Such is the case this morning with Matt Lauer’s rendition of an unbiased Katie Couric interview. (Ian has the video) Instead of asking probing questions about the story of a geography teacher’s anti-American rant, Matt asks the teacher, Jay Bennish whether he has been set up. It’s the sort of question I’d expect Bennish’s lawyer to ask him during cross-examination to help bolster his client’s case before a jury.
Lauer: “The family here, the student’s family, didn’t go to the school board with this tape.”
Bennish: “They never contacted me.
Lauer:”They shopped it around to conservative media outlets and finally released it to one and created an uproar. On the tape you can hear Sean Allen [the student in question] asking you questions that seem to be egging you on a little bit. Do you feel you were set up?”
In addition, Lauer gives the appearance that Allen and his father conspired to tape this teacher for the purpose of going public. However, according to Sean Allen, he “frequently recorded his teachers to back up his notes.” So much for Lauer’s investigative journalism abilities.
On top of the biased questioning, Lauer blatantly lies to achieve his goal of portraying the teacher as the innocent victim and the student (and his father) as the offender. Lauer accused the student and his father of shopping the tape around to conservative media outlets before contacting the school officials with a complaint.
But according to a local paper:
After the student’s father complained to school officials, he took the recording to KOA radio talk show host Mike Rosen, who put it on the Internet and played parts of it on his radio program.
Sean Allen recorded about 20 minutes of Bennish’s class during a February 1 discussion about Bush’s State of the Union speech and gave the recording to his father, who complained to the principal, Amole said.
In addition, Amole also said:
“After listening to the tape, it’s evident the comments in the class were inappropriate. There were not adequate opportunities for opposing points of view.”
Even the Superintendent of the school district said it appears “a breach of district policy” occurred. So where were Lauer’s questions about that? Why didn’t the Today Show interview Amole or Moses as well to inform viewers just what the school district policies are? Instead Lauer acted like Bennish’s defense attorney and tried to help him advocate his case before the public.
Looks like Lauer and Bennish are cut from the same cloth. Find yourself a captive audience, spew your liberal rhetoric and then ignore opposing viewpoints because they might expose your liberal bias.