Ann Curry left the "Today" show amidst a flurry of rumor and speculation, with many saying that her abrupt departure was due to a lack of chemistry between her and co-anchor Matt Lauer; Lauer got some of the blame for allegedly backing the decision to let her go, as well.
But in a new profile he wrote for Esquire, Lauer says he thinks the media dropped the ball when it came to reporting the facts.
"The way the media treated what happened with Ann Curry was a disappointing learning experience," he wrote. "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."
After Curry's departure was leaked early, she addressed the rumors, saying that the ratings wars had become "mean".
"I don't know who has been behind the leaks, but no question they've hurt deeply," Curry said. "You know, Matt and I have had great on-air chemistry for 14 years, been part of the No. 1 winning team for a history-making number of years. That said, I just finished my freshman year as co-host. In every single co-host's first year, there have been kinks to be worked out, and perhaps I deserve as much blame for that as anyone. I know I am not to blame for the ratings worries. And my bosses have said to me there are many factors involved. There is no doubt that the rating wars have become meaner and less focused on our responsibilities as journalists."
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