by WorldTribune Staff, December 7, 2017
Despite the denials of current and former NBC executives, Matt Lauer’s long history of sexual misconduct was well known to the “boys club” at the network which brushed Lauer’s behavior “under the carpet,” reports say.
“Everybody at NBC knew about Matt Lauer’s sexually inappropriate behavior – and knew not to talk about it,” current Today Show staffers said, according to a report by Vanity Fair.
“Women did complain about his behavior, and there were a lot of closed-door meetings before it was all brushed under the carpet,” one staffer said.
A former producer told Variety, “There were a lot of consensual relationships, but that’s still a problem because of the power he held. He couldn’t sleep around town with celebrities or on the road with random people, because he’s Matt Lauer and he’s married. So he’d have to do it within his stable, where he exerted power, and he knew people wouldn’t ever complain.”
A current staffer also alleged, “Matt’s sexual conquests were general office fodder. There was constant innuendo in the office about which woman had just had sex with Matt and which one would be next.” Another female staffer added, “They feared Matt. The last few years, as well as the many years before, Matt controlled all of the women on the show and had all the men bowing and scraping to him.”
In a Nov. 27 memo announcing Lauer’s firing, NBC News Chairman Andy Lack said the incident that was reported that led to the decision to let Lauer go was “the first complaint about [Lauer’s] behavior in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News.”
Former NBC executive Jeff Zucker said that “For five years in my career, you know, no one ever brought to me or to my knowledge, there was never a complaint about Matt, there was never a suggestion of that kind of deviant, predatory behavior, not even a whisper of it.”
Zucker, however, was actually on hand at an event that many are pointing to as a sign of Lauer’s proclivities and his colleagues’ willingness to not only let it slide, but joke about it.
During a 2008 Friar’s Club Roast at the Hilton Midtown in New York City, Zucker joked that “I don’t want to say Matt is a germophobe, but he’s the only guy I know who uses Purell both before and after he masturbates.” In another crude inference, he told the room: “It’s good to see Matt up here and not under my desk.”
A media executive who was in attendance told Fox News: “This was a comedic roast, but there was clearly a vein of truth running through all those jokes. You had Katie Couric, Meredith Vieira and Jeff Zucker all standing up there joking about his sex in the office, his kinkiness. They all knew.”
Martha Stewart joked, “I hear NBC executives call Matt the ‘Cock of the Rock.’ ”
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said he had to leave the room because it was full of jokes about Lauer “pushing himself on people” and “having sex with employees.”
Scarborough noted of Lauer’s behavior: “Was this whispered behind closed doors? No, it was shouted from the mountaintops and everybody laughed about it, which tells you what culture used to be.”