‘Today Show’: Did Al Roker rip Matt Lauer for role in Ann Curry crisis?

There are awkward moments on “The Today Show,” and then there are extremely awkward moments. For a case of the latter, we turn to what happened on the NBC morning show Thursday morning.

Basically, here’s what went down in a nutshell. Matt Lauer was just finishing an interview with the ladies of the United States rowing team, who won a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, and the subject of post-race traditions came up. The ladies said that in their sport, it’s customary to throw one of the rowers in the water at the end of the race. Lauer laughed at this, and then joked that in New York City, the tradition is to throw somebody in the Hudson River (otherwise known as the last place you would really want to be).

Al Roker was standing alongside Lauer and co-host Savannah Guthrie, and he was quick to chime in with what could be interpreted as an attack on Lauer:

“Which is different than OUR tradition … which is you throw one of us under the bus, but that’s another story.”

Everyone laughed at the comment, but we wonder how long they were laughing once the cameras stopped rolling. This may be a reference to rumors that Lauer was the person responsible for orchestrating the exit of Ann Curry from the show, as he allegedly did not want to continue working alongside her. “Good Morning America” also closed the ratings gap with “Today” during this period, and she was in many ways the scapegoat for the larger problems at the show. She has since been replaced with Guthrie, and the ratings have been higher (but this is largely attributed to the Olympics).

Do you think that this comment was meant as a stab at Lauer, or are we reading way too much into this? NBC has edited the joke out on their website, but you can still see it in the video below.

Photo: NBC

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