Matt Lauer is probably going to be on the Today show for a very, very long time. Sure, he took quite a hit when people blamed him for the Ann Curry drama, but the guy is good at his job, and we imagine he enjoys being paid $800 billion a year. Nevertheless, Lauer’s contract does run out in 2015, and so speculation has begun on who will succeed him.
GalleyCat: On the heels of a third studio album in 16 months (To All The Girls…), on which he duets with everyone from Dolly Parton to Sheryl Crow, 80-year-old Willie Nelson has decided to give the autobiography thing a second spin. We’ll take this burst of artistic activity as yet another compelling argument for the full legalization of marijuana.
PRNewser: A class action lawsuit filed by some of Yelp’s most active unpaid reviewers confirms the old adage. You know, the one about panties never being an acceptable substitute for paychecks.
The second busiest man in show business (after Ryan Seacrest) has yet another new gig. On the vanguard of the network TV morning show firmament.
The news is being heralded on Twitter with the hashtag #WelcomeCarson. Starting Monday, September 16, as part of a revamped Studio 1A, recent TODAY show co-host Carson Daly will be a permanent fixture on the program, manning the social media controls from something called the “Orange Room:”
The Orange Room is a space that connects the show and the audience like never before. As the Orange Room host, Carson will allow viewers to weigh in and influence show segments and give them unprecedented access to our TODAY family and friends. The lineup will evolve as we continue to hear what viewers want, so speak up, share your ideas and stay tuned!
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 mediatreated 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.
It was a smash in Chicago. Now, August 20-24 at the Players Theatre as part of the New York International Fringe Festival, TheTomKat Project is set to wow fans in the very city where Katie Holmes pulled the plug on her marriage to Tom Cruise one year ago.
The play, featuring just a few odd props and the narration of writer Brandon Ogborn, skewers celebrity, the media and the Church of Scientology. There is no pretense at conventional celebrity impressions; lead actors Walt Delaney and Julie Dahlinger don’t much look like Cruise or Holmes. But that’s half the fun, with the support of a versatile group of co-stars:
Based on actual interviews and completely imagined scenes, seven actors portray 54 characters including Oprah Winfrey, David Miscavige, Matt Lauer, Scarlett Johansson, Josh Hartnett, Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone, Cruise/Wagner partner Paula Wagner, Steven Spielberg, Nicole Kidman and Suri.
Where is Shelly? This question is a rallying cry for many of those questioning the operational side of the Church of Scientology and was also at the causal center of actress Leah Remini‘s recent defection from the ranks.
Although Church spokespersons vehemently deny the wife of David Miscavige is “missing” in any way, shape or form, they are about to face a whole new level of public curiosity. From Tony Ortega‘s Underground Bunker:
After speaking with the Los Angeles Police Department, we have confirmed that on Wednesday Remini filed a missing-person report for Scientology leader David Miscavige’s wife, Shelly Miscavige, who has not been seen in public in six years.
Click here to receive Mediabistro’s Morning Media Newsfeed via email. CNN Brings Back Crossfire (TVNewser)
CNN has made it official: Crossfire will be returning to the channel this fall. CNN is poaching S.E. Cupp from MSNBC’s The Cycle to represent the right side of the table, alongside former house speaker and Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich. Obama campaign consultant Stephanie Cutter and former White House advisor Van Jones will represent the left side of the table. The four hosts will also contribute to CNN election and political programming. HuffPost / The Backstory CNN’s soon-to-be relaunched Crossfire will take a page from the original version of show, which aired for 19 years without a live audience. A CNN executive told HuffPost that there will be no live audience when Crossfire returns this fall, a departure from the show’s final three years before being canceled in 2005. FishbowlDC “Few programs in the history of CNN have had the kind of impact on political discourse that Crossfire did — it was a terrific program then, and we believe the time is right to bring it back and do it again,” said Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide in a release. NYT More than eight years after it was canceled, Crossfire is still one of the best-known cable news programs, but it has also been widely derided, as evidenced by the mixed reactions online to CNN’s announcement on Wednesday morning. Some media critics and commentators have denounced the program for wedging complex arguments into a left-right rubric and promoting political polarization. (In the words of Jon Stewart during his 2004 appearance on the program, “It’s hurting America.” CNN canceled the show the next year.) Read more
Paula Deen is crazy as a fox. She’s also a racist. While she probably has an idea that she’s one or five crayons short of a pack, she’s still being stubborn about the latter part. In an interview with Matt Lauer, Deen was asked if she was a racist and she replied “no.” Then, when Lauer asked her if the “n word” was offensive to black people, she gave a puzzling answer:
I don’t know, I have asked myself that so many times. It’s very distressing for me to go into my kitchens and hear what these young people are calling each other … it’s very distressing for me. I think for this problem to be worked on, that these young people are gonna have to take control and start showing respect for each other.
To recap: Deen doesn’t know if an extremely racist word is racist because… Kids these days. Yes, Deen, America’s youth is to blame for your racism. It’s quite a stretch, but like we said, craaaaaazyyyyy.
You can watch the full interview in the video above.