary is a shameless hussy, and broken.

  6. I see the most blatant example of Clinton Rules yet. I swear, trying to keep these jerks honest may take a pitchfork bearing flash mob.

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