The Daily News reports that wine aficionado Kathie Lee Gifford got the whole staff of "Today" to sign a love letter she wrote to her put-upon co-worker Matt Lauer. The letter states that no one was coerced into signing. Today, Gifford tells "Entertainment Tonight," "If he goes, I'm going too."
The letter, which Gifford wrote on her own volition, reads as follows:
"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. No one has coerced us to sign this. With our signatures we stand in support of our colleague and friend."
Gifford wanted to run the letter with the signatures as a full-page ad in USA Today, but she tells the Daily News that Lauer asked her not to publish it so that it remains "in the family."
The most important thing about the letter is that it contains proof that curbed "Today" host Ann Curry has finally grown a backbone. Curry's signature is notably absent from the letter, notably because the entire "Today" cast and crew gave their John Hancocks except for Curry.
"She's just not a part of [the show]… This wasn't about Ann," Gifford told the Daily News. Gifford continued to drive the focus away from Lauer and Curry and back to her own trials with public humiliation: "I've been through it," she continued. "I also knew what he must have been going through internally."
Lauer has come under fire for "Today Show" lagging ratings in the wake of Ann Curry's awkward-for-everyone dismissal and almost-as-awkward-for-everyone replacement by smiling Savannah Guthrie. NBC executives don't seem to understand that "Good Morning America" has a good thing going and that sometimes viewers prefer to watch good things. Still, Gifford talked to the Daily News about what she perceives as a witch-hunt.
"We all wanted to say something to Matt, and nobody wants to put him in a position that would make him uncomfortable," she said. "So unbeknownst to anyone higher up at NBC I just started this thing."
We are willing to bet that she did this for her son, Cody, at some point in his early childhood/middle school years. Practice makes perfect.
- Kathie Lee Gifford
- Matt Lauer