September 8, 2016

As Press Whines About Lauer Interrupting Hillary, It Ignores His 13 of Trump

Matt Lauer’s supposedly overly rough treatment of Hillary Clinton Wednesday night at the Commander-in-Chief Forum in White Plains, New York has become such a big thing that the low-information voter fast-food providers at Inside Edition felt the need to cover it.

Lauer did interrupt Mrs. Clinton seven times — relatively politely — and allowed Former Air Force & Navy flight officer Lt. John Lester to berate her for having “clearly corrupted our national security,” and for taking actions for which he “would have been prosecuted and imprisoned.” The Today Show host, perhaps realizing that he had some lefty credibility to regain, appeared to try to overcompensate with Trump. He was much tougher on him, interrupting 13 times, and far more confrontationally.

Here is the segment from Inside Edition, the CBS-syndicated program, which is “the longest-running syndicated newsmagazine program that is not strictly focused on entertainment news,” and is seen on over 240 stations nationwide:

Transcript (bolds are mine):

NARRATOR: Forum host Matt Lauer finds himself under fire today.

“Matt Lauer Fields Storm of Criticism Over Clinton-Trump Forum” says the New York Times, frequently interrupting Hillary.

(Ciip from forum)

HILLARY CLINTON: … if you exert the kind of power through sanctions that the United States alone could not do.

MATT LAUER: Right, but you said they’re going to cheat.

CLINTON: Now wait, let me finish. This is an important issue. We don’t have a lot of time.

LAUER: I want to get to a lot of questions.

CLINTON: I will talk quickly.

(End clip)

NARRATOR: But, he is taking heat for failing to challenge Trump on issues like his claim that he opposed invading Iraq back in 2003.

(Ciip from forum)

DONALD TRUMP: I was against the war in Iraq because I said it’s going to totally destabilize the Middle East, which it has. It has absolutely been a disastrous war.

(End clip)

NARRATOR: In fact, Trump told Howard Stern the opposite of that in 2002.

(Clip from 2002 Howard Stern broadcast)

HOWARD STERN: Are you for invading Iraq?

TRUMP: Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was one correctly.

(End clip)

NARRATOR: Lauer joked about the criticism on the Today Show in an uproarious interview with Dana Carvey.

(Clip from 2002 Howard Stern broadcast)

DANA CARVEY: Matt Lauer’s the best, he did a good job. Um, you have a fan, but basically he said.


(End clip)

Gosh, I had no idea that the press is hanging most of its “false claim” contention regarding Trump’s position on the war in Iraq on something he said as a private citizen in September 2002, 13 years before he officially entered politics, on an “I guess so” statement to journalist extraordinaire — that’s sarcasm, folks — Howard Stern.

What’s extraordinary about this is that Trump’s “I guess” qualifier is perfectly understandable, because Congress didn’t authorize going to war until mid-October of 2002. In other words, the issue was still being debated throughout America, and millions of other private citizens were also saying “I guess” (both for and against) at the time.

In September 2002, whether Trump would end up being ultimately for or against going to war logically still depended on what he and the rest of American people in “I guess so” mode might have learned during the intervening time before the war resolution vote.

This isn’t to say that Trump is off the hook on his claim if there are other genuinely conflicting statements. But of all the quotes to pick, the Stern interview “I guess so” statement, again made the month before Congress passed the resolution Hillary Clinton supported, is incredibly weak, even though the establishment media is acting as if it ends the argument.

As to Lauer, the fact is that he tried to get Trump off of his train of thought frequently and interrupted in argumentative fashion, as will be seen in the following montage of this 13 interruptions (following his 7 of Mrs. Clinton) assembled by tweeter @FacMagnaAmerica (click on the link to open the tweet, with working video, in a separate window or tab):


As the graphic captured shows, Lauer even defended Hillary before letting Trump finish one of his statements.

But the press thinks his real crime was that he crossed the Queen. At the Associated Press, Journolist alum Lisa Lerer and Catherine Lucey wrote that Trump “seemed to skate by.” It would appear, give Lauer’s onslaught, that he just had better composure.

Cross-posted at


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