Matt Lauer took over as a TODAY co-anchor in January 1997 following Bryant Gumbel’s departure. That’s a few short years after Katie Couric and Gumbel hosted the first-ever episode from the morning institution’s move to Studio 1A in Rockefeller Center, so it’s not up for debate that Lauer — who was fired by NBC in November 2017 for inappropriate sexual workplace behavior — was an integral part of TODAY‘s public image at the current location for two decades. However, no one would be able to guess that fact from the looks of a new 25-year montage released by NBC on Thursday morning.
“When TODAY first moved to Studio 1A in 1994, it became a place where the team could try new things and connect with viewers,” read a tweet that accompanied the public release of this 5:35 clip. “Take a look back on some of those special moments over the past 25 years.”
Well, Matt Lauer does not qualify as a “special moment” to be highlighted in this video (or at least, no one can spot him), whereas Couric, Gumbel, Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Lester Holt, Carson Daly, and more did make the cut. That’s pretty awkward. On one hand, NBC seems to be pretending that Lauer doesn’t even exist, and one can easily understand why they’d want to imagine that’s the case, but that’s not reality. Then again, NBC’s handling of the Lauer mess didn’t arrive without criticism. The network’s internal probe claimed to find “no evidence” that leadership knew of complaints against Lauer. However, Ann Curry declared that investigators did not speak to her, despite how she told the Washington Post that she’d warned multiple executives (in 2012) that Lauer was “a problem” after an employee told Curry that she was “sexually harassed physically” by him. Interestingly enough, Ann Curry also hasn’t been spotted in the montage.
Here’s the general vibe of the debate about Lauer this morning on Twitter.