The fourth hour of the Today show, hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, is usually a lively and boisterous affair filled with wine-drinking and trivia. This was not the case on Wednesday, when it kicked off on a more somber tone in the light of news that their colleague Matt Lauer had been fired from NBC following allegations of sexual harassment. (There’s also a report that Lauer sexually assaulted a colleague while covering the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.)
Kotb admitted that it was hard for her “to reconcile what we’re hearing with the man we know,” while Gifford went further, urging forgiveness for Lauer.
“I’m grappling with, should I even share something? But I guess I really should,” Gifford said, before bringing up her late husband Frank Gifford’s infidelities to make her point. “I don’t feel that Matt has betrayed us in any way at all but when I found out that my husband had betrayed me, you question your own judgment. You say, ‘Was everything a lie?’ And I think we have to very much fight against that, that the man we know and adored was the man we loved and adored and continue to.”
“I texted him this morning and said ‘I adore you and no person is perfect in this world,” she added. “And what we need now is forgiveness and mercy for one another.”
In addition to the current claims that led to his firing, over the years Lauer has been said to have partaken in a variety of inappropriate and mean-spirited workplace behavior.