Crazy Colorado high school teacher Jay Bennish gave an exclusive interview to the Today Show this morning. It appears we now know why.

The very best one could say for Matt Lauer’s interview is that he did not have an adequate grasp on the issues involving Bennish and the audio tape. The worst is that Lauer intentionally lied to create the impression of victimhood for Bennish.

The teacher claimed the discussion was to spark debate, yet Lauer said the student was “egging” Bennish on by responding to his wild assertions. The Today Show co-host said the student and his family did not go to the school board, but instead shopped the tape around to conservative media looking to create an uproar.

If Lauer had actually read any of the original reporting from the area, he would have not made such an ignorant statement. The student said he repeatedly taped teachers to back up the notes he takes, not as a means to catch them spouting Bush hatred.

Also, Lauer’s claim that the student went straight to “conservative media outlets” with the audio is entirely false. Local papers report that the audio was not sent to the media until after the student’s father complained to school officials. The school district spokeswoman said the father complained to the principal.

She also said after listening to the tape, the “comments in the class were inappropriate”, “there were not adequate opportunities for opposing view points” and that it appears a “breach of district policy” occured in the classroom. Why were those not brought up in Lauer’s fawning interview?

I’m sure this poor victim will face severe consequences for his speaking out against the Bush administration much like the wrath incurred by Cindy Sheehan and Ward Churchill. He will find it hard to get alone anymore with repeated media apperances and high-paying speaking engagements. What a horrible life this poor victim will now have to endure – look for the book coming soon.

UPDATE: Newsbusters again has more, including the full transcript.

The set-up meme continues.

Also, as a bit of a clarification. The father of the student did send a letter with his concerns to Walt Williams, a professor and occassional substitute host for Rush Limbaugh. But even acknowledging that, it can hardly be construed that the student “shopped” the audio around to conservative media outlets until he got the controversy he wanted.