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Foolish Celebrity Statement of the Day, from Matt Lauer


The Today show's Matt Lauer wins today's award for the sorriest apology.

Lauer, who earlier criticized New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine for not wearing a seatbelt, did an on-air, in-car interview with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Neither man buckled up during their drive through New Hampshire. Oops.

Matt Lauer said he was sorry on the May 30 Today show: "As the guy who just interviewed Jon Corzine, the governor of New Jersey, for that same issue, I should have set a better example. There is no seatbelt law in New Hampshire, but, again, it was the wrong example to set."

Mr. Romney was less equivocal, saying, "Sometimes I forget to wear my seatbelt. For my own safety, I need to keep reminding myself to buckle up." People may feel safer in limos and taxis, driven by professional drivers, than in ordinary cars -- and thus neglect to buckle up -- but a crash in one can be just as deadly (witness the death of unseatbelted Princess Diana).

How lame, for Mr. Lauer to make the point that the law in New Hampshire doesn't require a seat belt! The scorn for politicians and other high-profile people who don't wear seatbelts has nothing to do with the legality of their behavior. It is that they, as role models, must set a better example than Mr. Corzine did.

I've always liked New Hampshire's motto, "Live Free or Die." It shouldn't be replaced by the more foolish motto "live free and die."