HOOOOOOOOOLY SHIT! What a bombshell! We got the reaction live on the podcast. I’m stunned. Just shocked. Not shocked in an oh I can’t believe Matt Lauer is a dirtbag sort of way, but stunned that they just ripped the band-aid right off. I saw the Tweet from Jim Rutenberg and checked at least two times to make sure it was real.
Matt Lauer has to be the biggest name in media. Name me someone bigger. Charlie Rose may have at least been the OG name, but he got fired last week. Lauer was making over $20 million and the face of the network. He just interviewed Bill O’Reilly over similar complaints! Crazy.
He had to do something so terrible and there has to be evidence– text, pictures, audio. Something. He’s too big, and too important to NBC, to just fire over an allegation.
Here’s the statement from NBC News President Andy Lack:
On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment. While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.
Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender.
We are deeply saddened by this turn of events. But we will face it together as a news organization – and do it in as transparent a manner as we can. To that end, Noah and I will be meeting with as many of you as possible throughout the day today to answer your questions.
Matt Lauer allegedly sexually assaulted a female NBC staffer during the Rio Olympics, sources told Page Six.
The staffer, who has not been named and wishes to remain anonymous, complained to NBC News bosses yesterday, prompting them to move fast and fire him.
A source told Page Six, “An NBC staffer come forward with a claim that Matt sexually assaulted her at the Olympics. There have been rumors about Matt having affairs with subordinates at NBC for years, but those were believed to be consensual. This incident in Rio was not.”
Oh, Matt, no.
My household is taking this particularly hard this morning. My wife has converted me to an NBC guy. I liked Lauer. Everyone liked to bash him over being a soft morning host, particularly over that pseudo debate he moderated last year, but I always thought he did a good job balancing real news with the frivolous items that morning shows are required to cover. He felt too big to be stupid enough to put himself in this position.
He’s had to interview colleagues over their missteps – imagine being Brian Williams today, who had to answer questions from Lauer over what now seem like nothing mistakes of faking his news – and recently counterpart O’Reilly over this very topic, all the while knowing, somewhere, that he’s done some things and that it was only a matter of time.
Watching the Today Show right now is like watching Inception. At 8, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb sent it to Stephanie Gosk outside the Rainbow Room who played highlights of Savannah and Hoda reading the news about Lauer at 7, before we wound up back in the studio with Savannah and Hoda. Wild. What’s crazier is that the NBC Rockefeller Center tree lighting is scheduled for tonight, with Lauer, Savannah and Hoda as the hosts!
Crazier still, if the thing about Rio is true, this was around the same time the Today Show crew was getting bent out of shape over Billy Bush’s lack of reporting chops following the Ryan Lochte nonsense. A few months later, they revolted when Bush was caught on tape with Trump. Suddenly ol’ Billy doesn’t seem so bad!
Who takes over? Gotta be Willie Geist. He has that Sunday show, which isn’t particularly good and mostly just consists of him playing three-day-old viral videos and interviewing Judd Apatow. But he’s the most digestible face NBC has right now.
Here’s the thing with media: There are basically two types of people– those who want to be on TV or famous, and those who care about the news. The ones who care about the news aren’t famous– they just have people telling you to read their Tweet threads. The famous ones are mostly there because they want to be famous. I mean, at one point, the Today Show employed the cousin of George W. Bush and also his daughter. This is entertainment, an incestuous meat pie of elites and wannabes, with few making it and everybody else trying to, which breeds this sort of ecosystem of harassment. Most of these people are raging narcissists. Throw in fame, money and a little bit of power and you have a recipe for this stuff.
The big winner today is Good Morning America, which over the past two weeks has seen the leading hosts of its two competitor shows get shitcanned over sexual harassment. The conspiracy theorists have been on to Charlie Rose for years, but Lauer, who we all knew was a potentially womanizing dick who played a good guy on TV, is still surprising. Who’s next? I imagine Michael Strahan is shaking in his boots.