The heated debate "Today Show" weatherman Al Roker and reporter Billy Bush had about U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte's Rio incident went viral as the Olympics ended last week.
It drew viewers to the NBC morning program, but according to gossip site Page Six, NBC executives are "embarrassed" by the argument.
Bush and Roker were debating the circumstances of Lochte's story in which he said he and three other swimmers were robbed by police in Rio.
Lochte was charged by Rio authorities Thursday for filing a false police report. Although there were reported holes in Rio's account, which accused the swimmers of destroying a gas station bathroom.
Only a ripped poster was found, according to a USA Today account.
Roker insisted that Lochte lied and threw his teammates under the bus by leaving Rio. Bush, who later said he was playing devil's advocate, used Lochte's wording in the swimmers interview with Matt Lauer and said that Lochte was simply "exaggerating." Bush also said that all the facts were not clear, but Roker was adamant that Lochte lied regardless.
"There were several producers and talent who were left trying to explain Al’s over-the-top behavior. Several insiders found themselves wanting to distance themselves from his response," Page Six said a source told them. "It was a great thing to watch online, but a lot of NBC staff thought that he took it way too far for something that, while it was certainly a legitimate issue and certainly bad behavior by Lochte, outrage to that level just wasn’t justified."
But an unidentified NBC exec said otherwise.
"This is not true. No one feels this way," the exec told Page Six. "In fact, everyone here is happy -- specifically with the 'Today' show’s great ratings."
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.