Many media pundits and even journalists have suggested Lauer was sexist in his questioning of Hillary Clinton and soft when it came to Donald Trump. But according to Kelly, who is friends with Lauer, the hubbub is really only about one thing: he didn’t please the “left-wing press.”
According to TheBlaze, most of the criticism revolved around his decision to intensely question the Democratic candidate on her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. By the same token, many critiqued Lauer for not fact-checking Trump’s claim that he has always been against the Iraq War. In 2003, he gave a tepid endorsement of the invasion during an interview with radio host Howard Stern.
“You can’t win in this election, you can’t win,” Kelly said. “Especially, with all due respect to our brethren, the left-wing press, because they wanna see you kill Trump. And if you try to throw too much shade at Hillary, then they wanna kill you.”
Howard Kurtz, Fox’s media analyst and host of the network’s “MediaBuzz” show, argued Lauer did a “solid job” with his questioning of Clinton and Trump, telling Kelly that a lot of the criticism from the left-leaning media is because they feel the NBC host “should have smashed [Trump] to smithereens.”
The Fox host did ultimately agree Trump should have been more thoroughly questioned on his claim about never supporting the Iraq War, but still said Lauer did a good job getting the billionaire businessman to talk about the issues.