Matt Lauer Keeps It (Kinda) Real

Jul 17th, 2007 // 8 Comments


Being a fan of fellow bald dudes Al Roker and Willard Scott, I have a sick, semi-inexplicable obsession with NBC’s Today. So when I heard that the show would be “taking a look at hip-hop lyrics” this morning, I went in late to work specifically so I could rubberneck in front what I expected to be your typical “It’s 2007…do you know what your children are listening to?” media scare story. But the interview with author Michael Eric Dyson actually offers as balanced a view on the whole A.I. (“After Imus,” not Haley Joel) landscape as you’re going to get in a five-minute network TV interview, and for an NBC morning show it’s practically revolutionary to hear anyone talking race and class, with Dyson praising the art form while dissing the record execs: “Do you want to hear a critique of white supremacy or do you want to hear somebody shaking their behind?” Hell, I was just excited to hear the words “bell hooks” sneak onto a program that usually features such paragons of female empowerment as Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart.

Today [Official site]

  1. silkyjumbo

    Maybe I haven’t watched Today in a while, but Matt seemed to be brimming with life during this interview.

  2. Lucas Jensen

    Matt Lauer used to do HBO Entertainment News, so, uh, maybe…I don’t know. Seems pretty cool for him. And bell hooks? I only read Bone Black, but I enjoyed it immensely.

  3. Chris Molanphy

    Wow! Thanks for that — I can’t believe how much actual information they packed into five minutes.

    Considering this is the closest thing a mainstream audience will get toward a balanced debate on hip-hop, art and identity, that interview borders on public service.

  4. Thierry

    That was fantastic! It gives me hope when I see this kind of discussion on a mainstream morning show rather than at midnight on PBS…

  5. Halfwit

    @silkyjumbo: Yeah, Matt seems really excited to be in that conversation. PLUS a shoutout to Bahamadia. Who could ask for much more than that?

  6. any such name

    love love love michael eric dyson.

    and bahamadia! what happened to her?

  7. blobby

    So you’re saying that some hip hop is good, and some hip hop is bad, so we shouldn’t say that all hip hop is bad, because some of it is good? Intriguing.

  8. Trackback

    Bill James is so beyond you people. [On The Show]Mundane, yet amusing memo from the Four Letter. Still wondering whom Bristol’s Milton might be. [Deadspin]Sooze gets interviewed. [Blown Coverage]Scuttlebutt on just how Reggie Theus is now Kings head coach.

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