Mornings, my wife likes to watch the Today Show. Some habits are hard to break. I'm not a big fan. I can take it or leave it.
Like everything else in the world, I admit The Today Show has its assets and liabilities. It's just that, in my opinion, its liabilities crowd out its assets.
Take Matt Lauer. Please. This morning, was it the monster storm approaching the East Coast or was it the drone landing in a tree outside the White House that he introduced with the phrase "a scary scare"? In my mind, he's still the villain in the Ann Curry episode. He's overrated, overpaid, and overweening.
The supporting cast is nothing to write home about either. Natalie Morales, the principal newsreader, lacks gravitas and laughs way too much at any ridiculous viral video the producers seem to think on equal footing with the serious news of the moment .
Usually an asset, Savannah Guthrie too often looks like a starstruck teenager next to her apparent idol, Lauer.
Tamron Hall loves the camera too much, especially when she sashays seductively to the Orange Room, the sanctum sanctorum of social media.
Carson Daly is the official gatekeeper of the O.R. That is, when he takes the time from his busy schedule. So it seems to this critic. Daly functions as a ballast to Lauer's age. He has an annoying off-handed manner about him and, like Hall, moseys toward the Orange Room to play second banana to the tweets. And like Hall, he's fixated on the camera as he goes. It's a wonder he hasn't tripped over his own feet by now.
Of the two, Hall is easier on the eyes
Al Roper is the most likeable of the team. He's the weather guy, but much more. There are times when he doesn't laugh immoderately or even at all when the subject matter doesn't merit it. I admire him for such good sense. He's a punster, and sometimes a very good one. Gotta like that. Although the next time, Mr. Roker, a deer story comes up, it's time to pass the "buck". Even Big Al uses bad judgment at times and demeans himself by taking part in Jackass-like stunts. I remember, for example, a two-man bobsled he and Lauer did around the last Winter Olympics.
I could go on and on.
Lately, after a half-hour or so, I've been changing the channel.
And my wife doesn't seem to notice Matt Lauer has morphed into Charlie Rose.