One of the people who's thrown their name in to possibly be a new 'American Idol' judge is Aretha Franklin.  On the last hour of the 'Today' show on Monday, Kathie Lee Gifford BASHED that idea.

Quote, "If they are looking for a younger demographic, there are a lot of kids out there [who] actually don't know who Aretha Franklin is.  It's sad, but they don't."

Yesterday, Aretha responded . . . and, to her credit, managed NOT to call Kathie Lee an idiot.  Quote, "My audience and fans span the age of eight to 90!  And are multi-ethnic, and I am very well known to young adults, tweens and teens . . . I'm surprised Kathie Lee did not research my worldwide celebrity audience."

Aretha Frankin is class all the way. Oh, and Kathie Lee, PLEASE SHUT UP!