In last night’s “Commander-in-Chief Forum,” NBC's Matt Lauer was widely panned as too easy on Donald Trump and unfair to Hillary Clinton. But to Fox News’ Outnumbered show, that’s what “fair and balanced” looks like!
The New York Times has an excellent write-up of what was wrong with Lauer’s moderation:
In general, though, Mr. Lauer’s questioning of Mr. Trump was like watching one student quiz another to prep for a test neither had done the reading for. The host asked soft open-ended questions that invited the candidate to answer with word clouds.
Mr. Lauer prefaced one question by saying that “nobody would expect you” to have read deeply into foreign policy before running for president. He asked Mr. Trump if he would be “prepared on Day 1,” a yes-or-no question that will elicit only one answer from any candidate not about to drop out.
Lauer was much tougher with Hillary Clinton but not in a way that seemed designed to help viewers understand her military or foreign policy prescriptions:
Mr. Lauer interviewed the candidates in turn for a half-hour each. He began by asking Mrs. Clinton to defend her use of a private email server as Secretary of State. And asking again. And again.
That emphasis left relatively little time for the forum’s foreign-policy and military subjects. Mr. Lauer and the audience asked about complex topics — the Middle East, terrorism, veterans’ affairs — and Mr. Lauer pressed for simple answers. “As briefly as you can,” he injected when an audience member asked how Mrs. Clinton would decide whether to deploy troops against the Islamic State.
And that’s not counting Lauer’s failure to fact-check Trump’s lie about opposing the Iraq war. Fox’s Chris Wallace has already promised not to do any fact checking when he takes the helm as moderator for the third and final presidential debate in October.
Even NBC executives thought Lauer was a “disaster.”
So it was no surprise that Fox’s Outnumbered panel would have loved it.
“When I saw the headlines this morning,” cohost Melissa Francis said, “I was wondering if I had watched the same thing everybody else had watched.”
“He couldn’t win for losing,” Francis continued sympathetically about Lauer. “I thought he was very tough.”
“Couldn’t win for losing,” cohost Harris Faulkner agreed. She praised Donald Trump for “legitimately” having talked about “U.S. military and foreign policy.”
Faulkner had no problem with Trump’s lie about the Iraq war (nor did anyone else on the panel) nor about his saying that our generals have been “reduced to rubble” and that Russia’s Vladimir Putin is a better leader than President Barack Obama. Can you imagine the hours of outrage programming Fox would have gotten out of such a remark from Hillary Clinton?
“There were some opportunities for him to go in different directions that I felt like he didn’t go in,” Faulkner said cryptically about Lauer. Nobody wanted to know what those “different directions” might have been.
“The sexist thing is what really kind of grinds my gears,” Katherine Timpf added. “She wasn’t being treated unfairly, she was being treated fairly and people aren’t used to seeing that.
Faux liberal Eboni Williams (possibly eyeing one of the many newly vacant hosting spots at Fox) immediately jumped into her default position of attacking Clinton. I’ll bet Williams got Fox bonus points for making it about the emails. “I think it’s Hillary Clinton’s own fault that, you know, 13 minutes were taken up by emails because of choices she made as secretary of state.”
Williams also cryptically mentioned “other opportunities” Lauer didn’t take. But Williams was another who didn't mention Trump’s Iraq lie nor his outrageous statements about Putin and our generals. Williams did find time to knock Clinton again for not asserting herself and talking about what she wanted people to know. Williams even worked in some Fox-resumé-polishing praise for Mitt Romney's debate performance.
The show’s #OneLuckyGuy, David Asman, said Lauer had “stray[ed] off the liberal planation,” and predicted he’d correct course for the future.
“I think that he very much has the courage of his convictions,” Francis effused. “And he went down the road and he really held her feet to the fire.”
Finally, Faulkner offered some very mild criticism: “When you go down one road with one and then you decide to go down the other with the other, you don’t get very deep on either one and it doesn’t help anybody vote.”
