Matt Lauer has finally said something partially candid about the whole Ann Curry kerfuffle that took place back in the middle of 2012. That whole mess—a plan known as Operation Bambi, meant to remove Curry from the host's chair—played out behind the scenes and in public, resulting in an awkward on-air goodbye, a forced campaign to try and regain favorable public opinion, a dip in Matt Lauer's Q score (the metric of likability), and most injuriously, the end of The Today Show's two decades of ratings dominance.
Lauer, the longtime Today host most frequently blamed for Curry's departure, has remained mostly quiet on the matter, except in group interviews with his colleagues, but now he has delivered possibly his most candid response on the matter to Esquire:
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. 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.
Yes, what were Matt Lauer's options? In what forum could he possibly have addressed such rumors? Maybe some sort of nationally broadcast television program? Maybe he could have spoken to media reporters requesting comment? Where can a guy like Lauer find a platform to tell his side of the story?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.