NBC's Lauer Tells Russian Lawmaker Politicizing DC Shooting to 'Shut Up'

On Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie noted an offensive tweet by one Russian lawmaker reacting to Monday's Navy Yard shooting in Washington D.C.: "After those terrible shootings in Washington yesterday...he tweeted that the tragedy was, quote, 'A clear confirmation of American exceptionalism.'" [Listen to the audio]

Guthrie explained the comment was a "not-so-subtle reference to Vladimir Putin's op-ed in The New York Times last week" and concluded: "Now this Russian lawmaker has followed up with a tweet that I really think is in some pretty poor taste." Fellow co-host Matt Lauer agreed: "You want to score political points, that's one thing. 12 people get killed, you shut up. You just shut up."

Perhaps Lauer should direct similar advice to his MSNBC colleague Alex Wagner, who just hours after the shooting on Monday hoped the tragedy "presages the White House taking up the issue again, perhaps, the issue of gun violence and gun safety reform."

Even Lauer himself, earlier on Tuesday's Today, was eager to renew the push for gun control legislation.

Here is a full transcript of the September 17 discussion of the tasteless tweet:

8:14AM ET  

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: We're back at 8:14 with What is Trending Today. And trending on Twitter, unfortunately, bad taste. Apparently never out of style.

After those terrible shootings in Washington yesterday, get this, a Russian lawmaker is stoking controversy because he tweeted that the tragedy was, quote, "A clear confirmation of American exceptionalism."

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: "America Exceptionalism"; Russian Official Mocks DC Shooting]

This, of course, is a not-so-subtle reference to Vladimir Putin's op-ed in the New York Times last week, remember this? The Russian leader mocked President Obama's argument that there is something special, unique, exceptional about the United States. Putin said no there isn't, you shouldn't think that way about your country. Now this Russian lawmaker has followed up with a tweet that I really think is in some pretty poor taste.

MATT LAUER: You want to score political points, that's one thing. 12 people get killed, you shut up. You just shut up.

GUTHRIE: Yeah, exactly.

— Kyle Drennen is News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.