Those who wanted inside information on the Today environment that led to Matt Lauer’s alleged misuse of power and his eventual firing for sexual misconduct may now feel more perplexed.
The recent revelations of Katie Couric’s positive recollections of working on Today, in comparison to Ann Curry’s recent bombshell comments that “verbal harassment” was prevalent at NBC has resulted in one of the biggest contradictions about Today.
The Mercury News pointed out that perhaps Katie Couric was more aware of the Today culture that Ann Curry spoke of on CBSThis Morning. They allege that although Katie might not have personally seen Matt Lauer hitting on other women, she had to have heard that he was a “womanizer” because stories about Lauer’s infidelities were fodder for the front page of gossip magazines.
They also allege that the “sexually tinged humor was commonplace enough in the show’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios.” Things got even wilder, according to the Village Voice, in 2008 when Matt Lauer was roasted.
The Matt Lauer roast included celebrities, as well as everyone who worked at Today. Starting out the evening was Martha Stewart. The homemaking entrepreneur’s speech was considered “tepid,” but next was Meredith Viera, and she went right in with the four-letter words and raunch.
Katie Couric continued the raunch with a “Letterman-style top ten list,” with the last item on the list a crude sexual joke about Lauer and Ann Curry. They reported that Curry just “blanched.”
What was clearly prevalent throughout the evening were sexual jokes about Lauer including jokes about Lauer’s infidelity, his private parts, and several references to Ann Curry, all told to an enthusiastic audience of 1,900 that rewarded the speaker with hysterical laughter.
It is possible that Katie’s recollections of a respectful Matt Lauer in an environment that she felt was normal was obviously not considered “normal” to Ann Curry. Curry contradicted Katie Couric’s statements from earlier in the week and stated that that around Today, a “climate of verbal harassment that existed.”
On Wednesday, when Ann Curry appeared on CBS This Morning, she expressed “no surprise” at the allegations. She was careful to describe the work situation at NBC New, without sounding smug. She was focused on the victims, not on Matt Lauer.
According to Page Six, NBC is “taking issue” with Ann Curry, after her highly publicized interview on CBS This Morning Wednesday.
One “NBC insider” told the publication that as Ann was in a powerful position, she could have changed things.
“Ann was an anchor, she had the power to raise this with NBC, but she didn’t.”
Another insider indicated that Curry did indeed speak up, and she paid the price for challenging Matt Lauer.
“Ann tried to challenge Matt, and look what happened: He publicly hung her out to dry.”
Although reps for NBC did not have a comment for the publication, many fans of Today have now been left to dissect the different interviews and fill in the blanks to determine what the real situation was behind the scenes at Today.