- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 29, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Matt Lauer, of NBC “Today” show fame, has been fired, the latest in a long — and ever-growing longer — list of celebrity males who’ve been accused of some sort of sexual misconduct.

Another bigwig bites the sexual harassment dust.

The announcement came by way of a memo from NBC’s chairman Andy Lack. Savannah Guthrie, Lauer’s now-former “Today” co-host, confirmed the announcement on air.

Lack’s memo stipulated that this was the first complaint ever filed against Lauer during his time with NBC.

But there was a caveat.

“We were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident,” Lack’s statement read.

And now this, reported by the Hill, citing the New York Post: “An NBC staffer came 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.”

The New York Post elaborated on Page Six, citing an NBC insider: “This happened so quickly. She [the accuser] didn’t go to the media, she made a complaint to NBC’s human resources and her evidence was so compelling that Matt was fired on Tuesday night. The victim says she has evidence that this has also happened to other women, but so far we don’t have evidence of that.”

Lauer’s firing comes just a week after CBS honcho Charlie Rose was let go for several sexual harassment and misconduct accusations from various women.

Details are still sketchy, but here’s the larger Lack statement, sent around to NBC executives on Monday evening: “[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.”

Holy cow. Is there an end to this?

Smart money says — not any time soon.

NBC, after all, was the outlet that turned away Ronan Farrow’s reporting on Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein. Farrow then took his months-long investigation of Weinstein sexual harassment charges to The New Yorker, where it was published — and subsequently, rocked media waves.

“Ronan was basically told to stop working on [the Weinstein piece],” said one source to CNN, back in October.

Why?

In a word: Hush. NBC’s top brass wanted the story of Weinstein kept quiet.

And now one of their own — one of their biggest names, Lauer — is seeing his star crumble for essentially the same alleged reasons.

 

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