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15 tweets that show Matt Lauer's rough night hosting NBC's Commander-in-Chief Forum

It’s tough to be the moderator, but Lauer had a particularly bad go of it.

Donald Trump during the NBC News Commander-in-Chief forum NBC News

It’s tough to be a moderator during a high-stakes presidential election. One misstep, and accusations of bias are bound to immediately rain down on your head.

But even assuming that critics will be quick to cry foul, the early reviews of Matt Lauer’s performance on Wednesday night were brutal. The Today Show host was almost instantly pilloried for failing to fact-check the candidates and for posing superficial questions to both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during the NBC News forum.

Others noted that despite extensive questions about the FBI investigation into her private email server, Clinton got away without follow-up questions after promising to never send ground troops to Iraq "ever again":

But the most ferocious complaints against Lauer came from Clinton supporters and liberals who were amazed that Lauer failed to contradict Trump when the Republican candidate brazenly lied about opposing the Iraq War. (Trump supported the war, and has simply and persistently lied about his record throughout the campaign.)

As Vox’s Matt Yglesias explains, the criticisms reflect a real frustration over Trump’s ability to run roughshod over facts and his own record. What’s even more fascinating is NBC News’ own team of political reporters were on hand to do a live fact-check of the event.

Lauer’s review shows just how difficult of a job lies ahead for the moderator of the first presidential debate on September 26.

Watch: Trump tells Lauer he was against the war in Iraq

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