Kathie Lee Gifford drums up support for Matt Lauer with letter meant to run as ad

Lauer axed the idea, saying he preferred to keep it "in the family"

By Prachi Gupta

Published April 26, 2013 1:48PM (EDT)

Kathie Lee Gifford has been drumming up support for skewered "Today" co-host Matt Lauer, who has been publicly criticized for months for his role in the controversial ousting of former "Today" host Ann Curry. According to the New York Daily News, Gifford championed a letter with hundreds of signatures from the "Today" show staff "to say something to Matt" without putting "him in a position that would make him uncomfortable." The letter spanned 7 pages with signature collected over the course of three weeks.

From the New York Daily News:

“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,” Gifford’s letter read. “No one has coerced us to sign this. With our signatures we stand in support of our colleague and friend.”

Gifford said she wanted to give Curry a chance to sign the letter but hasn’t seen her since Curry left the show for a globe-trotting role at the network. “She’s just not part of (the show) day-in and day-out anymore. This wasn’t about Ann, this is about our love and support for a different member of our family.”

Gifford intended to run the letter as an ad in USA today, but when presented to Lauer, he nixed the idea, saying instead that he preferred to keep it "in the family."

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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