Thursday, September 08, 2016

ON MATT LAUER AND MANHOOD

Writing for The New York Times Magazine, Susan Dominus joins in the denunciations of Matt Lauer's debate-moderating skills -- but she has an odd take on why Lauer might have gone easy on Donald Trump:
... Lauer, at least within his world of New York media, enjoys higher status than Trump, whom many of his peers no doubt see with contempt. He seemed to relax the moment Trump came onstage, wholly in his comfort zone, one celebrity taking on another, and a less admired one.... He relaxed so much, in fact, that he seemed positively narcotized for the remaining half-hour of the event.
Lauer was gracious because he believes he "enjoys higher status than Trump"? Lauer sees Trump as "less admired"? That doesn't ring true at all.

I saw a man who's known for female-friendly TV face-to-face with someone who's generally regarded as a real man (by idiots, yes, but they've generated the conventional wisdom). Lauer fitfully attempted to spar with Trump, but ultimately he deferred to Trump's manly presence.

Dominus doesn't see gender at play in the Lauer-Trump interaction, even tough she sees it in the interaction between Lauer and Hillary Clinton:
Lauer ... has been beloved to the mostly female audience of the “Today” show in one way or another since 1992....

Lauer’s interview of Clinton could be seen as something more like a reversal of classic gender identities. The role of a “Today” show host reads as more stereotypically feminine -- as a pretty face, a celebrity, on a female-friendly show — especially in contrast to the role in which Clinton was appearing that evening, as a veteran politician, an elder statesperson, a military expert. Lauer conducted himself with Clinton like those women of earlier generations who felt they had to be twice as tough to be taken seriously -- women who, like Clinton herself, were sometimes reviled for it.
So, to Dominus, Lauer was the woman trying to be taken seriously, while Clinton was the powerful man.

Nope. I don't buy it. Maybe you could make a plausible argument like that without gendering it: Lauer is known for fluff TV and he wanted to prove he can be serious. But if that were the case, he'd have been tough on Trump, too.

I'd say Lauer was trying to prove his manliness by going after the party pigeonholed as "from Venus," while going easier on the "from Mars" party. Our "wired for Republicans" political boys' club will always consider you one of the boys if you beat up on a Democrat.

Well, at least we agree that Lauer was a disgrace.

10 comments:

Victor said...

I'm going to stop my readings of liberal websites soon - or, rather, limit tham to an hour in the mornings, one in the late afternoon, and a quick glance in the evenings.

I've OD'd on the TEH STOOOOOOOOOOOOOPID of our MSM coverage of this election!

In the day, I'm going to read histories and biographies, as well as books on science and math and technology; and in the evenings, read historical mysteries.

I just can't take anymore of this stupid, ignorant, and bigoted fucking bullshit!!!
I have nothing clever or funny to say any more.
So, why try to say more?

If t-RUMP gets elected, we'll fully deserve the coming tsunami of TEH STOOOOOOOOOOPID BULLSHIT coming our way!!!!!

And that's presuming our new thin-skinned Fascist Dictator doesn't decide to start WWIII over some slight his tiny hands and pecker can't fucking handke!!!!!!!

kold_kadavr_ flatliner said...

<- Hey, ya whole ass, quit dissn the Don. Ya want the psychotic bulldyke in the White House? Play in traffikkk, ya weinerschnitzel, if you aint mature enuff to lissen to a lil reason...

What we do on earth determines our destiny. Think about that. God blessa youse -Fr. Sarducci, ol SNL

Mart said...

I am with you. It's effecting my job. My stress is through the roof. The other tribe thinks I am just as nuts as I think they are, so no changing minds. Only thing to do is relax and vote (and hope our vote hackers are better than the Russian's). But I can't help myself, keep going in.

Ten Bears said...

Of late Vic, the lefty blogs are as fevered a swamp as the reichwingers'.

Deranged even.

As to the topic at hand: all those entertainer types are a little... we'll stick with feminine, especially those New Yorkers, and it reflects in their interactions with each other. My Outsider take was he was completely intimidated, perhaps awed even, by Dumpf uck, butch bulldyke that he is, while with Clinton he could re-assert his manhood berating her with inconsequential bullshit. It was like watching one dog lick the alpha dog's balls then bully the other dogs.

Yastreblyansky said...

Not to generalize too far, but I'd say Lauer was very Beta last night.

Feud Turgidson said...

Most everyone on this thread - possibly excepting the aficionado of comedian Don Novello's work - has been following HRC and her campaigin and Trump and his for over a year; we're all political news consumers.

But by far most American voters haven't paid nearly the attention to this we political news junkies and our few ... thousand, maybe? do. Plus, I assume, a larger lurker base.

And yet there are many thousands, possibly millions, WTF knows maybe ten million or so of them, who are not political news junkies, but feel like political bystanders or victims, and they are actually 'struggling' with who they "might vote for". Really: STRUGGLING!

Just imagine these people filling out forms at a bank, or going to the mall to get their taxes done by some "expert service", or losing their driver's license and having to repeat the knowledge part, or applying for a passport - no, I'm wrong there: they don't do complicated avoidable things.

I'm not with Victor on this. We can't bail just because we've made up our minds (which were made up years before this, years even before President Obama made public sport of the jackass Trump. Bailing now leaves these sorts of websites to trolls and halfbanana whackoids, to the likes of KenRight and kold_kadavr. There's no hope for KenRight, but kold_kadavr might sober up and we need to be there if that happens when he needs to read rational views.

Danp said...

Is Susan Dominus one of Maureen Dowd's pen names?

AllieG said...

Matt Lauer was only there because of the internal dynamics of NBC. The Today Show is by far the most profitable part of its news division, maybe the only profitable part. Therefore in the minds of management, host Matt Lauer must be by far the best journalist they've got.

Ten Bears said...

There ya' go Feud, being all rational and sensible 'n stuff. Spoilin' the sport.

Jimbo said...

The idea that The Today Show, which can only be very charitably described as a "news division" is the best that NBC (or MSNBC for that matter) can offer is a very sad comment on that network. A far better, politically experienced interviewer would have been Dr. Maddow but NBC clearly wanted a puff pastry celebrity instead.