Katie Couric Calls Matt Lauer “Disgusting” and “Abusive” During ‘Today’ Show Return

by 24USATVOct. 19, 2021, 8 p.m. 18
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Katie Couric is standing by her memoir, even the more salacious and controversial parts that have already been leaked to the press, explaining that she wanted to give the public an honest look at the messiest parts of her life.

The renowned news anchor returned to her old stomping grounds of the Today show on Tuesday morning, where she was interviewed by cohost Savannah Guthrie about some of the more explosive elements of Going There, her forthcoming book. “I couldn’t imagine writing something that wasn’t honest and radically transparent. I didn’t want to do a victory lap or my greatest hits. I think I’ve had an extraordinary life. I’ve had incredible opportunities…. I’ve had huge successes. I’ve had some pretty public failures too,” Couric explained to Guthrie when asked about the memoir’s “snark” and “brutally honest” retellings. “One of the reasons is—and you can relate to this, Savannah, I think—people have always said, ‘I feel like I know you.’ But as I say in my prologue, the box puts you in a box, the flat screen flattens. I wanted to share the messy parts, what real life was like.”

Couric insisted, however, that the parts of her memoir that have been leaked ahead of its release have “been wildly misrepresented,” except for how shocked she was to learn of the sexual misconduct allegations against her longtime Today coanchor, Matt Lauer. She said that discovery hit her “really, really hard,” adding, “It took me a long time to process what was going on, because the side of Matt I knew was the side of Matt I think you all knew: He was kind and generous and considerate, a good colleague.” She continued, “As I got more information and learned what was going on behind the scenes, it was really upsetting and disturbing.” So she decided to do “some of my own reporting” and “really tried to excavate what had been going on. And it was really devastating but also disgusting. I think what I realized is there was a side of Matt I never really knew. And I tried to understand why he behaved the way he did—and why he was so reckless and callous and, honestly, abusive to other women.” She also clarified that they now “have no relationship.”

The journalist also defended her confession that in her heyday she was unwelcoming to “charismatic female correspondents” in a bid to “protect my turf.” She confessed, “I think that when there are very few jobs for women and men are making decisions not necessarily based on the right criteria, that sometimes you do get insecure, and sometimes you do get territorial. I think it’s human nature.” But she insisted that despite that, she “never, never, never, never” actively tried to sabotage her colleagues’ careers. “I think I just wish that maybe I had extended myself more and shown people the ropes a little bit more. But I think when people are outwardly kind of vying for your job, it is hard to be generous,” she said.

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