Can we talk about how great it was to see Ann Curry on CBS This Morning? I mean, I’ve never been a morning news show watcher, really. My adulthood has been spent dragging my under-caffeinated carcass from bed to shower to job. Even if somehow a television were turned on in my vicinity, and tuned into one of the networks, it probably wouldn’t penetrate my haze. Before 10 am my internal meter is set to “WHY AM I EVEN ALIVE RIGHT NOW,” not “Hey what’s up, world?” But even given all of that, I have registered the presence of Ann Curry on a screen in front of me in the past, and genuinely enjoyed her. She has that calm, soothing, sort of serious but not dull presence that’s perfect for those early hours when words are meaningless to my brain. And better yet, she didn’t annoy me with her whole “I’m a put-together real human being who has been working since 5 o’clock” schtick. She wasn’t smarmy. She didn’t blind me with her oh-so-white teeth. She didn’t wear fake-cheer like a cloak. She was, simply put, the ideal morning show host for me. And then NBC screwed her over, royally.
So seeing her in her bright white no-nonsense suit jacket, looking better than alright and downright aspirational, was a balm to my soul this morning. Curry’s still got it! It didn’t even matter that she was there to talk about her new PBS show or to discuss NBC and Matt Lauer and…
HAHAHAHA JK WHO AM I KIDDING, I have been rubbing my hands with glee since I heard Ann Curry would be showing up on CBS This Morning to dish on Lauer. Only, in typical Curry fashion, she handled the situation like the class act she is. She didn’t want to sling dirt, or kick anyone while they were down, or rehash her own painful experiences. She wanted us to look at the bigger picture. To think of the victims. To focus on where we go from here. UGH ANN CURRY YOU’RE TOO GOOD FOR THIS WORLD.
On the reckoning happening in our society today:
CURRY: I think it’s in general overdue. We clearly are waking up to a reality, an injustice that has been occurring for some time. And I think it will continue to occur until the glass ceiling is finally broken. This is about power, a power imbalance where women are not valued as much as men. I’m not talking about people being attracted to other people. I’m talking about people in the work place who are powerful, who are abusing that power — and women and men are suffering. And I think the fact that people are speaking out is important and the fact that we are moving against this imbalance of power is absolutely overdue.
On the climate at NBC while she was there (emphasis ours):
O’DONNELL: Do you believe that Matt Lauer abused his power?
CURRY: You know, I — I’m trying to do no harm in these conversations. I can tell you that I — I am not surprised by the allegations.
KING: What do you mean by that, Ann?
CURRY: What I mean—
KING: What do you mean that you’re not surprised?
KING: You had heard things? You knew things? What does that mean?
CURRY: That means that - in - see now I’m down — walking down that road. I’m trying not to hurt people. And I know what it’s like to be publicly humiliated. I never did anything wrong to be publicly humiliated. And — and I don’t wanna cause that kinda pain to somebody else. But I can say that I — because you’re asking me a very direct question — I can say that I would be surprised if — if — many women did not understand that there was a climate of verbal harassment — that existed. I think it’d be surprising if someone said that they didn’t see that. So it was p — a verbal — sexual —
KING: All right, let me stick with the — the — the —
O’DONNELL: Sorry, sorry - I just don’t, I mean — she just said verbal sexual harassment was pervasive.
O’DONNELL: At — at NBC at the time when you were there?
CURRY: You know, I — I — I, like, again, I — I don’t wanna — boy — I — you know, I don’t wanna cause more pain. But no, I’m — you are asking me a very direct question. I’m an honest person. I wanna tell you that it was. Yes. Period.
On #MeToo and workplace sexual harassment:
CURRY: I don’t know a single woman — I don’t know a single woman who has not endured some form of sexual harassment. And — and many women have endured work place sexual harassment. It’s happened to me in multiple jobs. And — and it — and it is a way of sidelining women. You know, and it’s ultimately not only bad for the women it’s bad for the companies. And it’s bad for our nation because it’s a limiting of people. And — and really ultimately also we should be talking about the victims. We’re talking about the scandal, the scandal, scandal. What about the victims? What are we going to do to remove the stigma and the shame? What are we gonna do to make sure these women work and are not sidelined and prevented from contributing to the greater good that we all are trying to do?
I don’t envy the tightrope Ann Curry is walking here, but I appreciate the way she is trying to remain above the fray and focus our energy toward positive change. As she well knows, people love dirt and gossip. But that’s never been her forte — even when she could be the source of all that dirt. Watching her tackle those questions without giving in to all of our baser instincts was like watching one of those hot firemen navigate the American Ninja Warrior course: a little wobbly at times, but she pulled through and hit that buzzer in the end.
Thanks for being you, Ann Curry.