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September 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Matt Lauer has confessed that the past year or two have been “incredibly frustrating and challenging” for him but that he’s in no position to complain. After all, he says, the other 20 years as host of NBC’s Today show have been “unbelievably fantastic.” In an interview appearing in Esquire magazine, the longtime morning host again disputed numerous reports that he maneuvered to have Ann Curry ousted as his co-host — the consequences of which led to the show’s slide in the ratings. “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,” he said. Nevertheless, at the time he appeared unwilling to be interviewed about the matter — refusing, for example, to speak to the New York Times‘s Brian Stelter for his book, Top of the Morning. Why? Says Lauer: “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.” As for what he’s actually being paid — several reports put his salary at $25 million a year — “Over the course of twenty years that I’ve been at NBC, I have never seen the amount of money I make reported correctly by the media.” But Lauer isn’t correcting those reports, either.