Kathie Lee, Entire ‘Today’ Staff, Want You To Like Matt Lauer Again

It has to be tough being TODAY host Matt Lauer. People really seem to hate him these days, and colleague Kathie Lee Gifford just can’t take it anymore. She wrote an open letter in defense of Lauer and got everyone on TODAY to sign it.

Lauer’s public image problems began just before Ann Curry’s controversial dismissal from TODAY, after which many in the audience and media industry cried foul, alleging that Lauer was the one who pushed her out. Following that rumor, several nasty reports seemingly confirmed that Lauer was the architect of Curry’s ousting, though TODAY bosses have officially denied the allegations.

After that, Lauer just couldn’t do anything right. The Curry drama never really died down, and rumors of Lauer’s own dismissal still abound.

Kathie Lee, co-host of TODAY‘s fourth hour, decided to write an open letter in support of Lauer, intended for publication as a full-page ad in USA Today. She got the entire cast and crew of the show to sign it in support (hundreds of people, sans Curry).

She showed it to Lauer, who was flattered, but asked her to keep it “in the family” rather than publish it.

So Kathie Lee showed it to the New York Daily News instead, and told the publication all about it.

“We read the same newspapers and saw all the media reports, and it was frustrating for all of us watching it day to day and feeling a little helpless,” Gifford said.

“No one seemed to be interested in the truth, and that was really frustrating for me because I have a deep sense of injustice about things. I don’t like somebody taking credit for something they had nothing to do with and I certainly don’t like somebody taking blame for something that they’re not responsible for.”

“We the people of the TODAY show who work side by side, day by day, year in and year out with Matt Lauer are tired of unfounded and unrelenting stories by faceless characters regarding his character and reputation,” reads the letter.

And humorously, it also notes: “No one has coerced us to sign this.”

[Image via: Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com]