It’s been the media meme of the morning, prompting the trending hashtag, #LaueringTheBar. “Today” show host Matt Lauer’s interviews with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton last night, in which he failed to fact-check or ask basic follow-up questions were criticized by both pundits and audience members.
New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik wrote that Lauer “performed like a soldier sent on a mission without ammunition, beginning with a disorganized offensive, ending in a humiliating retreat.” New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait called Lauer’s performance “horrifying and shocking,” especially because he says it misled an audience of millions watching network TV. And one NBC executive even told CNN’s Brian Stelter that it was a “disaster.”
On Twitter, the reaction was even tougher:
Lauer: Mr Trump, can you draw a circle
Trump: *draws a square*
Lauer: Brilliant.This is most beautiful circle ever drawn
— Voted Most Corrupt (@NewaHailu) September 8, 2016
Matt Lauer was terrible last night. He should stick to scrambling eggs on TV and leave the moderating to prepared journalists.
— Bill Press (@bpshow) September 8, 2016