Matt Lauer Tours Amsterdam with America-Belittling Dutch TV Host

On Tuesday's installment of the "Today" show's "Where in the World is Matt Lauer?" viewers were treated to Lauer strolling by an Amsterdam canal as he talked Dutch politics with a Netherlands' TV host who looked down on America's health care system and the views of "hardcore Republicans" about Holland's legalized prostitution and drugs.

The following exchange occurred on the April 29, "Today" show:

TWAN HUYS, NETHERLANDS TV HOST: But overall if you look at this country it's, it's very rich. Social climate is very good and there's not like, in your country, 40, 50 million people who have no insurance. That's not happening here. It's still, I would say it's, it's a paradise compared to many countries in the world.

MATT LAUER: One of the things that people in the United States immediately think of when they think of Amsterdam, of course is the red light district. How do people here feel about that image abroad?

HUYS: It, you know, here it has never been an issue, I would say. The red light district, the prostitution, the drugs. It, it has always been there. I've been in your country for seven years and actually the first things that come up is that people ask me, "So how can you live in this hellish country?"

LAUER: Right.

HUYS: "It must be terrible to be in Amsterdam." Especially hardcore Republicans who think that.

(Lauer chuckles.)

LAUER: I knew we'd get into some politics here off the bat. But really what it is people only tend to go to the extremes. They forget is pretty much lived, in the middle.

HUYS: It's a very isolated section here in Amsterdam, prostitution. And I must be fair to the mayor he's really battling the illegal prostitution and the trafficking of women who are underage. And they are really working on it for the first time that I know of it. And, and I think it helps. And it's part of Amsterdam. I mean this is a harbor city. Prostitution started here in the 12th or 14th century so it will always be there.

LAUER: It's not go away overnight.

HUYS: It's not going away.

LAUER: Twan, thanks so much.

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.