This morning, Luke Russert appeared on The Today Show to talk about his most recent dispatch on young people in politics. After airing the piece, which focused on young politically-engaged students at the University of Virginia, Today‘s Matt Lauer asked Mr. Russert some follow up questions about the demographics at the school.
At which point Mr. Russert said this: "You have to remember, the smartest kids in the state go there, so it’s leaning a little bit towards Obama."
Conservative media watchdogs at Newsbusters were not amused.
And Mr. Russert promptly apologized on MSNBC’s Web site:
Earlier this morning on the Today Show I misspoke and made what is without a doubt, quite simply a dumb comment.
Matt Lauer talked about UVA being a smart school and whether or not it could be considered a microcosm of Virginia at large. I said UVA had a lot of smart kids and so the school was leaning Obama. I MEANT to say that many of the kids who go to UVA are from affluent, highly educated households who are leaning Obama and hence their kids lean Obama. Plenty of smart college kids will vote for John McCain from UVA, and plenty of smart kids go to Virginia Tech or George Mason and they, too, could end up being big Obama voters.
Today was one of my first lessons in the perils of live television…lesson learned.