On Wednesday morning, Kathie Lee Gifford found herself among the many women who have been forced this fall to address allegations of sexual misconduct made against powerful men with whom they are personal friends.
But Gifford's response was a little bit different.
Lauer's longtime Today show colleague echoed other women, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb included, in speaking candidly about the anguish brought about when a friend is accused of mistreating your peers. But Gifford registered her reaction with a faith-based twist.
WATCH: “The processing is going to take a lot of time…” @hodakotb and @KathieLGifford on Matt Lauer’s termination from NBC News. pic.twitter.com/Qy1lnu1mYH— Kathie Lee and Hoda (@klgandhoda) November 29, 2017
"We've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God is what scripture says," reflected Gifford, "and what we need now is forgiveness, and we need mercy for one another, and we don't need taunts and we don't need ugliness."
"We have enough of that in the world," she added.
With a tissue in hand, Gifford recalled learning of her late husband's infidelity, and revealed she texted Lauer that morning to say, "I adore you and no person is perfect in this world."
"I send out my love right now to the person, whoever it is who came forward, may God heal that person," Gifford said. "I send it to Matt and his children and his wife, may God bless that family and heal."
“I’m sorry Hoda, but in my long life, the only thing I’ve ever been sure of is that only God can heal. There’s no bad time to reach out for His help," she rightfully maintained.
With workplaces across many industries upended by the recent tide of sexual misconduct allegations, Gifford's turn to scripture in this moment of reckoning is helpful, especially for other women who may be struggling for answers — though I suspect it won't be seen that way by everyone. It is, of course, rare to hear similar language from power brokers of the entertainment industry, making Gifford's decision to honestly represent her perspective as a Christian woman all the more valuable.
To be very clear, I do not know if her motivations were pure or intended to defend Lauer at a time when his character appears to warrant no defense, let alone from the megaphone of another media member. I would hope she extends the same sentiments to everyone involved in similar situations. But turning to God is always the right response and Gifford is one of the few people in her industry to have said as much.
It's now being reported that Lauer stands accused of sexually harassing "a female NBC staffer" during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. More details are sure to come, but the alleged victim who found the courage to speak out against one of the most powerful men in media made a remarkably brave decision. We know people around the country are coping with the pain of so much abuse and predation, coping with the often intimidating task of stepping forward, and coping with horrific revelations about people they admire. It may not be politically correct, but Gifford is right to assure viewers amid so much strife in so many American workplaces that "there's no bad time to reach out for [God's] help."