Lauer an NB Fan? After Critical Piece Here, 'Today' Drops Buchanan's 'Republican' Tag

April 5th, 2006 10:48 AM

Could NewsBusters be Matt Lauer's guilty pleasure?

Have a look at the two screen captures. The first depicts Pat Buchanan's Today show appearance of March 24th. You'll note that NBC sought to pass Buchanan off as a "Republican strategist." That bit of false packaging elicited this NewsBusters entry, taking NBC to task for its attempt to lull viewers into believing the show was presenting a balanced panel [Buchanan was paired for the day with former Clinton spokeswoman Dee Dee Myers].

Now look at the second screen shot, from Pat's Today show appearance of this morning, his first since March 24th. Today ditched the "Republican" tag, neutrally and accurately labeling Buchanan an 'MSNBC political analyst'.

In introducing Buchanan in a segment on Tom DeLay's retirement announcement, Lauer - rather pointedly it seemed - described him as an MSNBC political analyst and 'a conservative commentator.' Gone was any reference to Buchanan's non-existent GOP affiliation.

So the question arises, are Matt and his colleagues at NBC secret NewsBusters fans, who, stung by the revelation of their mislabeling, decided to play things straight this morning?

For the record, Buchanan had this to say: "Tom DeLay is the poster boy for the so-called culture of corruption. I think he's been a brilliant, tough, hard-nosed partisan. He's done a great job for the GOP, but it was time to go. He picked the right time. You can now save his seat. And frankly if he had stayed there, he would have helped bring down the Republican party."

Matt, if you're listening, it was a good start. Stay tuned, and with time we can make a 'fair & balanced' operation out of Today!

Finkelstein lives in Ithaca, NY, where he hosts the award-winning public-access TV show 'Right Angle'. Contact him at: