Rachel Maddow was not allowed to participate in NBC’s candidate forum on veterans’ issues because Donald Trump would have objected to her involvement. CNN reported on why NBC and MSNBC heavyweights were shunned for Lauer:
Others within NBC were considered as potential moderators. A source said Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell, and Rachel Maddow all came up during the process.
Lack went with Lauer, and both campaigns supported the choice. (The Trump campaign almost certainly would have objected to Maddow as moderator.)
The time constraints — less than 30 minutes apiece with Trump and Clinton — were largely the fault of the candidates themselves, who resisted longer interviews.
Any of the other possibilities would have done a better job than Matt Lauer, but the person who was both most qualified and most deserving of the opportunity was Rachel Maddow. The MSNBC host literally wrote a book “Drift” that was focused on the unmooring of American military power.
Maddow has also been campaigning for Donald Trump to come on her show and do an interview. Rachel Maddow would have been a tough interview for both candidates, but she wouldn’t let Trump get away with his generalities, so the network catered to the Republican nominee’s constant need to be softballed in interviews by going with an unqualified misogynistic morning show host. Trump avoids Rachel Maddow like the plague, and his fear of MSNBC’s top-rated host, along with the network’s desire to appease Trump, combined to subject the nation to Matt Lauer’s enraging and embarrassing performance at the commander in chief forum.
Lauer deserves blame for the disaster, but the fault also rests with NBC for not having the guts to pick the best interviewer for the job. Rachel Maddow should have been asking the questions, while Matt Lauer prepped for the next cooking segment on Today.