Matt Lauer of NBC News has been heavily criticized for his sexist interview on the Today Show of Mary Barra, the first female CEO of GM when he repeatedly asked her if it was possible that she could be a good mom and...and a good CEO at the same time.
MATT LAUER: But there are some people who are speculating that you also got this job as a woman and as a mom because people within General Motors knew this company was in for a very tough time, and as a woman and a mom you could present a softer face and softer image for this company as it goes through this horrible episode.
LAUER: You're a mom I mentioned, two kids. You said in an interview not long ago that your mom -- that your kids said they're going to hold you accountable for one job, and that is being a mom.
LAUER: Given the pressures of this job at General Motors, can you do both well?
Deborah Norville, was a former Today Show host and she didn't hold back when asked to respond to Lauer's interview on CNN's Reliable Sources:
Norville: You know, I'm disappointed. I think a lot of people are. Matt is usually a very elegant interviewer and with that aspect of the interview, he simply bobbled it. It was not the right question to ask.
If he had stopped with the question which gave voice to the speculation about the fact that some have suggested that Mary Barra was put there to put a softer face, as he put in the question to Ms. Barra, as of all of the safety problems were coming to the forefront at General Motors, that's a legitimate question. He could have left it there and I think it just fine. But to go into the mommy juggle question, that is toxic territory in these times, and unfortunately, he stepped into it.
But the fact is, no one has asked Alan Mulally, who was running Ford for so many years about his five kids.
Dan Akerson, Mary Barra's predecessor, left General Motors for family reasons. His wife was suffering from cancer. No one has pointed a great spotlight at that in any sort of pejorative or questioning way. People have families but we generally don't get asked a lot of questions about them unless you're a woman.
I imagine that if you ask conservative operatives they would tell that there's really no sexism anymore in the country just like there isn't any more racism either.