Matt Lauer refuses to say New York Times is the Eighth Wonder of the World

“Today” co-host Matt Lauer was a guest on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM show this morning. Here’s their discussion about reading and newspapers:

sternmatt

STERN: Do you like to read?

LAUER: I love to read, although I’ll be honest with you: because I have to read so much for work I’ve lost a little bit of the love of reading for pleasure. I think that’s something I’m going to really dive into when I’m not doing this job anymore.

So when you prepare for work, what do you do — you read newspapers?

I read newspapers. I’m finally getting with the system. I get in in the morning and I go on all the websites that I want to see.

You don’t hold the newspaper?

I do. When I’m getting into the car, I have the Times and one of the tabloids in the back seat.

What do you read – the Post?

It depends, which one they get in the morning.

It’s either the Daily News or the Post. Why not both?

Generally the guy buys me one or another. The amazing thing, from my apartment, I go 10 blocks and I’m done with that paper. I look at the sports page, I look at the television page. If it’s the Post, yes I look at Page Six. I look at the front page and maybe one other page, and then I’m into the Times or whatever else is in the car.

The Times is a great newspaper and is probably the Eighth Wonder of the World. Do you agree with that statement?

[He pauses and sort of grunts.]

You don’t?

Well, you know what, I think it’s still a great newspaper. I think that in my personal opinion – we always deal with these things based on how they have treated you personally, and I think there has been a little erosion in some areas as of late. Overall are they still a great newspaper, as is the Wall Street Journal, which I also read in the morning? Yes.

You mean the way the New York Times treats you is going to, sort of —

Not only me personally, but the show, the industry, the way they cover television. If I think it’s unfair, if I think at times it’s been a little lazy, then it absolutely affects my opinion.

Will you ever call someone at the the New York Times and say ‘I think you’ve been lazy in this area’?

No, no, no. I don’t call back people – I’m not a complainer, that’s not what I do.

* New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter on being Matt Lauer’s nemesis (mediabistro.com)
* Read a summary of this morning’s Lauer-Stern conversation (last item) (marksfriggin.com)

* Update: Here’s a video clip of the interview.

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