All Articles Tagged "matt lauer"
We’ve been talking about Shanesha Taylor and her case, since she was arrested for leaving her two young sons in a car in Arizona while she went for a job interview. If you’ve been following her story here on MN, you know that we’ve empathized with her decision. It was clear that Taylor, who had experienced bouts of homelessness, was simply trying to provide for her family.
Earlier this morning, on the “Today Show,” Taylor and her lawyer Benjamin Taylor, no relation, sat with Matt Lauer to explain her thought process that day, her current custody status and what she would say to other people who may find themselves in her situation.
Matt Lauer, who came across as a bit callous to me, asked Taylor what caused her to make the decision to leave her children.
She answered, “It wasn’t necessarily a moment of decision. It was planned out beforehand and the plans fell through. I actually had a sitter scheduled and that person wasn’t available or I guess they flaked on me, I guess is the best way to say it.”
Lauer asked her again, specifically, what made her decide to leave her kids in the car.
“It was a moment of desperation. It was me knowing my family was in crisis and knowing that I had to make a choice between providing for me children or caring for my children.”
Then Lauer asked her, despite the circumstances, did she act reasonably or responsibly.
“That’s a difficult question because it’s making a choice out of desperation. It’s choosing what is the best option, what is the best thing to do in this particular situation, being able to provide food, a roof, clothes, shoes for them or take this moment and care for them.”
Lauer then attempted to summarize Taylor’s response asking her if she was saying “responsibility, in this context, is in the eye of the beholder.”
Then he asked her about her current custody situation and how often she gets to see her children.
Taylor said: “I saw them Monday. I get to see them every weekend. We definitely have a lot of family time and do as many activities as we can in a short, two day period.”
To which Lauer responded, I bet they still miss their mom though right?
Then Lauer said Shanesha has kind of become the face of the working poor and asked her what her message might be to others who may find themselves in a similar situation.
“The message is: I understand your family is in crisis but reach out, seek that help. I do understand that there are holes in the governmental system, that they don’t necessarily have the funding or the programs available to help you but there are other sectors. There are the non-profit sectors that have stepped up to fill those gaps to make sure that families that are in crisis are being taken care of, so just reach out.”
I don’t know who could have done this interview, but Lauer just wasn’t the one. He lacked all types of compassion and empathy. There’s something so unsettling about a White, rich, man asking a Black, formerly poor, woman about her parenting decisions and whether or not she acted responsibly. It felt paternalistic and…cold. Who acts or makes any type of decision without taking the circumstances into account? That was the whole point. The circumstances were that she needed to feed her children and she needed a job to do that. I don’t know what Lauer’s personal thoughts about Taylor were going into this interview, but it seemed he let his bias show.
Watch the entire interview in the video below.
It all seems like too little, too late now. But I’m still fascinated by the fact that Shellie Zimmerman seems to just be waking up to the fact that her husband George Zimmerman could have possibly killed Trayvon Martin not out of self defense but because he’s mentally and emotionally unstable.
In an interview this morning on “Today,” Shellie Zimmerman talks to Matt Lauer about how the recent altercation with George seemed to change her perception about what could have possibly happened the night Trayvon Martin was killed.
As we know, on September 5, Shellie filed for divorce from her husband. And then just four days later, George showed up at Shellie’s father’s house and threatened both she and his father-in-law. In her 911 call Shellie explained that she believed her husband had a gun and that she didn’t know what he was capable of.
Can we just stick a pin in the story for a minute? I need to ask Shellie a question: Honey, what do you mean you don’t know what George is capable of? He’s capable of killing an innocent child. That was never in question. In all fairness though, it feels a little bit different when your husband kills a stranger than him threatening you and your father. But back to the interview.
She said that while she didn’t actually see a gun in George’s hand, she knows her husband: “But I know my husband… I saw him in a stance — and a look in his eyes that I’ve never seen before, and he was putting his hand in his shirt, and saying, ‘Please step closer. Please step closer.’ I logically assumed he had a gun on him.”
And then in a conflicting statement she said, ” This person that I’m married to, that I’m divorcing, I’ve kind of realized now that I don’t know him.”
And then Matt asked her what we were all wondering, why didn’t she press charges. She explained that when the police arrived, they made it very clear that if she were to press charges, they all would be arrested; and since she’s still on probation, should would be the only one to stay in jail. I can’t say I would have done anything differently. But Shellie did say she regretted not pressing charges.
