New Media Age: Matt Lauer Feels Need to Respond to Enquirer

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Matt Lauer

Around the time that the National Enquirer started applying for Pulitzers – with editors holding up their coverage of the John Edwards scandal as proof that they were brave enough to push forward in investigating news that other outlets ignored – the publishing world started thinking a little bit differently about the checkout rag. Now comes the next blazing Enquirer cover headline: “Matt Lauer WALKS OUT ON WIFE!”

Readers who follow the jump are directed to a story that claims the Today host has been given the boot by a wife furious over two alleged instances of infidelity. Some of the supposed fury traces back to Vancouver, when “a source” says that Lauer “went wild” partying with colleagues late into the evenings while covering the Olympics.

The report boiled online for almost two full days before both Matt and Annette Lauer came out swinging against the publication Friday morning. “I am living in my apartment with Annette and my children as a family and a couple,” Matt Lauer told People magazine, denying any reports that he had separated from his wife. He also blasted the claims of Vancouver carousing, noting that because of time zone differences, he had to be awake around 1:30 a.m., to go on the air for Today at 4 a.m.

His average bedtime during the Olympics? Lauer says 7:30 p.m.

Still, far more noteworthy than the actual rumors about the Lauer family might be the fact that Matt and Annette felt compelled to comment at all. Once upon a time, the National Enquirer operated on the fringes, its reporting always given the skeptical eye. But in a post-Edwards world, one flashy Enquirer headline can now spark plenty of questions from mainstream pundits.