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Not once for Trump,” the political analyst Norman Ornstein wrote.“Tough to be a woman running for president.” Indeed.None worse than now-accused predator Mark Halperin, a pundit whose dim views of Hillary Clinton and his barely disguised admiration for Trump’s machismo often turned up on NBC News’ cable outlet, MSNBC; Halperin once wrote (with coauthor John Heilemann) that Clinton was “[p]rideful, aggrieved, confused — and still high on the notion she was leading an army, Napoleon in a navy pantsuit and gumball-sized fake pearls.” Clinton was a major-party nominee and career politician who deserved tough, critical news coverage — and God knows she got it.
Meanwhile, it’s become increasingly clear that the candidacy of the first woman to win a major party’s presidential nomination was covered and often dismissed by men who held Neanderthal — and that’s being charitable — views toward how women in general should be treated.
The performance by Lauer, amplified by the likes of Halperin and like-minded pundits on the other channels, spread a misogynistic fog that only grew thicker in the final days of the election, making it easy for voters to buy into a flood of “fake news” about Clinton and to write off Trump’s scandal, much as Lack and his NBC minions had dismissed Trump’s sexual abuse in the first place.
Today, the fog is finally lifting (with Trump ensconced in the White House) and the subtle and not-so-subtle impact of patriarchal journalism on the American body politic is becoming clear — a type of sexual harassment, if you will, toward the information-seeking American news viewer.
And it was at the most pivotal moment when NBC News put its compromised star Lauer front and center, moderating a nationally televised “Commander-in-Chief Forum” on the Intrepid carrier parked off Manhattan in September 2016.
The night is remembered as one where Lauer repeatedly let Trump off the hook — declining, for example, to press the then-GOP nominee on blatant inconsistencies on whether he’d opposed the war in Iraq (he hadn’t) — while seemingly determined to make Clinton uncomfortable on stage.