Yo, Matt: What Happened to "Ultra-Conservative" Sam? Lauer Discovers Radical Islam

<p><img vspace="4" hspace="4" border="0" align="right" src="/media/2006-02-02-NBCAlito.jpg" />On a slow news day, a couple Today show notes, both concerning Matt Lauer.</p><p>Readers will recall, as described <a href="node/3530">here</a>, that on the eve of the confirmation hearings Lauer branded Sam Alito an &quot;ultraconservative.&quot; No <em>mea culpas</em> from Matt this morning in the wake of Alito's vote splitting from the court's conservative wing and staying the execution of a death-row inmate. Today did label Alito's decision a &quot;Supreme Surprise.&quot; Observed Katie Couric:</p><blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right: 0px;"><p>&quot;Everyone expected Alito to be a reliable, consistent conservative on the high court which is why so many are a little shocked that he sided with liberals and moderates in his very first vote on the high court last night.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>Any such suprise reveals much more about the liberal view of the courts - that they should be results-oriented rather than deciding strictly on the law - than it does about Sam Alito.</p><p>On another note, as described <a href="node/3852">here</a>, just yesterday Matt was expressing skepticism at President Bush's reference to &quot;radical Islam&quot; in his SOTU speech. Lauer suggested to Brokaw that radical Islam was &quot;just some term&quot; that the president used to garner political support.</p><p>But there was Matt this morning interviewing NY Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman regarding America's reliance on foreign oil. In the course of their conversation, Lauer himself twice spoke of &quot;radical Isam&quot; with no hint of irony. Did Matt discover radical Islam overnight, or could it be that, for Lauer, the term is only suspect when used by a Republican?</p>

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.