Megyn Kelly went to bat for her friend Matt Lauer last night on The Kelly File after the “fierce backlash” against the “shady,” as it were, way he moderated the televised NBC News Forum a.k.a. the Commander-in-Chief Forum Wednesday evening.
According to Kelly, mainstream/legacy media critics of his performance want to “kill” Lauer in the rhetorical or career sense for the manner in which he conducted the town hall before members of the U.S. military.
Lauer, who ordinarily hosts The Today Show, threw too much “shade” on Hillary Clinton for the media’s liking, the Fox News Channel anchor claimed.
Many mainstream media pundits and Twitter social justice warriors condemned Lauer for questioning Democrat presidential nominee Clinton too aggressively on the private email server controversy while in their view letting Trump off the hook during the separate portion of the show with the GOP presidential nominee.
According to CNN, an anonymous NBC executive described Lauer’s stewardship of the forum, which attracted about 15 million viewers, as a “disaster.”
Ironically, some Trump supporters seemed to think that Lauer was too easy on Clinton during the broadcast.
With Kelly File panelists Howard Kurtz, the channel’s media correspondent, and Obama surrogate Bill Burton, Megyn Kelly denounced what she and Kurtz apparently view as press hyper-partisanship in play in this election cycle as she defended Matt Lauer.
“I am friends with Matt Lauer, and I respect Matt Lauer a lot, and I think he actually doesn’t get enough questions for the tough questions he asks on that show. I don’t know Howie, you can’t win in this election. You can’t win, especially with, with all due respect to our brethren, the left-wing press, because they want to see you ‘kill’ Trump. And if you try and throw too much shade at Hillary, then they want to ‘kill’ you.”
Kelly famously got into a feud with the New York real estate mogul after she essentially accused him of misogyny in the first GOP debate back in August 2015. In April, Kelly and Trump met at the Trump Tower in Manhattan, during which they settled their differences to some degree, and he agreed to appear on her prime time special on the Fox broadcast network the following month.
Megyn Kelly Presents fell short of a big number in the ratings, however, despite the hyped-up interviews with Trump and several other celebrities.
Noting that she received a lot of criticism for the above-mentioned Trump interview being insufficiently hard hitting, Kelly added that “They want every interview to be Kill ‘Em! It’s ridiculous. It wasn’t Matt Lauer’s job to kill him or her last night.”
She and Kurtz agreed that too much anti-Trump opinion is seeping into straight-up news reporting. Parenthetically, Trump fans, however, have argued that there has been a disproportionate amount of anti-Trump content on The Kelly File. Burton claimed that Lauer’s performance was “uneven” in the way he grilled Clinton as opposed to Trump.
NBC News tweeted out the results of a poll suggesting that Donald Trump had the better of the NBC News Forum in the eyes and ears of the viewers.
Joe Concha, the media columnist for The Hill, seemed to echo Megyn Kelly’s analysis that the establishment media expected a Trump takedown.
“Following his performance as moderator of a veterans affairs’ forum featuring Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Wednesday night, Matt Lauer broke the same rule Megyn Kelly once did: The rule? If you don’t kneecap Donald Trump in a big one-on-one event, don’t turn the conversation into the journalism version of the gory chariot scene in ‘Gladiator,’ then prepare to be shamed before being burned at the stake. Kelly didn’t have her sword out in her prime-time special and promptly went from a heroine within establishment and even progressive media circles to journalist-non-grata. Now Lauer is getting the same treatment, mostly from the liberal end of the industry, and the reviews are scathing…”
Do you think that Megyn Kelly has a point about Matt Lauer and media expectations for the NBC News Forum?
[Photo by RW/MediaPunch/IPX via AP Images]