Sick of hearing MATT LAUER’s negative press, KATHIE LEE GIFFORD pens love letter to be pubb’ed with all the TODAY show staffers signing –  EXCEPT ANN CURRY!

Gifford, the co-host of the fourth hour of the NBC morning show got 'Today' cast and crew to sign a letter of support for media branded “super villain , but Lauer deep sixed the plan to publish the  “big, wet sloppy” as a full page advertisement.

Katie Lee Gifford told the New York Daily News she rallied Today show staffers and stars to sign a letter of support for her long-time pal and co-anchor.

"We all wanted to say something to Matt and nobody wanted to put him in a position that would make him uncomfortable," Gifford told the NY tab. "So unbeknownst to anyone higher up at NBC, I just started this thing."

The letter read: "We the people of the Today' show who work side by side, day by day, year in and year out with Matt Lauer are tired of unfounded and unrelenting stories by faceless characters regarding his character and reputation.

"No one has coerced us to sign this. With our signatures we stand in support of our colleague and friend."

All of Lauer's major co-stars — from Gifford to Hoda KotbAl Roker and Savannah Guthrie — signed the missive but former co-anchor Ann Curry’s John Hancock was noticeably absent.

Kathie Lee claims that's because Curry was traveling and unable to sign.

Hrrrm….There’s something called e-signature, Kathie?

Reportedly, Matt was deeply touched by the gesture, but begged Kathie Lee to abandon her plan to publish it as a full page ad in USA Today.

So, naturally, she did the next best thing –  PR wise – she leaked the letter with all the deets and got it published it anyway.