- Getty Images/Justin Sullivan
NBC News anchor Matt Lauer has come under fire for what critics are calling a dreadful performance at a Wednesday night forum with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Tasked with moderating the forum, Lauer was widely panned on social media for his handling of Trump’s segment, in which he fed the Republican candidate allegedly easy questions and failed to press him on his claim that he initially opposed the Iraq War.
Meanwhile, critics pointed to Lauer’s grilling of Clinton on her use of a private email server as evidence of unfair treatment at the forum.
As The New York Times reported, Lauer has less experience interviewing Trump than other NBC News anchors and may have been caught off guard by the businessman’s “motor-mouth style.”
“At times, Mr. Lauer … appeared flummoxed by his subject’s linguistic feints,” The Times reported.
The candidates’ first head-to-head debate is September 26. It will be moderated by another NBC News anchor, Lester Holt.
Here is some of the criticism:
Matt Lauer’s interviews of Clinton and Trump were a complete disgrace to journalism https://t.co/P3Xv8QbkpH
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) September 8, 2016
How can someone like @MLauer not set the record straight on Trump’s bogus claim of being against the war in Iraq?
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) September 8, 2016
I don’t blame Lauer for asking the email question. But it’s ABSURD that he started off with Trump, “Why should you be Commander-in-Chief?”
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) September 8, 2016
— Jeff Jarvis (@jeffjarvis) September 8, 2016
Lauer’s performance was so roundly condemned that the hashtag “#LaueringTheBar” began trending on Twitter.
— Jim MacFawn (@JimmyFNmac) September 8, 2016