TODAY   |  April 29, 2013

Kathie Lee: Why I stood up for Matt Lauer

TODAY’s Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb discuss Kathie Lee’s public statements in support of Matt Lauer and the proclamation of support for the TODAY anchor that she and the TODAY staff signed in an attempt to quiet “bullying” headlines.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> hey, everybody, it's fun-day monday, april 29th , 2013 . we're so glad you're with us today. and happy anniversary to will and kate.

>> two years.

>> i cannot believe it's been two years and a baby on the way.

>> good for them.

>> i didn't see you this weekend. but i saw you --

>> i saw you.

>> did you?

>> you don't have to be face to face to see kathie lee , especially this weekend. because kath was a little busy friday and saturday and sunday. throughout the weekend. making the rounds, we should say. talking about our friend, matt lauer .

>> yes.

>> let's just take a little taste of --

>> let's see it.

>> kathie lee on fire with "e.t." defending matt lauer .

>> we weren't petitioning anything, it was a proclamation for our affection and friend for our support our colleague, matt.

>> i kathie lee is saying enough is enough. some people may say it's corporate ork trags. kathie lee goes rogue all the time. there's no containing that woman, she did it all on her own.

>> billy, he should know.

>> let's talk about what they're discussing.

>> what happened was probably a couple of weeks ago, kath started a, i guess you could call it a petition.

>> it wasn't, though. it was, because we didn't -- we just wanted, it's a proclamation.

>> it was about support for matt in this, in at "the today show ." and matt has worked with all of us here at "the today show " for a long, long time. cameramen and people in the sound division and everywhere.

>> drivers --

>> everybody.

>> so kath started circulating this proclamation and people were dying to sign it.

>> this is the beautiful thing. you all want to be, everybody is going through this together, because we all read the same news magazines, we see the same stuff. it's almost like you're in a playground and this bully just keeps beating up the same kid every day and everybody is standing around going that's not right. somebody needs to stop the bully. well it dawned on me that we could stop the bully perhaps. because everybody was saying privately to me, we got to do something. this is just so wrong. this isn't just, i thought if we, if i wrote a little thing that basically said we, the people of the " today show ," who have worked side by side , day by day , year in, year out, alongside matt would like to stand in solidarity with him because this person that we read about is not the person that we know. every sing the day here.

>> one of the questions you have to ask is did ann sign it and i think what you said made the most sense. you said one, this isn't really about ann. this is about another member of our family. which is important to know that this is, that this is matt, this is in support of matt.

>> this is in support of matt. and the beautiful part of that is that the family here, everybody sees our faces on tv and we've become the face of television. but for "the today show ," but the truth is, it's everybody here, it's all of our camera people. everybody behind the scenes . several hundred people right here in new york alone. i started walking around with this thing. and it wasn't like i went looking for people, i said anybody that i happened to run into. you were the second person to sign it. and we live together, that's another thing.

>> stop telling people that.

>> i knew people would be anxious to sign it. but before they even read the proclamation, they were grabbing the pen out of my hand to sign it and most of them were going finally, finally. a couple of people actually, thank god said to me, how much money do you need? and thankfully it didn't come to that.

>> the idea was that kath was going to put an ad out in " u.s.a. today ."

>> a full-page ad.

>> which turns out it cost a lot of dough.

>> i was told one number and i thought, we could manage that. and then someone else told me, it's $250,000 on a friday. and i'm going -- well, color? why don't we do a black and white on tuesday.

>> here's the thing, when you brought it to matt's attention. matt is such a great guy, he said why don't we just keep this here within the family. let's not put an ad out, that's so quintessential matt, isn't it?

>> right, right. what was so sweet, i had to pass this by frank of course, he said how much is it going to cost and i told him and he goes -- how much? and i said, you got to do it. we've both been personally, well i've been accused of things --

>> that didn't happen.

>> that were just completely and patently false. if you don't change the perception, people assume that it's true. perception, unfortunately becomes reality. but frank was so cute. he says, can i sign it? and i said no, honey you're not a member of the " today show " family. and he said, i'm inside the hall of fame . i get it pay for it, but i don't get to sign it? life's not fair, frank, okay? but it ended up meaning a lot to matt and i'm so glad. i was walking out of a shop yesterday, i want to say hi to manny, he knows who i am. he said kathie, i saw what you did in the newspapers, that was nice. and i said manie, did it change the way you think about all the garbage you've been reading in the press about all the -- all the machinations going on? and he said, it did, maybe it isn't true. and guess what, it isn't true.

>> if you walk into "the today show " studios on any given day and you get the vibe that we have here, we know how lucky we are. and i think it's one of those things that you feel like there's this dark cloud and every day we walk in, you high five, you see jimmy, tery, peter, you see everybody and you feel lucky to be part of this family. it meant a lot to matt, it meant a lot to all of us to know that this is what it's like inside the house. because people can only peek in.

>> the fun part about this whole thing for me was when i went around with this proclamation. not only did people steal the pen to sign it quickly. they wanted to stop and tell me something that kind that matt had done for them and it was everything from like -- saving their life when they couldn't -- i don't want to make him out to be a saint, but, you know it was my mom's birthday last week and call her. he wished -- stuff like that.

