Iraq War Veteran Launches Petition to Save Ann Curry's Job

 

It was a rough Thursday for Ann Curry, forced to face Today Show cameras as word rapidly spread that she's likely being demoted from her hosting gig -- the apparent victim of the ratings war between the NBC morning show and ABC's Good Morning America.

But not everyone is taking the news lying down.

Sgt. Stephen Crowley, 49, an Iraq War veteran now living in Phoenix, Ariz., has started a petition to save Curry's job. 

STORY: Ann Curry Set to Leave NBC's 'Today'; Savannah Guthrie Likely Replacement

A self-described "aspiring writer" who has suffered from PTSD since returning from a tour of duty in 2005, Crowley is a longtime fan of Curry's for her sensitive coverage of veterans' issues. It was Curry who helped to spearhead NBC's recent Hiring Our Heroes job fair for veterans. A partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the initiative included more than 400 job fairs across the country.

"She actually favorited a tweet of mine," Crowley fondly tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Crowley was searching for Curry's coverage of bullied school bus monitor Karen Klein when he learned of the Today co-host's likely dismissal. 

"All of a sudden I saw this article about how they were getting rid of her," Crowley says. "And I thought it was a stunt or The Onion or something. Some kind of fake article."

When it became apparent that it wasn't, Crowley leaped to action, launching "Keep Ann Curry on The Today Show" on Change.org, a petition website.

"I can't imagine what it's like having to go to work when you feel like you're being stabbed in the back," Crowley says. "It must really hurt."

STORY: Ill-Timed Ann Curry Interview: 'I’ve Been at 'Today' for 15 Years and I’d Love to Make it to 20'

The petition currently has only a few hundred signatures so far -- barely a drop in the bucket when you consider the 5 million viewers who tune in on average to Today. But Crowley is hopefully his modest campaign will help rally Curry's supporters in the days and weeks to come.

"I would just tell her not to let this get her down," Crowley responds when asked what he would tell Curry if he could. "Because she has a lot of people behind her, who love her, who love her journalism and her style. I'd just tell her to hang in there."

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