Paula Deen’s comments on Today this morning about her experience at the wrong end of a gun during a 1987 bank robbery dovetail with the statement made by the guy at the other end of the gun, according to the latest TV program to jump on the story today. “I was surprised when I walked in and saw the lady that was the teller at the window, because I knew her from the downtown bank where I normally bank,” the alleged robber said in his account of the incident, according to the police report obtained by CBS-distributed Inside Edition. “I thought she would recognize me because there were some holes in the stocking covering my face. I can’t remember her name, but I know who she is,” Inside Edition reported the man said, citing the police report. Deen told Matt Lauer this morning on Today that she had used “the N-word” just once, and in reference to this incident, during which she said the man’s hand was shaking, which caused her to fear he had recognized her. Deen is under the gun now because of a statement she made, during a deposition for a harassment suit that’s been filed against her, that she has used the racial slur in the past. Food Network announced it was dropping her after that deposition was leaked, and Walmart and Caesars Entertainment severed ties with the TV celebrity cook after her Today interview.
Meanwhile, New York Magazine writer-at-large Frank Rich today nicked Lauer’s interview with Deen when he suggested — like he meant it to sting — that NBC News’ Sunday Beltway show host David Gregory be re-assigned to replace the veteran anchor on Today, “where he can speak truth to power by grilling Paula Deen.” Speaking to mag contributor Eric Benson, Rich was responding to Meet The Press host Gregory’s recent grilling of the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, all but accusing him of aiding and abetting NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s fugitive travels, the mag explained. “Is David Gregory a journalist? As a thought experiment, name one piece of news he has broken, one beat he’s covered with distinction,” Frank said.