After NBC’s Commander-in-Chief Forum, many were left disappointed by Matt Lauer’s performance in what was seen as a practice run for the upcoming presidential debates. According to CNN, viewers thought that the “Today” show host focused too much on Hillary Clinton’s emails, gave Donald Trump all the easy questions and failed to fact-check Trump’s claim that he opposed the Iraq War from the beginning.
During the forum, each Presidential candidate was given approximately 30 minutes, and Lauer devoted nearly a third of Clinton’s time to her emails, The New York Times reports. Subsequently, when Lauer further questioned Clinton, he repeatedly cut Clinton short, specifically telling her to answer “[a]s briefly as [she could].”
When Trump took the stage, viewers accused Lauer of asking Trump simple, open-ended questions that were easily evaded, CNN reports. In addition, Lauer failed to fact-check Trump’s claim that he openly opposed the Iraq War from its outset, which is a claim that has been proven false on numerous accounts.
Viewers were bothered by Lauer’s repeated asking of difficult questions for Clinton regarding her emails and support of the Iraq War and the complete neglect to even ask about Trump’s controversial comments about the Khan family, Senator McCain’s prisoner of war status and his deferments from the Vietnam War.
Social media exploded after the debate, with CNN analyst Paul Begala writing, “If only Trump had attacked that Gold Star family in an email, then it would be newsworthy to Lauer,” CNN reports.
Well, at least it wasn’t the actual debate.