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.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate