Matt Lauer is best known as the host of “The Today Show,” but after the military forum on NBC, he just got a huge wake up call: the media is incredibly upset with the way it all went down.
The presidential forum was a town hall style interview forum that alternated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
There’s a handful of headlines that tell the story of what the mainstream media and leftwing media thought of his performance.
It just goes on and on.
The main complaint about Lauer is that he didn’t fact check either candidate – but digging into their reactions, the main heat is coming from critics that think the forum made Hillary Clinton look bad.
This is from Jonathan Chait’s article in New York Magazine:
I had not taken seriously the possibility that Donald Trump could win the presidency until I saw Matt Lauer host an hour-long interview with the two major party candidates. Lauer’s performance was not merely a failure, it was horrifying and shocking. The shock, for me, was the realization that most Americans inhabit a very different news environment than professional journalists. I not only consume a lot of news, since it’s my job, I also tend to focus on elite print news sources. Most voters, and all the more so undecided voters, subsist on a news diet supplied by the likes of Matt Lauer. And the reality transmitted to them from Lauer matches the reality of the polls, which is a world in which Clinton and Trump are equivalently flawed.
The journalist took issue with Lauer devoting one-third of his question time to Hillary Clinton’s private email server, an issue that has been dragging the Democratic candidate down in the polls.
Dylan Byers of CNN summed up the complaints and their huge scale:
Lauer’s handling of the NBC News “Commander-In-Chief Forum” with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Wednesday night was widely panned by journalists and pundits.
The “Today” show co-host was criticized for spending too much time on Clinton’s emails, lobbing softball questions to Trump, and neglecting to fact-check the Republican nominee when he falsely claimed to have opposed the Iraq War in 2002.
Byers led off with a rip: “Twitter has a memo for NBC News: Don’t send Matt Lauer to do a political journalist’s job.”
Michael Calderone at Huffington Post writes that the forum will be remembered for Lauer’s poor performance than Clinton’s or Trump’s:
Wednesday night’s “Commander-in-Chief Forum” on NBC should have gone down as the first time the two 2016 presidential candidate shared a stage. But it will be remembered largely for the shortcomings of the man who was tasked with moderating.
Matt Lauer is just the latest victim in a brutal campaign season that has seen the destruction of several people’s reputation. If it is any personal consolation, he makes around $28,000,000 a year so he should be just fine.