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Ingraham Gushing To NBC's Matt Lauer: "I Love [NBC's] George Lewis, I Think He Does a Great Job."

Reported by Julie - March 29, 2010 -

On last night's (3/29/10) O'Reilly Factor/Reality Check segment, O'Reilly announced that "our pal Ingraham" appeared on The Today Show with Matt Lauer and "took exception" to an NBC report on Sarah Palin speaking at the big blowout, er, Conservative's Woodstock, in Harry Reid's hometown in Nevada over the weekend. Bill O'Reilly, himself, once accused Laura Ingraham of being a "blind idealogue" and "a Kool-Aid drinker." I, personally, think she's drunk on it -- and this time, O'Reilly was tipping a few himself. I mean, given O'Reilly's animosity for all things NBC, how come he didn't comment on the portion of the clip where Ingraham said, "I love [NBC's] George Lewis?" With video.

O'Reilly rolled a clip of an NBC report by George Lewis on Palin whipping the crowds into a frenzy at the Nevada tea party. Lewis mentioned Palin's Twitter and Facebook messages of "RELOAD," along with her graphic images of crosshairs targeting Democrats. O'Reilly proudly announced that Ingraham had given Lauer a "piece of her mind." Did he watch the same interview I did, in its entirety? Guzzle that Kool-Aid, Bill. At the end of the (greatly edited) clip, when Ingraham told Lauer that "we're both smart here, Matt, we know what's going on," O'Reilly figuratively tipped his hat to Ingraham, saying approvingly, "Indeed."

Greatly softening her tone on NBC (compared to what we generally see on Fox), Ingraham asked Lauer, "How do you go from Sarah Palin giving a speech to saying, did she rile up the people too much, and then talk about death threats?"

Lauer mentioned Palin's Twitter/Facebook comments and graphics, and asked Ingraham why she wouldn't connect the two, to which Ingraham replied, "Free speech is supposed to be alive and well in the United States of America . . . To say that Sarah Palin and the tea party movement is responsible for vandalism or threats is just a way to dismiss the American people and their dissatisfaction with this healthcare bill."

You can watch the full clip from NBC below.

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This was "a piece of her mind?" Could be that's all the mind she could spare, who knows, but despite what the right-wing blogsites are reporting -- that Ingraham "throws down with Matt Lauer" (NewsBusters), "unloads on Matt Lauer" (Fox Nation), and "pushes back against NBC's poor reporting" (therightscoop) -- Ingraham's response to Lauer was both mild and predictable. Despite her criticism of George Lewis' reporting, Ingraham made a point of saying, "I love George Lewis, I think he does a great job."

In the actual interview, Ingraham took some predictable swipes at President Obama, which Lauer largely ignored.

Lauer noted that Palin is a "polarizing figure," to which Ingraham responded, "I think that if you want to look at polarizing people right now, I wouldn't look at Palin, I'd look at Barack Obama . . . the American people, a majority, 50 to 46, say this healthcare bill is not a good idea despite the 'from here to eternity' campaigning of this Administration . . . that's devastating for the President . . . ."

Lauer corrected Ingraham gently, "It's not a healthcare bill any more, it's the healthcare law these days."

Lauer and Ingraham did a little back-and-forth about the climate of vitriolic rhetoric, and Ingraham made the claim that "the people feel like . . . the people in Congress don't have their consent to govern them . . . when that happens folks get angry . . . ." Wait, weren't the members of Congress elected? Isn't that "consent to govern?"

"Look," Ingraham rationalized, "We've got people riled up because there are big issues being decided." Despite Ingraham's attempt to compare Code Pink's efforts during the Bush Administration, what she didn't mention was that Code Pink's agenda doesn't include violence. As noted by OpposingViews, "Code Pink and Cindy Sheehan did not walk around at rallies brandishing rifles, nor did anti-war and anti-Bush activists carry signs that suggested that a gun could solve the problems that politics cannot. Nor did they wear T-shirts quoting the language used as a call to action by Timothy McVeigh and other violent groups. I know of no instance in which members of Congress who supported the Patriot Act were spat upon by leftist visitors to the Capitol."

It would be way too much to expect for Kool-Aid-drinking Ingraham to note that Code Pink's mission is actually anti-violence, but it would have been nice if Lauer had mentioned it. In any event, Ingraham's "best defense/good offense" defense of the right-wing's violent rhetoric was skillfully deflected by Lauer, who pointed out gently that "those hateful words" go both ways. Lauer then moved on to ask Ingraham what she believed the Republicans' chances were of repealing the healthcare law, on a "scale of 1 to 10." Ingraham added something new to her wish list, replying, "Maybe 6 or 7."

Although Ingraham aggressively challenged Lauer at the very beginning (the little snippet of the clip O'Reilly played) -- after sucking up a little by saying she loved NBC's George Lewis -- she spent the rest of the interview trying to stay ahead of Lauer's deft deflection of her criticisms of the left and President Obama (who, I might add, she never referred to as "President Obama").

If O'Reilly thinks this is Ingraham giving someone "a piece of her mind," he's obviously never watched her when she guest hosts for him on The Factor -- where she's in her comfort zone, where there's no mild-mannered Matt Lauer to temper her, where there are no rules of civility for her to follow, and where I've never, ever heard her say she loves anyone at NBC.