>> he does little things .

>> and there's dave, one of our stage managers here. the last thing. he teared up when i finally brought it to him and he said you know what, kathie, we have a saying around here, when things go wrong, when things go crazy, we all say to ourselves, what would matt do. and i told him that and he teared up. it's hard to sit day after day after day and read this kind of garbage about yourself. so it was fun for us to be able to say, support our friend, this is our colleague and he's a class act and a good man all the way around.

>> and it probably meant a lot coming from us, especially because --

>> who's got more power than we do?

>> "the new york post" -- decided to outline the 20 worst television shows on tv. and our particular hour -- we're number 20 !

>> and we're upset because we never get to be number one.

>> who was number one?

>> "the real housewives" of anywhere.

>> we'll have to talk to our friend, andy cohen who is coming up.

>> doggone it, hoda, why can't we be number one?

>> that's where we fall, number 20 .

>> congratulations on your weekend. your little award you got.

>> thank you. i was named something, some mother of the year thing. but only because my children were not consulted. and they're off writing their book about me which will come out next spring and they're in california, so they couldn't stop me from leaving the house and coming and getting that awa award. there i am with my good friend, kathy keating, the former first lady of oklahoma and her daughter. and this organization raises funds to battle domestic violence and they have a seat at the united nations trying to battle domestic violence .

>> how about you?

>> how was your weekend with blakie?

>> can i tell you something? it was the most spectacular new york weekend.

>> thank god.

>> the sun was popping, central park was so much fun. usually i'll meet friends for coffee, or whatever, i said everybody, let's go to the park. it was that kind of a weekend.

>> now you've got to go to outdoor cafes where you can bring blake!

>> you think so?

>> the one thing i like about the french, you can dine with your dogs the way god intended you to.

>> let's give a shout-out to our crowds, it is raining and they are here.

>> i can't wait --

>> my arm.

>> it's getting --

>> i don't know what to say.

>> we're packing our bags, going to charleston, north carolina south carolina .

>> college of charleston .

>> we are. so please arrive come see us. 7:00 a.m . on thursday morning.

>> outside the main gate, everybody, at porter's lodge on george street .

>> we'll be live from there. we'll be there thursday and friday.

>> yes.

>> it's going to be fun.

>> we're going to look for creative signs. please come out, bring your signs.

>> one of the most -- you haven't been before, right?

>> yes.

>> and i haven't been in a long, long, time, i think it was 1892 when i went. it's the kinded of town that doesn't change, it's just beautiful.

>> let's talk about these, these are called shoes with soul.

>> milk and honey asked us to design our own shoes. flats, heels, et cetera .

>> you design them online.

>> you pick the fabric, the style.

>> you can pick bows or patent leather or anything. this is what we call up with what is yours called?

>> mine is called the kathie lee .

>> tell us about it.

>> well it's a shoe in size 7. a snappy summer shoe and now i want it in every color.

>> and this is a nude shoe that kind of melts away. it elongates your leg, it's called the hoda. i had nothing to do with it because i don't have style. okay? no, i don't. i'm fine with it. megan did it and megan, who is our pr person and so did sara haines and kate cook and britney.

>> they're a little pricey, but 100% of the proceeds go to the charity of our choice. i chose child help which battles child abuse .

>> and i crows groove with me, a great group of young kids making it through high school .

>> you can find them on for $150.

>>> speaking of summer. whenever it's summer i like to break out my summer jewelry. how about this? it's got jennifer, right?

>> the jennifer miller bracelet. it looks like summer because it's starting to feel like spring and it's time to start breaking out the spring jewelry. this is kind of pricey. it's $175.

>> we're going to stop doing that.

>> but you can buy $195 worth and split it and give happen to a friend, et cetera , et cetera .

>> what do you have?

>> i have something that i wasn't planning on it, but it came today and i said now's the time. everybody loves the "life is good" stuff. it's got to be the one with the crack and it's yellow. every day. this says "nothing is stronger than love." it says "boston" on the front. it's $26.20. because that's how long the marathon was. and 100% of the profits goes to the one fund boston. and i think that's great. but then i woke up with this huge sty. and what's more attractive than that? every year around now. because -- allergies. if you guys get one, get this stuff. it really helps.

>> stye. it's an botanical.

>> these are the alba botanical three in one, makeup, remover and tone anywhere one wipe.

>> stop it!

>> gym bag and whenever i travel. they're about $5.99.

>> they smell great.

>> more importantly, you get fast it doesn't take as long.

>> i like it.

>> who won?

>> we have the winner.

>> we're talking about your creative submissions. the winner is -- terry abrams. she recycled a lampshade. wine corks, congratulations, tery, you and a guest will head to the kentucky derby this weekend. round-trip airfare for two, hotel for two nights. and free tickets to the kentucky derby race.

>> where is that?

>> the airfare and accommodations are provided.

>> my eye is crying.

>> i wonder if she's finding out right now as we are. who it is.

>> we're excited for her.