Matt Lauer then drilled in, reminding Shellie how much she had supported George throughout this whole ordeal, from lying under oath, to being in the court room to crying tears of joy when he was acquitted. Then he asked her had he really changed all that much in the two months since the trial ended to make her want to divorce him. She responded: “Yes. He has. He kind of treated me like I was disposable. He left, and went on a victory tour without me.”
Hopefully, she’s more disturbed by the fact that he went on a victory tour after killing a child and not the fact that he didn’t ask her to come along.
In the most compelling part of the interview, Matt Lauer asked her whether or not her recent interaction with her husband has changed her thoughts about her husband’s version of events the night he killed Trayvon.
She said: “I’m conflicted on that. I believe the evidence, but this revelation in my life has really helped me to take the blinders off and start to see things differently.”
And then just to be clear, Lauer asked again: “Let me make sure I understand. So you now doubt his innocence, at least the fact that he was acting on self-defense on the night that Trayvon Martin was killed?”
She said: “I think anyone would doubt that innocence because I don’t know the person that I have been married to.”
Are you glad that Shellie is finally seeing what we’ve known all along or do you just find her comments to be annoying at this point?
You can watch the interview on the next page.
I used to love Chris Brown, but these days, it’s very clear that the singer needs some rest (and some tea). Or maybe he just needs to give the falsetto a break? Anywho, the singer took the stage at the Today Show to promote his upcoming album X. Brown took the stage to do “Fine China,” “Love More” and his track with Sean Kingston called “Beat It,” but when Brown started the performance with “Fine China,” he looked tired and even on the sick side. He did his best with the dance moves, but vocally, he struggled with the popular track. In fact, his background singers carried him through the performance of that song, specifically the high parts that have given him trouble in previous performances of the song at awards shows. He tried his best to hit some of those difficult notes, but they were some grimace-inducing moments, unfortunately.
But hey, it was early. And by the time Brown moved on to “Love More” and a very short performance of “Beat It,” he did better. He looked like he was having more fun the second and third time around. I definitely want to see Brown win, but I’d be remiss to act like I don’t notice the change in his voice and in his look. He looks so thin and tired all of the time, and all that smoking (cigarettes is what we’ve seen) is having a negative effect on his vocals. And when your only job in this business is to sing, you have to take care of that gift Breezy…
As for his short interview with Matt Lauer and Tamron Hall, he shut things down pretty quickly after Lauer tried to ask him something about the “negative” tweets he has sent out in the past few weeks, specifically ones he sent out after he was ordered to do more hours of community service. Brown told Lauer what he was talking about wasn’t music (so he had no response to it) and that “I’m going to continue to work for my fans and make sure they have fun.” Well, all right. Check out his performances below and let us know what you think!
When Ann Curry was fired from the Today show last year, one of the reasons for her dismissal was the show’s sagging ratings. After years of dominating the morning TV news pack, Good Morning America began to surge. Now it seems Curry is proving her television pull. Her recent primetime special come in strong Friday night.
The Huffington Post says that Ann Curry Reports, which aired at 10 p.m. on Friday, beat out all the other shows on NBC, Fox, ABC and CBS in viewers ages 18 to 49 and 25 to 54. In all, it drew 5.98 million total viewers, landing it in second place right after Dateline.
The ratings made the folks over at NBC News more than happy. Curry’s special pulled in higher ratings than Rock Center with Brian Williams, which was just canceled after it was unable to find its footing at a couple of different days and times.
After leaving Today, Curry was named a roving national and international correspondent for NBC News. But her on-air presence has been limited to a handful of reports and a brief stint guest-hosting NBC Nightly News. We are sure this will change now that the ratings for Ann Curry Reports are in.
For the special, her first primetime special since leaving Today, Curry interviewed face transplant recipient Richard Norris. Ironically, the report aired a year to the day since Curry’s last day on Today.
Many viewers took it personally and rallied against Matt Lauer when Curry was fired, blaming him for her ouster. Lauer denied any responsibility. Ratings over at the morning show sagged. Things had gotten so bad at one point Today was beaten in the ratings by a local show. The program has seen some bounce back, and a clear win last week with Lauer’s interview with Paula Deen. (BTW, rumor has it that Deen could be headed for Dancing With The Stars!!) For the first time since Nov. 2, the show beat GMA in the daily ratings, The New York Daily News reports.
