Atop high-horse, media people cannibalize Matt Lauer for also letting Trump off easy on Iraq War

The "Today" show host is an easy target for criticism. Donald Trump eats criticism as part of a balanced breakfast

Brendan Gauthier
September 8, 2016 9:09PM (UTC)

"Today" show host Matt Lauer caught flak for his performance as moderator during Wednesday night's "Commander-in-Chief Forum." Critics charged Lauer with allowing GOP nominee Donald Trump to lie about his tepid support in 2002 of the U.S. invasion of Iraq:

In a New York Times article, titled "Matt Lauer Loses the War Between the Battle of the Candidates," published Thursday morning, writer James Poniewozik said Lauer, "Seemingly unprepared on military and foreign policy specifics ... performed like a soldier sent on a mission without ammunition, beginning with a disorganized offensive, ending in a humiliating retreat."


Vox, in more on-the-nose terms, published "Matt Lauer totally blew it on Trump's blatant lying about Iraq and Libya." Huffington Post: "Matt Lauer Lets Donald Trump Get Away With Iraq War Lie." Jezebel: "Matt Lauer to Hillary Clinton: How Will You Defeat ISIS And Don't Talk So Much."

Others accused Lauer of pressing Clinton harder than her opponent. From another Times article, by Patrick Healy:

"Of the two candidates, Mrs. Clinton faced by far the tougher and most probing questions from the moderator ... and from an audience of military veterans about her use of private email, her vote authorizing the Iraq war, her hawkish foreign policy views and other issues."

Worse yet, Lauer's perceived journalistic mediocrity birthed the equally mediocre hashtag #LaueringTheBar.

Such morning-after outrage isn't unique to Matt Lauer, however. Almost every time Trump answers questions on television, the questioner is criticized for failing to fact-check his answers.

As Fox News can attest, Trump avoids any line of questioning he thinks to be hostile. Because Trump is held to standards different from other politicians, journalists — hack or otherwise — can't grill the temperamental real estate mogul with the same intensity as, say, a Hillary Clinton.

Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

MORE FROM Brendan GauthierFOLLOW @BuzzFeedBrandon

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Commander-in-chief Forum Donald Trump Journalistic Integrity Matt Lauer Media Criticism Today Show

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