Matt Lauer


People at NBC News have worked closely with Matt Lauer for more than 20 years. Am I supposed to believe them when they tell me that they just discovered on Monday night that he’s apparently incapable of acting like a gentleman should, around female colleagues he works with?

I’m sorry. I don’t believe that.

What I do believe is that big time media and entertainment figures, and big time politicians, have long considered the right to behave in an atrocious manner toward anyone they are sexually attracted to, to be one of the perks of their celebrity. I also believe that big time media companies have long considered paying victims of behavior among their stars, ranging from sexual harassment to rape, substantial civil settlements to be part of their cost of doing business.

I don’t think anyone should be surprised that Matt Lauer’s former employer, NBC News, admits that the complaint they received about sexual misconduct by Lauer, that they say they investigated and believe to be true, is not the first complaint of that kind they received about Lauer.

But, and again, pardon my Wednesday morning cynicism, if “The Today Show” now were as clearly profitable, and dominant in the ratings, as it has been in past, would corporate NBC continue to employ Matt Lauer, and continue to cover up his sexually abusive behavior, and pay his victims civil settlements, to ensure their silence???

I believe corporate NBC would do that.