On Wednesday morning, Today co-host Savannah Guthrie threw a series of softballs at Jill Biden, like feeling her pain about Trump mocking her husband’s mental acuity. “As far as you’re concerned, is that a fair attack? Is that something that should be debated as part of the campaign?“
But on Saturday's Today, NBC's co-hosts and weekday White House reporters Peter Alexander and Kristen Welker offered only attack questions with Lara Trump, Eric Trump’s wife and a Trump campaign adviser. It's like they were yelling at Kayleigh McEnany. Alexander deployed former NBC News employee Chris Wallace in the first question:
PETER ALEXANDER: We want to ask about the Democratic National Convention this last week. Your father-in-law, the president’s repeatedly attacked Biden as Sleepy Joe and Slow Joe. But his acceptance speech on Thursday was widely praised! Even Fox News described it as “enormously effective.” So doesn't that blow a hole in the president’s argument?
LARA TRUMP: The fact he got through a speech that was on a teleprompter, I mean, we kind of expected that. It was all laid out for him there. But look, I think what you're going to see is a very different depiction of America. What we saw last week from the Democrats, really their entire convention was about bashing Donald Trump. It was a dark, dismal, and really depressing vision of America, I think, that they presented. We are going to have the opposite. Ours will be hopeful and inspirational and patriotic, and we want people at the end of our four days to be reminded that America continues to be the greatest, most exceptional nation in the world.
Welker then insisted Trump’s message is darker than the Democrat convention:
KRISTEN WELKER: You're accusing the Democrats of having a dark and gloomy message. And yet, President Trump said yesterday, quote, "I'm the only thing standing between the American Dream and total anarchy, madness, and chaos." Is that the message we can expect to hear from the president this week? And how is that positive, Lara?
LARA TRUMP: Well, I think that's the truth. The reality is the Democrats didn't want to address the fact that in the democrat-run, amazing cities we have in America, these cities are being completely taken over by chaos. Sadly, the mayors of these cities are letting their citizens down. They are not protecting small businesses. They are not keeping people safe. They're letting anarchy overrun things. I think whenever you see that that is the platform that the Democrats really have right now, and president trump is the American dream. I mean, what he did in the first three years in office was incredible. We had the greatest economy we've ever had in the history of this country.
WELKER: But Lara, to be clear, there are 13 million people --
LARA TRUMP: We know a rising tide lifts all ships. That’s exactly what he plans to do.
WELKER: Lara, just let me follow up very quickly. Still 13 million people out of work in the wake of the pandemic.
LARA TRUMP: Yeah, but we are seeing a great recovery. Look, we did -- I hate to tell Joe Biden -- we did shut the country down, Joe. In the past 90 days, around 10 million new jobs have been created in this country. So we do have a very sharp, almost V-shaped recovery that we see happening right now.
Why doesn't "Doctor" Jill Biden get tough questions like this?
Alexander then asked about the coronavirus: "Joe Biden laid out a specific plan to fight the virus. Rapid testing, resources to open schools safely, follow the science. What is wrong with that prescription, and what exactly is the president's plan?"
Reporters still play dumb, like the administration hasn't been following a plan of any kind, or following science. Lara Trump made the usual point that it was Biden who criticized Trump as "xenophobic" for shutting down travel from China in January.
Alexander ended the segment with a phony fact check: "We're out of time. It was a March 18th tweet when Joe Biden accused the president of being xenophobic, using Chinese virus in the tweet that day."
Unlike NBC's Biden attack dog, FactCheck.org noted that Biden did attack Trump's "xenophobia" on the day in January that Trump restricted travel from China (except from Americans). But Biden spinners claims he was attacking Trump's overall "xenophobia," not the travel restriction.