The "Today Show" host's stunning fall from grace
There are a very small number of jobs where it just doesn't matter if you're not that well-liked. Solitary-confinement prison guard, maybe. Large-scale media or movie mogul. Solo-rig long-haul trucker.
For more than a decade, the winners of the prestigious Newbery and Caldecott Medals—think the Oscars for children’s books—have appeared on NBC’s “Today” show the Tuesday after the awards’ announcement.
Kanye West yelling that George Bush didn’t care about black people in the wake of Hurricane Katrina was not, in itself, interesting. He had a CD to plump for (Late Registration), as well as just plain himself to plump for, as he was a newer phenom then than the source of regular episodes of galumphing megalomania that he is now. Interesting, however, is West’s acute discomfort in his recent interview with Matt Lauer at actually being confronted with footage of his accusation, good and loud and right in his face. With all of his cockiness about so much, he couldn’t take it.
Humankind is, roughly speaking, divided into neurotic and non-neurotic people. Some people stay awake at night obsessing over every decision they’ve made, endlessly pondering intractable problems and existential quandaries—and some people don’t. George W. Bush is firmly in the latter category. We’ve long known this. So, when Bush sat down for an interview with Matt Lauer on Monday night—the day before the release of his memoir, Decision Points—it’s not as though anyone expected him to be particularly chastened or introspective.
Jamison Foser watches Howard Kurtz: Howard Kurtz, June 2: “I'm among those who believe that passion is often missing from his presidency. … But in terms of the optics, the politics, the sense of outrage, well, no wonder James Carville was angry. The White House just bungled that part. … Watching Obama, I thought, here's a guy who really understands this stuff.
Earlier this week, Matt Lauer had this exchange in an interview with President Obama: MR. LAUER: -- that this is not the time to meet with experts and advisers. This is a time to spend more time in the Gulf and -- I never thought I'd say this to a president -- but kick some butt. PRESIDENT OBAMA: (Chuckles.) MR. LAUER: And I don't mean it to be funny. PRESIDENT OBAMA: No. And I understand. And here's what -- I'm going to push back hard on this, because I think that this is just an idea that got in folks' heads and the media has run with it.