Oh No, Not You Too, Matt Lauer
by John Lawrence
NBC announced the firing of Matt Lauer, co-host of its most profitable morning show, "The Today Show" because of allegations of sexual misconduct. It sounds to me like a consensual relationship gone sour. The New York Times reported:
It was the complaint on Monday [November 27, 2017] that prompted NBC to take action. “On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,” Andrew Lack, the NBC News chairman, said in a memo to the staff. “While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
In a division-wide meeting with his staff later in the morning, Mr. Lack said that Mr. Lauer’s involvement with the woman began while they were in Sochi, Russia, for the Winter Olympics in 2014, according to two people briefed on the meeting, and that their involvement continued after they returned to New York.
On Wednesday morning, Ari Wilkenfeld, a civil rights lawyer with the firm Wilkenfeld, Herendeen & Atkinson in Washington, said he represented the woman who had made the initial complaint to NBC, but declined to publicly identify her. In a statement provided to The Times, he said:
“My client and I met with representatives from NBC’s Human Resources and Legal Departments at 6 p.m. on Monday for an interview that lasted several hours. Our impression at this point is that NBC acted quickly, as all companies should, when confronted with credible allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace.
NBC fired Lauer 34 hours after the woman "came forward" with her lawyer over an incident that occurred three years ago. Sound like a rush to judgment to me. Andrew Lack, the NBC News chairman, said in a memo to the staff. “While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.” So the guy is one of the best known figures on television, a host of the summer and winter Olympics, and he loses his job and his reputation due to an anonymous woman with anonymous allegations? No due process? I hope Matt Lauer has a "golden parachute" clause in his contract.
If the relationship started at Sochi at the Winter Olympics and continued after they got back, its sounds pretty consensual to me. For whatever reason the woman looked back three years later and decided it wasn't consensual. And what about the fact that she was married at the time? Was Lauer also married? If so nothing is ever mentioned in these stories about the fact that a spouse(s) have been wronged or that that has anything to do with the firings. It is only the woman with the allegations who has been wronged. Forget about the fact that Lauer was evidently married at the time of this affair, and whether or not his wife suffered as a consequence of it. At any rate she certainly will suffer over Matt's loss of income.
Well, Lauer can go to work for RT television the way a lot of other fired TV hosts have. Ed Schultz used to have a show on MSNBC and was let go, I think, because he was too controversial. It had nothing to do with sex. He, like Larry King, now both work for RT. About the same time Lauer was fired, it was announced that the press credentials of RT reporters had been revoked by the US Congress. A few days ago RT was forced to register as a foreign agent. A similar action was taken by Moscow with regard to American shows like Voice of America.
In addition to Larry King and Ed Schulz, Americans such as Thom Hartmann, Max Keiser, Stacy Herbert, Ed Schulz and Mike Papantonio also have shows on RT. Is the US Congress trying to silence the views of those Americans just because their shows are financed from Moscow? Or do they want to get rid of RT because they air views that are critical of the US?