Social Question

laurenkem's avatar

Did any of you hear Matt Lauer make this comment this morning, and if so, what do you think?

Asked by laurenkem (3388 points ) August 6th, 2012

So, NBC is obviously broadcasting from the UK for the Olympics. I get that – okay. But in a fairly frivolous back-and-forth between Lauer and Meredith Viera, she presented him with a pair of official Olympics pair of panties, jokingly. He laughed it off and looked embarassed, at which point Ms. Viera told him to just give them back to her.

His comment was, “You can’t be an Indian Giver”.

Is that okay with everyone? And why? NBC is a fairly left channel, and for one of their anchors to make such a comment was a surprise.

I, personally, was not offended by it, but I imagine that there are people that were.

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25 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

The entire exchange (which I did not see) seems silly and juvenile and really pointless.

Symbeline's avatar

Don’t know who this guy is, but I’m pretty sure he meant to use the expression, and not be racist. I imagine that yes, many were probably offended. Unless we’re supposed to be offended by the idea that he wanted to keep the panties? ’‘scratches noggin’’’

laurenkem's avatar

@gailcalled My point exactly. It’s pointless to you, and many others. Ever wonder why anyone else would be hammered in the media for making a comment like that?

I’m redacting everything I was just thinking of saying….

gailcalled's avatar

I have stopped wondering about behavior in the media or related to the media or about the media or in the meta-media.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m sure it was an unscripted exchange for which they will pay dearly in the days and weeks to come. And put them more solidly back on the script. And keep me further away from ever watching again. I can’t even recall the last time I did watch.

Blackberry's avatar

“The entire exchange (which I did not see) seems silly and juvenile and really pointless.”

- Gailcalled

Nullo's avatar

I would hesitate to cry ‘racism;’ it’s a figure of speech at this point.
Is it hypocritical of the viewership? Certainly. But the incident itself is one of those merely regrettable faux pases that everyone falls into now and again.

DrBill's avatar

I will call it racism, and I am offended.

bkcunningham's avatar

I’m offended that anyone calls the Today Show news.

Pandora's avatar

If you want stupid things pouring out of someones mouth that is really offensive. Just follows Romneys campaign. He makes Sara Palin look like a political genius.
But no. I just see it as a saying. I’m tired of people becoming so politically correct that humor will soon me considered a hate crime.

JLeslie's avatar

Well, it isn’t considered PC anymore to use the phrase Indian giver, so it is definitely a faux pas. He probably realized after he said it. But, I grew up saying it, probably he did too, and I did not have any negative images of Native Americans, it was just a saying. I didn’t think Indian’s always tried to take back their gifts or anything close to that. I was raised thinking the horrible Europeans came to America and brought disease and destruction and for some reason thought “discovering” America meant they owned America. He should not have said, but it was most likely just a quick reaction. I say Indian style sometimes, and I know it should be crossed legged now. It’s not a big deal, except that, if he has offended people, that is of course unfortunate, and I can understand why it might bother them.

filmfann's avatar

Does anyone realize that the term Indian Giver is not critical of American Indians, but the American Government?
It was the American Government who gave things to the indians, and then reneged and took things back.

JLeslie's avatar

@filmfann The way I understood it, it was a cultural misunderstanding. Indians used the barter system to trade and also did not have the same values of proprietorship, so when the Indians “gave” Europeans items, the Europeans assumed they were gifts, but the Indians expected something to be given in return, or for the items to be borrowed and returned.

Whatever is correct, Native Americans are offended by the term, so we stopped using it. Or, have tried to stop.

Trillian's avatar

Anyone who chooses to be offended by that is not worth apologizing to. Honestly. This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard of in at least a week; people are scraping the bottom of the barrel for things to be offended about. People pretending outrage and pulling the racism card so they can work themselves up into a nice indignant snit so they can pat themselves on the back with their friends about how progressive and intolerant they are of racism without actually having to do anything other than criticize.
Bunch of assholes.

