... 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....So, to Dominus, Lauer was the woman trying to be taken seriously, while Clinton was the powerful man.
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.
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.