America’s liberals live to be outraged, and nothing sparks their fury faster than seeing one of their own wander off the reservation. They tuned into NBC’s Commander-In-Chief Forum on Wednesday to see Matt Lauer make mincemeat out of Donald Trump. Lauer, unforgivably, used the first half-hour of the program to actually throw some tough questions at their darling Hillary. By the time Trump took the stage, angry liberals were already digging through their closets, looking for their sharpest pitchforks.
Someone had forgotten their place.
The New York Times blasted Lauer the next day, characterizing his Trump interview as a “surrender.”
New York magazine columnist Jonathan Chait said Lauer’s performance was “horrifying and shocking.”
At Slate, Siri Hustvedt said that Lauer’s interview with Hillary was filled with “subtle misogyny”:
“I am interested in the…subtle variation of the misogyny illness, the one that lurks behind such phrases as ‘even-handed’ and ‘fair-minded,’ that low-grade fever that caused Matt Lauer to continually interrupt Hillary Clinton’s sharp, specific answers to his questions in the Commander in Chief Forum on NBC, and which also prompted him to allow Donald Trump to ramble on in incoherent sentence fragments about secret plans for defeating ISIS in thirty days, as if such nonsense were serious political discourse. Would our ‘fair-minded’ journalist have treated a male candidate the way he treated Hillary Clinton? I ask you to search your souls, men and women alike. My answer is no.”
Hustvedt’s “sexism” take on the interview was not an uncommon one, but really, any version of the Lauer criticism springs from the same source. If Trump had been the Democrat and Hillary the Republican, none of these media liberals would have said a word about Lauer’s performance, even if everything else had stayed more or less the same.
Or if that’s too hard to imagine, picture something easier: A forum where Lauer spends a half hour chatting with Hillary Clinton about how wonderful she is before blasting Trump with every bizarre left-wing critique in the book. These pundits would be praising him as the only reporter with the courage to treat the Republican nominee as the joke that he is. Hell, he could have punched Trump in the face and secured himself a place on the Pulitzer Prize shortlist.
These people know that they are putting their trust in a deeply-flawed candidate – a candidate whose lies grow more tangled with every passing day. She has moved into the Land of the Indefensible, which is why she’s so eager to avoid the public spotlight. Every time she sits down for an interview, her chances of winning deteriorate. The angry mob can’t do anything about her (awful, brazenly deceptive) answers, so they’re left with only one alternative: Attack the questions.
The only time the media’s Hillary coverage turns negative is when the candidate herself is on TV.
For the undecideds out there, maybe that should be a clue.