Did you watch Ann Curry’s special? Do you want to see more of her on TV?
Paula Deen made a tearful appearance on the Today show this morning, telling Matt Lauer repeatedly that she’s not a racist and had only used the N-word once after she’d been held up at gunpoint.
Lauer began the interview with business questions, asking whether, if she were the Food Network, she would’ve made the same move.
“Would I have fired me? Knowing me? No,” she said. “I am so very thankful for the partners I have who believe in me.”
When asked if she was a racist, she answered simply, “No.” But then she went on to say, “I believe that every one of God’s creatures was created equal, no matter what church you go to pray. I believe that everyone should be treated equal, and that’s the way I was raised.”
After reiterating what she said in her deposition about not knowing what offends people, she pointed to the language that’s used by young people in her kitchens. “I go into my kitchens and hear what these young people are calling each other … it’s very distressing for me. I think for this problem to be worked on, these young people are gonna have to take control and start showing respect for each other.”
As for herself, she focused on her use of the N-word once when she had been held up at gunpoint. During her deposition, she admitted to using the word. In the interview, she insisted that the incident 30 years ago was the only time “in my 66 years on Earth that I have used it.” Rather, she focused on her family, emphasizing that “it’s just not part of who we are.” She even lashed out a bit at the top of the interview, saying that people who don’t know her are suddenly “experts” about her. Later she said that a lot of what’s being said about her are “lies.”
Finally, Deen addressed the audience, asking that if they’ve never said something they regretted then they should be the ones to throw stones.
“If there’s anyone out there that has never said something that they wish they could take back, then please pick up that stone and throw it at my head,” she said.
Online reaction read aloud after the interview showed there’s a split between those who support Deen and those who still think she should still be held accountable. She has been dropped by Smithfield Foods in addition to the Food Network. According to Lauer (who is being praised online for how he handled the interview), Deen continued to be “very emotional” after the interview was over.
Do you think Deen’s apology is enough? We’ve got the video after the jump.
Reader’s Digest has released its list of the 100 Most Trusted People, and the highest ranking TV news journalist is Robin Roberts. The magazine includes this quote with Roberts’ photo: “All [my parents] wanted was for us to be trustworthy citizens. And there’s a responsibility that goes with that, and it’s not something I take lightly.”
Other high-ranking African Americans on the list include Denzel Washington, who came in at number three, and Maya Angelou at number five. Tom Hanks topped the list.
GMA had a pretty strong showing on the list with Roberts’ co-host George Stephanopoulos coming in at number 57. Matt Lauer barely made the list at 97 and Savannah Guthrie, his relatively new co-anchor, came in at number 85. (Our fake boyfriend Anderson Cooper is at number 50.)
Lauer’s image has taken a very public beating in the wake of Ann Curry’s dismissal. Brian Stelter’s new book Top of the Morning continues the conversation as Lauer seems to be hard at work rebuilding his reputation with a visit to Jay Leno.
Which news anchors do you trust the most?
Sometimes the drama going on behind the scenes of your favorite movies is more compelling than what’s in front of the camera. Some celebrities have managed to keep their public personas squeaky clean. But reports from the set say that they’re a nightmare to work with.
If you watched the Today show earlier this week (and the ratings indicate that fewer of you are) then you certainly noticed that Hoda Kotb was sitting in for Savannah Guthrie for a few days, putting her on camera much earlier than her usual fourth hour with Kathy Lee. We caught her a couple of times and thought she did a great job — engaging, funny, relatable, all the things that a morning show host should be. It’s been so long, you almost forget that she started out doing the news completely sober, without a sip of wine in sight. Apparently, we’re not the only ones who were impressed with her work beside Matt Lauer.
The New York Times’ media reporter Brian Stelter saw lots of tweets from people singing Hoda’s praises, many asking that Kotb stick with the job for the long-term. The Huffington Post notes that Kotb’s name had been in the running to replace Ann Curry when she was ousted from the program. However, the article says, Guthrie is in the chair and the network wouldn’t want to go through another major change so quickly.
But, Today has been thirsting for good news. A recent New York magazine feature went into great detail about the meltdown at the show in the wake of Curry’s removal, and the show lost the top spot in the ratings to GMA a few months ago, the first time that happened in 16 years.
