Ignoring his own reported standard for hosting Coulter, NBC's Lauer interviews Coulter on Today

››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

Matt Lauer hosted Ann Coulter on NBC's Today despite having reportedly said previously that "if there's something in the news that she has a vital view on, then I think we would consider having her back on. In terms of having her back on just to be outrageous, that probably wouldn't happen."

NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer interviewed author and syndicated columnist Ann Coulter on the January 7 edition of Today despite having reportedly said previously of hosting Coulter on Today, "I think we're going to make that decision on a case by case basis. I mean, if there's something in the news that she has a vital view on, then I think we would consider having her back on. In terms of having her back on just to be outrageous, that probably wouldn't happen." Lauer hosted Coulter to discuss her new book, Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America. Lauer concluded the January 7 interview by saying, "[B]y the way, you're not banned for life, obviously. OK? The next book comes out, I'm sure you'll be sitting right -- you'll be sitting right here again." Lauer also said during the interview, "We've had you on so many times in the past. After every book, you've always been invited back."

In the aftermath of controversial comments Coulter made during the October 8, 2007, edition of CNBC's The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, the TVNewser blog reported:

Will Ann Coulter continue to be invited to appear on Today, in the aftermath of her "We [Christians] just want Jews to be perfected" comments last week on CNBC's The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch?

Matt Lauer tells TVNewser, "I think we're going to make that decision on a case by case basis. I mean, if there's something in the news that she has a vital view on, then I think we would consider having her back on.

"In terms of having her back on just to be outrageous, that probably wouldn't happen. She's a tough call, because you have to kind of walk a fine line. She is someone that a lot of people find outrageous, and as a result, don't want to hear her voice. And yet she does reach a lot of people, and she gets people to react. At some point you have to make a decision whether it's quality or quantity or whether it's just volume or quality. And I think we should make that on a case by case basis."

As Media Matters for America noted, NBC and NBC-affiliated hosts and anchors -- including Lauer and Today co-host Meredith Vieira, Tonight Show host Jay Leno, Hardball host Chris Matthews, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, and CNBC's Deutsch -- have expressed disapproval of, in Leno's words, Coulter's "harsh" and "nasty" statements, or criticized the media for promoting her.

During the January 7 interview, Lauer stated, "In the book, throughout the book, you refer to the president-elect, Barack Obama, as 'B. Hussein Obama.' " Coulter acknowledged, "It is funny, Matt Lauer. I'm not going to deny that there is something ironic about having just gone to war with an enemy named Hussein, and they're running a guy whose middle name is Hussein." On the March 7, 2008, edition of MSNBC Live, Coulter previously said that she refers to Obama as "B. Hussein Obama" because it's "funny."

Media Matters has documented numerous falsehoods and outrageous comments in Guilty.

Network/Outlet
NBC, Random House
Person
Ann Coulter
Stories/Interests
Propaganda/Noise Machine
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