This morning, around 7:30 a.m. on the Today show, Matt Lauer announced that he had intended to bring viewers a live, exclusive interview with Paula Deen — but she hadn't shown up at the NBC studios.
Matt explained the situation thusly:
"I spoke with Paula yesterday afternoon. We arranged an interview this morning. We agreed there would be no restrictions to that interview, only that it would be an open and candid exchange. She told me at one point, Savannah, 'I don't know how to be anything BUT honest.' I said fine, she got on a plane, arrived in New York City last night, and then we started to hear from her people that she is exhausted."
Savannah Guthrie asked: "Someone's been in touch with her this morning?"
Matt answered: "We have not. She has not called us at all this morning. Her publicity person and I spoke a little while ago; [that person] simply said they believe she is in the hotel. But she has not confirmed anything other than she is not here."
Then Al Roker added: "She's a friend of the show, we consider her a friend, we would hope that she will reconsider, because she really needs to address this."
Today is not over yet; Matt usually goes off the air at 9a.m. — maybe she'll show up? Story developing.
UPDATE: She never showed up.