NBC News President Defends Matt Lauer, Blames Twitter for Ongoing Controversy

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NBC News President Steve Capus has come to the defense of Matt Lauer.

With rumors continuing to swirl - Will Matt Lauer Fired soon be a headline? - and this anchor receiving much of the blame for The Today Show's slide in the ratings, Capus has come out and directed his anger at the Twitterverse.

Sad Matt Lauer

"Sadly, this is the era in which we live," he tells The Daily Beast. "Venomous tweets somehow threaten to drown out all of those who praised Matt for his coverage.

“The Twitter snarkiness is an unfortunate result of misdirected anger that’s been unfairly placed on Matt. There has also been a lot of mean-spirited piling-on, which has been manufactured by many anonymous sources.”

Lauer signed a new $25 million deal with Today less than a year ago, but he has since been blamed for Ann Curry's firing, along with other backstage scandals, and he's watched Good Morning America become the country's most watched morning program.

But Capus says “Matt had nothing to do with Ann’s reassignment. He does not make those types of decisions. There has been an incredible amount of misplaced blame on Matt."

Another network executive, meanwhile, claims Lauer fought for the show to handle Curry's ousting in a more professional manner.

“If Matt is to blame for the ratings slippage then, is he the only one who gets credit for the two months of steady ratings gains we’ve enjoyed?" concludes Capus. "It’s always a team effort. As I have said repeatedly, he is one of, if not the best, morning show hosts in the history of that genre. We are lucky to have him.”

Sounds like Lauer will be sticking around for awhile. But should he? Should The Today Show fire Matt Lauer?

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