Dear Al Roker,
Can we talk? We (or, more accurately, Jezebel and then we) noticed a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very awkward exchange during the 9:00 a.m. hour of the "Today" show on Thursday. We think you might owe someone an apology.
We're talking about the segment you co-hosted with Natalie Morales and Willie Geist, in which the three of you discussed how MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski tweeted a photograph of her weight. After publishing a book about her obsession with weight, Brzezinski tweeted to her hundred-thousand followers that she used to feel fat at 118 pounds, but finally feels healthy at 135.9 pounds.
We agree that it seemed appropriate to give the tweet some coverage. What was maybe not as approriate was your decision to turn Brzezinski's weight-loss reveal into a segment about Morales' decision to withhold that information about herself.
When it became obvious that you were fishing for Morales to reveal her weight, your co-host did you a solid. She forthrightly said that she would not be divulging such information. That was your cue to keep the conversation off her and on Brzezinski's decision to reveal her weight. Instead, you persisted. And persisted. Oh, and your co-host, Willie Geist, chimed in, saying, "should we turn this into a state fair and guess the weight?"
We're aware that you have made your struggles with weight and food a very public discussion. In fact, you're so open about that part of your life that most of the world probably wishes they could un-hear you telling Dr. Nancy Snyderman about an unfortunate incident at the White House. But we fear that you mistakenly assumed that anyone would want to discuss such topics in front of millions of viewers just because you're comfortable doing so.
Morales does not need to reveal her weight loss to make other women feel empowered about doing the same. Actually, it might be more empowering to women if you were to stop pressuring one of your female colleagues on national television to reveal information about her personal life that she would rather not discuss.
Note: An earlier version of this post said that Willie Geist compared Natalie Morales to an "animal" for his "state fair" comment. Of course, people also have their weight guessed at state fairs.