Even Francis admitted that was a great point.
Watch the bias below, from the September 8 Outnumbered, via YouTube:
I’ll be interested to hear your take on CNN’s Trump special. I can’t bear to watch.
Also, you are right about Amanda Carpenter. Not only is she a former Cruz staffer. She’s also one of the women he allegedly had an affair with, as per the National Enquirer.
Recall back in 2001 CNN’s Chairman Walter Isaacson met with Republican leadership on how he could woo more conservative viewers.
His goals was to ‘change the culture’ to ‘attract more conservatives.’
Was this even necessary? Watch 10 minutes of Fox News and realize anything short of that level of conservative propaganda will simply fail.
I used to love CNN. Many years ago. Lots of international coverage. Lots of real journalism. Now we get Anderson Cooper with a panel of 6 useless pundits repeating the same thin talking points day after day.
I watched last night’s so-called biography on “the essential Hillary Clinton”. I’d already taken exception to the subtitle, “Unfinished business” for being an insidiously negative choice and was on alert for it. The phrase came out of the blue at the very end, only loosely connected with what had been said.
This show, to my mind, is a pretty good example of how to demean a person without appearing to do so. Two hours during which precious little time was devoted to the struggles that Hillary has fought in favour of education, health and gender equality. Farr too much time on her personal relations, saying little about how Chelsea had, as a gawky teenager, been attacked time and time again but lots on Bill’s philandering. Passing references only to the people-centred battles that Hillary has fought throughout her life. A bit more detail on the ones she fought and lost, ending with a derogatory testimonial of Hillary’s performance as a Junior Senator by a pretty lady called Carpenter, who I believe used to be Ted Cruz’s communications director (a fact not mentioned).
At the very end, a Clinton-friendly journalist finally says the phrase I’d been waiting for: “unfinished business”. She’d been asked: “why is Hillary still running for office?” (subtext: “after all these failures…”) In this context, the phrase makes sense but by that time everybody except me was probably already asleep. The phrase would have been an excellent conclusion had it been preceded by a detailed and fact-based presentation of what Hillary has tried to do throughout her life. Instead, the show comes across as a masterful piece of character assassination of the sort my self-proclaimed saintly Auntie May (a Catholic nun whom I expect to meet in the ninth circle of Hell) was mistress of. Lots of things left unsaid but “you get my meaning” mouthed gently but ever so tellingly.
I eagerly await tonight’s biography on “the essential Donald Trump”, subtitled “All business” (which should have read “Only business”, were CNN to have wanted to be balanced). Will CNN give as much emphasis to his repeated philanderings and couch-based interviewing tactics, three wives, six (or four) bankruptcies that he himself admits were lucrative for him, several thousand court suits for non-payment of services, his habit of leaving fellow investors holding empty bags as he exited stage right with the full ones, a self-proclaimed “university” that fleeced its students, etc. etc. I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff.
E-mail, Clinton foundation, Benghazi. Maybe throw in a few golden oldies like Monica and Whitewater.
I missed it but over 1/3 of the Clinton ‘foreign policy’ town hall supposedly was Email-gate. Meanwhile, Trump’s scandals were overlooked and Lauer pulls a Chris Wallace by not fact checking The Donald’s obvious lies like he never was for a Libya intervention. I guess Trump’s video screaming for American boots on the ground to take out Gaddafi don’t count as Libyan intervention. You think? I’m afraid to ask what it would take for Lauer to take notice.
The media hates Clinton because she doesn’t trust them so for many, many years she hasn’t kowtowed to their demands for access. Plus, they’re tired of getting beaten up for bias by right-wingers. And, if that wasn’t enough, they want to normalize the election into a profitable click bait horse race.
The FBI is under fire by the right and is promising even more document dumps. WikiLeaks is promising a hacked Clinton October surprise. So this isn’t going away. If nothing else, the press will keep asking the same email questions even while getting the same answers until the election.
The disgraceful media is turning this election into the most substance-less sideshow ever!