It has been awhile since we discussed the drama that swirled around Matt Lauer, Ann Curry and the Today show. Mostly that’s because there’s nothing new to say and we have more important things to worry about, like Syria and why Kenny Santucci’s clothing company is called Suck Yeah. It just sounds so dumb. Why would he do that? Anyway, in the latest issue of Esquire, Lauer takes part in the popular “What I Learned” feature, and he offers up some interesting quotes. Below are a few that are worth noting.
On the Curry drama:
The way the media treated what happened with Ann Curry was a disappointing learning experience. I was disappointed by the laziness of the media, the willingness to read a rumor, repeat that rumor, and treat it as a fact. And yet, what were my options? Does anyone want to see a person who’s making the money that the newspapers say I’m making complaining, ‘Woe is me, my life is terrible, and people are being unfair?’ No one would’ve had any patience for that. I wouldn’t have any patience for that. So you just shut up and go about doing your job and hope that people who know you well — your friends and your family — know what’s true.
On interviewing celebrities:
When you have a sense that emotions are being used to manipulate, you have to jump in and cut it off. But when there’s real, honest emotion coming out, like when Tom Cruise got worked up over his belief system on antidepressant drugs, you let that go because there’s no replacing that reality. If you were to cut that off, you’d be doing your viewers a disservice. My job was to stay out of the way.
On staying calm under pressure:
It’s a weird characteristic, and I don’t know where it comes from, but the bigger the interview, the calmer I get.
On punching drunk dudes:
When you punch a guy with four Budweisers in him, he tends to go down a lot faster than a guy who is stone sober.