NY Mag’s Chait: Commander-in-Chief Forum ‘Scariest Thing’ in Campaign So Far

Hillary Clinton commander-in-chief forum (Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)
Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait blasts Matt Lauer’s performance as the moderator of NBC’s Commander-in-Chief Forum on Wednesday night between presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

I had not taken seriously the possibility that Donald Trump could win the presidency until I saw Matt Lauer host an hour-long interview with the two major-party candidates. Lauer’s performance was not merely a failure, it was horrifying and shocking. The shock, for me, was the realization that most Americans inhabit a very different news environment than professional journalists. I not only consume a lot of news, since it’s my job, I also tend to focus on elite print-news sources. Most voters, and all the more so undecided voters, subsist on a news diet supplied by the likes of Matt Lauer. And the reality transmitted to them from Lauer matches the reality of the polls, which is a world in which Clinton and Trump are equivalently flawed.

Lauer focused a third of his questioning time on Clinton’s private email server. Her decision to follow Colin Powell’s advice is a legitimate blot on her record. But Lauer did not move the ball forward on the question in any meaningful way…

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