The long-advertised, big-deal Commander-in-Chief Forum on NBC last week sucked.
There is an excellent editorial by Sarah Jones on PolicitusUSA.
In my opinion, there were several things severely wrong with this sorry forum:
- It was too short. How in the world are candidates supposed to answer any substantive questions if they allocate one hour to the whole event, split it in two, and put a commercial break in the middle. Obviously, Lauer was under pressure to move forward. He interrupted the candidates, spoke over them, and ignored their answers. He was acting like he was about to miss a train. What he heck! We came to listen to answers, not to Lauer making an effort to make himself sound smart. We got zero answers.
- Lauer wasted a good third of Clinton’s segment with the damn emails. We know all about the emails. Move on already. What does the email problem have to do with being commander-in-chief, for goodness’ sake? Colin Powell used a private email server. Dick Cheney deleted millions of emails. Yes, it was a poor choice by Clinton eight years ago, but it does not warrant using up her valuable few minutes to talk about commander-in-chief issues in this forum.
- Lauer talked down to Clinton, constantly interrupted her, and acted condescendingly all around. It was like Lauer was debating, not Clinton or Trump. It felt like Lauer was a candidate. He should be a facilitator, not a contributor.
- Lauer didn’t listen to the answers, or, as almost all of them in the case of Trump, non-answers. I didn’t hear Trump answering a single question. It is the facilitator’s job to ask questions and then elicit answers.
This forum was well-hyped but it was a waste of my time. I did not get answers from the candidates, and neither did the people from the audience asking the questions.
I learned nothing new, except that Matt Lauer is a dick.