Given what we now know about Matt Lauer and his creepy office with an automatic door lock, his August 21, 2000 Today interview with Al Gore looks weirder in retrospect. It was 22 years ago this week that the now-disgraced ex-NBC host obsessed over “the kiss” between the Vice President and his then-wife Tipper Gore at the 2000 Democratic National Convention: “You really planted one on Mrs. Gore.” Lauer was interested in the kiss. VERY interested.
He gushed, “After watching that kiss, I know how you survived 30 years, Mr. Vice President. Way to go!” (The couple would separate in 2010.)
Here’s the kiss topic Lauer kept coming back to:
“Let’s talk about what they are now calling, Mr. Vice President, ‘The Kiss’. You heard about ‘The Catch’ in that football game, this is ‘The Kiss.’ You really planted one on Mrs. Gore at the beginning of your speech there. What were you thinking?”
“Were you trying to tell the American people that you’re really a kind of emotional guy?”
“Well, after watching that kiss I know how you survived 30 years, Mr. Vice President. Way to go! It’s nice talking to you.”
Lauer’s creepiness aside, this is another example of the media falling in love with Democratic power couples. On July 17, 2012, all three networks gushed over Barack Obama kissing his wife at an Olympic basketball game. Then-CBS This Morning guest anchor Norah O’Donnell thrilled, “Whoo-hoo-hoo! Hot in here!”
Then-Good Morning America news reader Josh Elliott cheered on the President’s ability to kiss his wife in public: “[Obama] is showing the world he’s got a little game off the court as well!” On the Today show, Al Roker raved, “Mr. President, get a stadium!” In 2007, the hosts of Good Morning America rhapsodized over John Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards renewing their wedding vows at Wendy’s. (John would later cheat on and divorce Elizabeth.)
There’s few things journalists love more than prominent Democrats in love.
For more examples from our weekly flashback series, which we call NewsBusters Time Machine, go here.