Friday, August 15, 2008

Matt Lauer Must Be Stopped

So there was Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte on the "Today" show, four gold medals around his neck while talking to Matt Lauer. Dude swam two races just 27 minutes apart, taking gold in one (200-meter backstroke) and bronze in another (200-meter individual relay). In my world, that qualifies as amazing.

But Lauer spent most of the interview asking Lochte about ... Michael Phelps. It was embarrassing at first, and then it became infuriating. Lauer has never been my favorite television interviewer, but this was shoddy, even by his standards. He hit rock bottom when he asked Lochte "how America would have felt" if he had beaten Phelps in the individual relay and "derailed his dream." Gee, I don't know. Happy for Lochte?

Lochte handled the situation gracefully, and to Phelps' credit, he doesn't seem to be participating in the media orgy around him. But it has to suck to be an athlete at the top of your game, scoring medals in the Olympics, and having journalists grill you nonstop about your teammate. They deserve their moment, too. Why not ask the equestrian team about what their performance means for Phelps' legacy?

This is why people complain about "the media," which is totally unfair to the hundreds of real journalists who are in the trenches in Beijing. I think I'm going to follow my brother's example by watching the games with the "mute" button on.


downtown guy said...

I'm pretty sure that Matt Lauer has TeenBeat photos of Phelps taped up above his bed.

Christina said...

"But enough about Michael Phelps. How do YOU feel about Michael Phelps?"

EDP said...

Hee! Lauer, Costas, etc., all have man crushes on Phelps. They're stalkers. But maybe we should all be focusing on his legacy ... EVERY SINGLE DAY.