Social media users eviscerated host Matt Lauer Wednesday night during NBC’s “Commander-in-Chief Forum,” targeting the Today host for his disparate questioning of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Lauer, who hosted the first discussion of its kind this election cycle, was widely mocked for the hour-long forum at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan. Critics accused Lauer of poor journalistic integrity and sexism, even launching the hashtags #LauerFail and #LaueringtheBar.
As the New York Times points out, Lauer spent over a third of his discussion with Clinton asking about her use of a private email server while rushing through questions about the Islamic State and similar national security issues. This, despite NBC’s billing of the event as a forum on veterans’ issues.
Trump, on the other hand, was lobbed softballs, and Lauer declined to challenge the candidate on his flat-out lies, including when he boasted that he was against the Iraq war in 2003 (he wasn’t).
Political observers and journalists took to Twitter to target Lauer for his line of questioning.
Matt Lauer’s interviews of Clinton and Trump were a complete disgrace to journalism https://t.co/P3Xv8QbkpH
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) September 8, 2016