- (Photo: Reuters/Brendan McDermid)
After becoming the number one enemy in media for over a year following the "Today Show" dismissal of Ann Curry, Matt Lauer says that it was "lazy media" that led to his public crucifixion.
There weren't many reports that weren't casting stones against Lauer in the aftermath of Ann Curry's dismissal. Tears were shed, rumors were started, and overnight, Matt Lauer had become enemy number one after years of being favored by the public.
But they were just "rumors" Lauer defends in a new interview with Esquire magazine- rumors that caught like a wildfire. From them, Lauer has learned his lesson.
"The way the media treated what happened with Ann Curry was a disappointing learning experience," he told the magazine in an interview for its October issue. "I was disappointed by the laziness of the media, the willingness to read a rumor, repeat that rumor, and treat it as a fact."
When the nation was busy condemning Lauer for his alleged role in Curry losing her position after a short stint on the show, he says there was nothing for him to do about it.
"And yet, what were my options?" he asked.
"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," he said. "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.
Enough interest has been drawn from Curry's dismissal for an entire book to be written on the topic by Brian Stelter, who published "Top of the Morning" earlier this year.
His account of what Curry told friends before her dismissal is bleaker.
"Curry felt that the boys' club atmosphere behind the scenes at 'Today' undermined her from the start, and she told friends that her final months were a form of professional torture," Stelter wrote adding that Lauer once admitted to a production assistant, "I can't believe I am sitting next to this woman."