Thursday, February 1, 2007

Matt Lauer: a jerk

This morning, I happened to catch Matt Lauer's interview with Miss America Tara Conner. Apparently, the interview was her big return to the spotlight after some type of rehab. However, for some reason, Matt Lauer thought this was a hard-hitting news interview and decided to force Conner to confess details about her own abuse on the morning "news" program:

. . .

Matt Lauer: I guess, though, that my job is to try and get you to be honest. And has there been abuse of some kind in your background?

Tara Conner: I will not deny that I've, you know, witnessed some abuse, but out of the respect of my family, I have not discussed it with them yet.

You know, this is something that I need to take one day at a time. It's too early in my recovery for me to give it. ...

Lauer: But physical abuse? Sexual abuse? Or, can you clarify that?

Conner: I, I, again, it's something I would like to speak with my family about first, and I would, you know, I would like the respect of privacy, because I'm giving all that I can right now.

Later on, maybe I will feel more comfortable speaking on these topics, but right now, not so much.

Lauer: Can you tell me if it's recent, or is this something from earlier in childhood?

Conner: Um, we'll just say it was early on.

Lauer: Have you had a chance to confront the people responsible?

Conner: Yes.

Suddenly, Lauer is not convinced that she is being truthful, so he accuses her of falsifying her non-specific the abuse claim that she clearly didn't want to discuss:

Lauer: And you've kind of put me in a strange position here, because you've just said to me a few minutes ago you're a very manipulative person, and so I guess I need to ask you, if you're alluding to something here, is this part of the manipulation?

Conner: What?

Lauer: If you say that there's maybe abuse, some people would say, "Wait a second, she's manipulating Matt now."

Conner: In no way am I manipulating you at all. The great thing about my recovery right now is, this is the most honest I have ever been in my entire life, because before, I didn't have the capacity to be an honest person. So I'm giving as much as I can right now.

. . .

I really don't care about pageants or celibrity interviews, but Lauer's attack this morning has been bothering me all day.

BTW, at the end of the interview, Lauer reminds viewers that the Miss America Pageant (Conner's employer?) is a joint venture with NBC Universal, so Conner probably had no choice but to appear with him.

(Interview transcript available at
(Interview clip at


Martina said...

A shame the media can't be as demanding when interviewing, say, politicians!

CrackerLilo said...

How dare he?

I have other thoughts, but it all boils down to that.

Such interviewing abuses an abused person all over again.