Matt Lauer Gives a Master Class on How You Bomb an Interview With Donald Trump

The reactions have been swift and brutal.


Matt Lauer has been met with a firestorm of criticism for his lackluster performance during his televised forum with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on Wednesday. Journalists and viewers alike are taking the longtime NBC anchor to task for his handling of Trump’s portion of the event, in which he failed to pose tough questions or follow up on blatant falsehoods, such as the GOP nominee’s thoroughly debunked claim that he opposed the Iraq War before it started.

“I heard Hillary Clinton say that I was not against the war in Iraq,” Trump said during the forum. “I was totally against the war in Iraq. You can look at Esquire magazine from 2004. You can look before that.”

As many outlets, including Mother Jones, have reported, Trump did in fact support the Iraq war. Yet Lauer failed to push back, instead gliding to the next question about concerns over Trump’s “temperament.” Questions about former campaign chief Paul Manafort, whose work for a pro-Russian political party, Ukraine, and other controversial lobbying clients contributed to his recent ouster; Trump’s attacks on the Khan family; or his own military deferments were nowhere to be found.

The reactions to Lauer’s performance were swift and brutal, and resulted in the hashtag #LaueringTheBar.

The silver lining is that Lauer won’t be moderating any of the upcoming presidential debates. But with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, one of the four journalists who were indeed picked, already balking at his job to be the “truth squad,” the final push to November is looking ever more excruciating.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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