How Matt Lauer patronized Charlton Heston
9/26/2002 12:00:00 AM - Larry Elder
Is it me, or does "Today Show's" Matt Lauer condescendingly give
Republicans/conservatives the old "look-me-in-the-eye" treatment when asking
In an interview with President George W. Bush, for example,
Lauer questioned the president about the environment. "So you can look me in
the eye and say that you are a president committed to cleaning up the
environment?" he asked. "Look me in the eye and say that you are ...
committed to cleaning up the environment"!
How about his recent interview with NRA President Charlton
Heston? Lauer condescendingly asked Heston whether shootings or crime
involving guns ever made Heston rethink his position on the Second
Lauer: "Have you ever gotten up one morning, read the newspaper
or seen the news about a particularly horrific crime or event that involved
a shooting and thought, even for a second, 'I may be on the wrong side of
Heston: "No, I never felt that."
Lauer: "Never wavered?"
Heston: "No. Again, I'm on the side of the -- the men who
invented the country. They believed in the Second Amendment, and I believe
in it, too."
Does Lauer give "gun control advocates," like Sarah Brady, the
same treatment? Imagine the following:
Lauer: Ms. Brady, 38 states now allow citizens to carry
concealed weapons. Violent crime in those states declined. It turns out that
few gun permit holders violate the terms of their permits by engaging in
crime. In fact, gun permit holders, as a class, commit fewer crimes than the
non-permit-holding general public. Does this cause you to rethink, even for
a second, your position on gun control?
Lauer: And to follow up, in Professor John Lott's book, "More
Guns, Less Crime," he suggests that 2.5 million Americans use guns every
year for defensive purposes. Of that number, 400,000 claim but for their
access to a handgun, they feel that they would have been dead. Twenty
thousand Americans a year die because of guns, with nearly half of those
committing suicide. So, in looking at 10,000 dead vs. 400,000 still alive,
do you ever think, even for a second, that 'I may be on the wrong side of
Or how about something like this?
Lauer: Sen. Clinton, early in your husband's first term, he
appointed you to create a national health-care system patterned after the
Canadian so-called single-payer scheme. But according to Kerri Houston in
Investor's Business Daily, "Looking to Canada's system of universal health
care as a model for anything besides what not to do is lunacy of the highest
order. ... Canada's health care is so bad that even the most liberal of
politicians there are now calling the system a failure, screaming for
complete overhaul and even proposing -- gasp! -- private-sector solutions."
Increasing numbers of Canadians travel to the states for treatment with,
say, MRI equipment, long available in America under its more
free-market-oriented system. Does this cause you, even for a second, to
rethink your attempted takeover of our nation's health-care system?
Or how about the following?
Lauer: Sen. Lieberman, you recently urged the repeal of the
George W. Bush $1.35 trillion tax cut and oppose making any such tax cut
permanent. However, let me play for you a tape of former President John F.
Kennedy making the opposite argument about taxes. In this clip, he suggests
that lowering taxes actually increases revenues:
Kennedy: "The final and best means of strengthening demand among
consumers and business is to reduce the burden on private income and the
deterrence to private initiative which are imposed by our present tax
system. ... It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and
tax revenues are too low -- and the soundest way to raise revenues in the
long run is to cut rates now. The experience of a number of European
countries has borne this out. This country's own experience with tax
reductions in 1954 has borne this out, and the reason is that only full
employment can balance the budget -- and tax reduction can pave the way to
full employment. The purpose of cutting taxes now is not to incur a
budgetary deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous expanding economy,
which will bring a budgetary surplus."
Lauer: Sen. Lieberman, hearing that, does that cause you to
perhaps, even for a second, rethink your opposition to tax cuts?
Expect someday soon for Lauer to give liberals the same
treatment he gives conservatives. Naa-aah.
In ex-CBS reporter Bernard Goldberg's book, "Bias," he notes
that the mainstream media cannot even grasp the notion that otherwise
rational, sane people might see the world differently. Goldberg quotes the
late New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael, who after George McGovern's 1972
crushing defeat at the hands of Richard Nixon, lamented, "Nobody I know
voted for Nixon."
But maybe it's me.