HuffPo says the positive feedback will increase Hotb’s standing at the show, which we agree with. We’re, no doubt, going to see her sitting in for Guthrie more often. And who knows. Hoda’s great foil for KLG, but a more serious position could be in her future. The Today show blog has a montage of all the fun she had.
Deadline Hollywood added even more intrigue to the situation over at the Today show when it reported that they heard that CNN’s Anderson Cooper was asked about replacing Matt Lauer. Our silver foxy fake boyfriend (he’s already got one) every morning on NBC? I’ll take that.
“After their initial approach to Cooper, I hear NBC reached out to Lauer to get his blessing about the changeover. But I heard they got pushback from theToday veteran, who contacted Cooper to express his disapproval,” writes the blog. Other names that have been floated around are Ryan Seacrest and Willie Geist, who’s already got a spot on the show during the third hour.
However, NBC execs — who seem to be doing a lot of this lately — deny that Matt Lauer is being pushed out of the anchor spot, Ann Curry style.
“Matt Lauer is the best in the business. We want him in the ‘Today’ show anchor chair for many years to come,” Alex Wallace, the executive in charge of the Today show told the AP. The AP also confirmed a meeting between Cooper and the network through an anonymous source.
Lauer has seen his popularity drop precipitously since the Ann Curry debacle. Though he says he tried to convince the network to handle that differently, another story in New York says otherwise. Today has five million viewers, the majority of them are women. And many of those viewers were just as upset about the way Curry’s ouster was handled, and have turned against Lauer and the show as a result. The ratings have dropped behind GMA, and Lauer’s popularity have fallen behind that show’s host, George Stephanopoulos.
“The cyclical nature of television is also likely hurting Lauer. It’s a rare personality that stays beloved forever,” the AP continues.
Lauer’s contract with NBC is up in 2014. Would you like to see the Coop in that anchor chair instead?
Matt Lauer finally decided to go on the record about the troubles at the Today show. Speaking with Howard Kurtz over at The Daily Beast, he admits that some of the negative talk about the show and the network over the unceremonious dismissal of Ann Curry was “self-inflicted.”
“I don’t think the show and the network handled the transition well. You don’t have to be Einstein to know that,” he said. “It clearly did not help us. We were seen as a family, and we didn’t handle a family matter well.” Talking about the tone of Today as it steadily fell in the ratings behind GMA, he adds, “The show got a little dour and depressing and dark.”
So it’s not the harshest criticism in the world. But it places the blame at the feet of the higher ups. He’s coming out and saying, “They messed up.”
Matt Lauer is a celebrity name, making, some say, $25 million per year. So he’s got privileges that a lot of workers don’t. The show has been in trouble in the ratings, and both he and the show have been bad-mouthed all over the press for a while now. So he, the show, and the network have to do something to turn things around. According to The New York Times, the show made about half a billion (with a “b”) dollars in revenue in 2011, an amount that decreased by $50 million in 2012. So they want Lauer to say whatever it takes to make that cash. Granting interviews and speaking plainly is just one of a few things that could help reverse their fortunes.
Generally, however, companies don’t want employees publicly criticizing them. Lots of people who don’t have the chance for a sit-down with a reporter would love to go on Facebook or Twitter to talk about how bad things are at work. But then you might run afoul of a manager who sees your comments. The courts have even stepped in on the issue, ruling that some social media postings can be used against a person legally.
The key to speaking out about issues that you see at your company is doing it in the appropriate way and in the appropriate venue. If you think that a new policy is unfair, using angry and foul language on social media isn’t going to help. And, to paraphrase what Tom Hanks’ character said in Saving Private Ryan, complain up. It makes no sense to voice your displeasure to someone who can’t do anything about it. In fact, talk to the wrong person, and it could be used against you.
But if you start by speaking with the person who’s in charge of enforcing that rule, finding out the motivation for it, and offering up a suggestion for an alternative, you could actually make a little headway. Perhaps that person will change their approach, or pass it up even higher along the food chain to someone who can implement something new. Particularly if what you’ve got a problem with is something that others feel strongly about as well. There’s power in numbers.
Not every company is reasonable. And some people simply don’t want to hear it. But take the temperature where you work and determine if there’s a way to voice your opinion without ruffling so many feathers that you find yourself out of a job.