If you remember back to earlier this week, then you will quickly remember a video that went viral from “The Today Show” containing what many felt to be a not-so-subtle dig at Matt Lauer from Al Roker over the sudden exit of Ann Curry as co-anchor earlier this year. In a conversation with some Olympic athletes about their post-race traditions, Roker joked that the show has their own tradition of throwing other people “under the bus.”
So was this dig really as malicious towards Lauer as it seemed? While Al himself has yet to comment on the issue, NBC has issued some sort of statement regarding the incident. In a statement (per Entertainment Weekly), a spokesperson for the show claimed that Roker, Lauer, and many other people on the show frequently make jokes of this nature — and cited a total of 27 times over the past two years that such a joke has been made between the two parties. While this isn’t necessarily enough to make this a running gag, it is enough to prove that this comment was not just an isolated incident.
Since we ultimately can have no idea about Roker’s intent without hearing from him, there are really now two ways we can read into his comment — you can either believe that the comment was a jab if you want to play up the conspiracy angle, or it may have been just something that Roker said to be funny without thinking beforehand about how most of the people watching at home could interpret it. Remember, he and Lauer spend plenty of time off-camera in addition to their time on TV, and this may be something that they say to each other in jest all the time.
What do you think about this new explanation from NBC? If you haven’t seen the original video yet (or want to watch it again), you can do so by checking out the story over at this link.