JLeslie's avatar

@Trillian Is it any different than someone using jew to mean bargain, or the term gyp to mean someone is shorted, or so many others we use that offend certain groups? Do you find any of those types of terms offensive?

Trillian's avatar

You really don’t want to know what I think about people who choose to be offended. Especially in a case like this where, as was clearly stated already and was also clear on the program, it was unintentional slip from someone who had grown up hearing and probably using it before it became an issue.
So go ahead; deliberately take what I’ve said and make it into something else. I made a statement about an honest mistake that Mr Lauer made and a bunch of morons who will undoubtedly make the most of it, even though it was clearly not meant the way people will choose to take it.
And apparently I was correct, as you are already demonstrating.
Have fun with that.

JLeslie's avatar

@Trillian Did you see my first answer? I think it was an innocent slip too. I admitted to using Indian Style still myself. I too am not easily offended, and generally believe people don’t have bad intentions when these sort of things are said. But, I do try to use terms that don’t risk offending if I know it might.

Trillian's avatar

So if you can agree that it was probably an innocent slip, then you should understand the pointlessness of pretending to be offended or choosing to be offended by it. It is the height of stupidity. If someone accidentally cuts you off in traffic do you ruin your whole day over it? If we spend our time being angry and demanding apologies and compensation every time someone makes an innocent slip we won’t have time to live our lives. and since my original post was directed at idiots like these, why would you try to turn it around as if I were defending racist remarks, when clearly I did nothing of the kind?
Pointless accusations like what you just made to me makes you part of the problem.

JLeslie's avatar

@Trillian I didn’t accuse, I asked you a question if you feel that way about all those types of phrases. The first time I heard someone say “jew the price down,” I was shocked, mostly because I had never heard it before. I think it is offensive, but I was not offended. When I said to the person, “I can’t believe you use the word jew like that,” he really seemed to have no idea why it was offensive, just had grown up hearing it I guess. But, I think it was a good idea I told him why it is offensive, and probably a good idea he doesn’t use the term in my opinion. So, stopping to say, “hey, some people find that offensive, and this is why…” is not a bad thing I don’t think. I believe only the minority himself really knows what it feels like to be called a certain thing, or their group to be generalized a certain way. Well, not only the specific miority, others can empathasize, but what I mean to say is if the group generally feels it is in bad taste, we should heed their message.

But, I do agree Matt had no ill will, and I would never think he was racist in any way.

JLeslie's avatar

Meanwhile, Meredith’s corny sense of humor is part of the reason I stopped watching the Today show. I liked her fine on The View, but couldn’t take her on Today.

rooeytoo's avatar

Another case of PC gone mad. Actually there was a guy on the radio here last week who said one should not use the expression “gone mad” because it offended mentally ill people. Hell there is nothing one can say anymore. Except bitch, women are still fair game. For years Italian Greyhounds were called skinny guineas. It was not racist, it was just a name, now they are called iggys??? A dog’s choke chain cannot be called a choke chain, it is a check collar. Oh well, one advantage to being old, I say what I want, not to offend but to express myself. If anyone is offended I guess they will just have to suck it up as I do when someone calls me “guys.” People have to learn they can only control themselves, why is everyone trying to control the rest of the world instead of working on themselves!

NuclearWessels's avatar

As a Native American I can say I’m not offended by this and there are more important things to worry about. In my opinion people need to dial back the hyper-sensitivity that has risen to the top of the PC-soup that today’s media has cooked up.

YARNLADY's avatar

As with many of the mis-understandings regarding Indian customs, this one is so obscure as to be nearly non existent. There are very few people who understand the basics behind the phrase, and when they are educated about it, they remove it from their vocabulary.

augustlan's avatar

I didn’t see it, but it was a bad move on his part. Obviously, no ill will intended, but I’m sure he knows better.

ucme's avatar

Just comment on the actual sports, egotistical shallow dullards.

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