The reputation of Today anchor Matt Lauer took a major beating in the wake of the dismissal of Ann Curry earlier this year, with reports that he forced producers to give her the ax. Now, for the first time, Lauer is speaking out in defense of his character and shedding a little light into his mindset during those frustrating days.
Lauer discussed the situation in a new interview in the October issue of Esquire, calling the media’s coverage lazy.
“The way the media treated what happened with Ann Curry was a disappointing learning experience. I was disappointed by the laziness of the media, the willingness to read a rumor, repeat that rumor, and treat it as a fact,” Lauer told the mag.
“And yet, what were my options? Does anyone want to see a person who’s making the money that the newspapers say I’m making complaining, ‘Woe is me, my life is terrible, and people are being unfair’? No one would’ve had any patience for that. I wouldn’t have any patience for that. So you just shut up and go about doing your job and hope that people who know you well — your friends and your family — know what’s true.”
“Over the course of 20 years that I’ve been at NBC, I have never seen the amount of money I make reported correctly by the media,” he continued.
“Someone once wrote a wonderful complimentary little blurb about me. At the end, the writer said, ‘So that’s why we love Matt Lauer. Of course, the day will probably come when we’re going to have to kick his a**.’ I never forgot that. Voilà.”
Lauer can count at least two celebs in his corner. Kathie Lee Gifford reportedly passed around a pro-Lauer petition at the Today studios, and Joan Rivers admitted she hated Curry’s delivery.
Curry is still under contract with NBC where she works as NBC News National and International Correspondent/Anchor and Today Anchor at Large, as well as producing content and substitute anchoring for NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Dateline NBC, Rock Center with Brian Williams, Today and MSNBC.