When Mark Twain wrote, "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated," he could have been speaking metaphorically for Matt Lauer. Rumors about the "Today" host being fired went viral today despite denials by NBC the network has no plans to can the controversial news star.
With the ratings of the once top morning show heading south, NBC attempted to quash the Lauer firing rumors with an official statement by the program's new executive producer. "There is absolutely no truth to this," said Alexandra Wallace. "There have been some recent outrageous claims regarding Matt and the 'Today' show, and an awful lot of piling on from nameless, faceless sources. These stories are wrong and irresponsible."
Lauer has been under fire this past year for the crude handling of Ann Curry's replacement by Savannah Guthrie. Rumors swirled last June that the balding co-host instigated the hatchet job.
The New York City native was plagued by rumors even before this year's game of musical co-hosts. Media gossip sites have suggested he may be the father of "Today" anchor Natalie Morales' son.
Not surprisingly, Lauer is not the only person in the media spotlight to be the subject of myriad rumors.
Angelina Jolie is a favorite rumor target, with unsubstantiated "reports" this year ranging from her feuding with Brad Pitt's mother to being considered for the leading role in "50 Shades of Grey." Fans also eat up rumors about the "Salt" star's dietary habits, with stories that she subsists on only 600 calories a day and that her fiancé threatened to leave her if she didn't fatten up.
Rumors that scientologists John Travolta and Tom Cruise are gay pop up on the Internet on a regular basis. This past year, the "Mission Impossible" star's divorce from Katie Holmes fueled a whole new slew of rumors, and Travolta's alleged mishaps with some masseuses last year reignited the rumor mill about the "Pulp Fiction" star.
From almost the moment they got married, rumors that the former Kate Middleton was pregnant became a popular media staple. Every time the slightest bump was noticed in her mid-section, tongues started to wag that a new heir to throne was imminent. That rumor finally came true today -- almost two years later -- with the palace officially announcing the Duchess of Cambridge is with child after she was admitted to a hospital for morning sickness.
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