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NBC News on Matt Lauer sexual harassment probe: We knew nothing

NBC News on Matt Lauer sexual harassment probe: We knew nothing

One female claimed NBC “protected the sh*t out of Matt Lauer.”

NBC News has released its internal investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment and assault against former star Matt Lauer.

What a shock. The network found that management had absolutely no knowledge of his alleged behavior.

NBC fired Lauer in November after leadership “received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace. NBC President Andrew Lack said the accusations “represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standard.”

The investigation team interviewed 68 people, including current and former employees. The team discovered that the four females “who came forward confirmed that they did not tell their direct manager or anyone else in a position of authority about their sexual encounters with Lauer.”

They also could not find anyone in leadership roles at NBC News, the Today Show, News HR, or News Division that new about the allegations against Lauer. Several of the people interviewed “expressed shock upon reading press reports regarding Lauer’s alleged behavior,” which included individuals who worked with him on a regular basis:

A number of individuals interviewed said that Lauer could be flirtatious, would frequently make jokes, some with sexual overtones, and would openly engage in sexually-oriented banter in the workplace. Several women also credibly described to the investigation team being the subject of what they believed was a sexual overture from Lauer in which he complimented them on their appearance in sexually suggestive ways. According to these women, Lauer did not pursue them further when they deflected or ignored the overture, and they did not experience any retaliation. All these women stated that they did not report this behavior to anyone in a position of authority.

Overall, the “team does not believe there is a current widespread or systemic pattern of behavior that violates Company policy or a current culture of harassment in the News Division.”

That’s quite odd because previous reports contradict this latest investigation. Variety published an article the day Lauer lost his job that stated its reporters spent two months investigating claims against Lauer:

As the co-host of NBC’s “Today,” Matt Lauer once gave a colleague a sex toy as a present. It included an explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her, which left her mortified.

On another day, he summoned a different female employee to his office, and then dropped his pants, showing her his penis. After the employee declined to do anything, visibly shaken, he reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act.

Some producers told Variety they were conflicted about what to do around Lauer. They worried that their careers would be sidelined if they didn’t return his advances. “There is such shame with Matt Lauer not liking you,” the former employee added. “I did this special with him and we are traveling and I had a cold sore on my lip and I heard him say to Bryant Gumbel, ‘She has this really ugly cold sore on her lip,’ like that was something to be ashamed of. He was just really cruel.”

Oh, wait. There’s more:

Lauer’s conduct was not a secret among other employees at “Today,” numerous sources say. At least one of the anchors would gossip about stories she had heard, spreading them among the staff. “Management sucks there,” says a former reporter, who asked not to be identified, speaking about executives who previously worked at the show. “They protected the shit out of Matt Lauer.”

According to producers, Lauer — who had considerable editorial clout over which stories would ultimately air on “Today”— would frequently dismiss stories about cheating husbands. However, in the wake of Roger Ailes and Harvey Weinstein, Lauer had to keep up with a national conversation about sexual harassment. It often made for awkward moments on TV for staff members who knew about Lauer’s private interactions.

Did the investigation team not interview these females?

In April, The Washington Post reported that former Today co-host Ann Curry spoke to leadership about Lauer:

During her last year on the “Today” show, in 2012, Lauer’s co-host Ann Curry said she approached two members of NBC’s management team after an NBC female staffer told her she was “sexually harassed physically” by Lauer. “A woman approached me and asked me tearfully if I could help her,” Curry recalled recently, in her first public comments about the episode. “She was afraid of losing her job. . . . I believed her.”

The woman, she said, implored Curry not to reveal her name to anyone, and she obliged. But Curry specifically named Lauer as a person of concern. “I told management they had a problem and they needed to keep an eye on him and how he deals with women,” she said.

The NBC staffer confirmed to The Washington Post that she went to Curry with her complaint. She spoke on the condition of anonymity because she fears retaliation.

I am guessing the investigation team did not interview Curry.

An NBC spokesman told the WaPo that “the company has no record of her warning and added that there was no mention of it in Lauer’s personal file.”

Let’s go back to the Variety article from November (emphasis mine):

“Management sucks there,” says a former reporter, who asked not to be identified, speaking about executives who previously worked at the show. “They protected the shit out of Matt Lauer.”

Fox News spoke to a few current and former employees who were understandably upset over the findings of NBC’s investigation:

“This is a complete whitewash, a disgrace, and a disgustingly transparent defense of Andy Lack. [NBCUniversal CEO] Steve Burke should be ashamed of himself,” a current NBC staffer who works closely with “Today” told Fox News.

“I’ve just spoken to several women there who are furious,” a former NBC News executive told Fox News.

“This report is a total joke,” said a former on-air NBC News personality. “Someone has to say that.”

Last December, the network received backlash after it decided not to launch an independent investigation. LI’s Professor Jacobson spoke to Fox News:

Embattled NBC News execs are doubling down on their refusal to appoint an outside investigator into sexual misconduct at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, instead announcing a series of internal steps they themselves are overseeing….

Cornell University law professior and Legal Insurrection founder William Jacobson said Lack had no business overseeing the investigation.

“It’s hard to see how an internal investigation that reports to senior executives would be viewed as complete and transparent when the conduct, or lack of conduct, of senior executives, such as Andrew Lack, necessarily should an issue,” Jacobson told Fox News.

“Anything other than an independent outside investigation that reports to the NBC Universal Board of Directors would raise questions as to whether responsibility is being pushed down to lower corporate levels.”

The report said that “[T]he investigation team consulted with two outside law firms about this investigation” and the two “firms have concluded that the investigation team took appropriate investigative steps and that the factual findings and related conclusions in this report appear to have been carefully and thoughtfully drawn from evidence available.”


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Hogan’s Heroes was on CBS.

    TX-rifraph in reply to Firewatch. | May 9, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    Sgt Schultz wrote the NBC Sexual Harassment Policy:
    “I see nothing, I hear nothing, and I say NOTHING!!!”

We investigated ourselves thoroughly and found that we didn’t do anything wrong.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Max17. | May 9, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    NBC is a cesspool, probably the worst of the networks. I never watch them because of their spin on news

We didn’t know anything because we told everybody to shut up before they said anything we’d have to take seriously.

Breaking News: It’s News to NBC News

No mention of Ann Curry being fired for reporting two young girls were sexually assaulted/harassed by Lauer to upper management.

They can drop all this stuff now. The SJWs bagged their quarry … Cosby … the black guy who was telling The Community that they might want to get off the Dem plantation. Mission accomplished, no need to sacrifice any more of their fellow SJWs like Franken or this zero Lauer just to look good.

No one knew anything, but yet many have said it was an “open secret” around there.

And they wonder why people don’t trust them to give the news. Everything has turned into political spin and opinions given as news. And on certain events you can hear them using the same words and phrases, so it comes from a centralized source, in a manner which was tested for the most effectiveness to push an agenda.

And this is probably the stuff they allow to some degree to get out, the darker stuff remains under gag orders.

regulus arcturus | May 9, 2018 at 7:38 pm

Complete bullshit.

NBC lying.

Nothing new.

Only proves that NBC has gotten so corrupt they’ve gone “nose blind” – anyone with any sense of truth left would know this lie wouldn’t sell.

“We can’t share our findings with the public because our dog ate the report.”

…which reminds me, has ANY media org dug into outing the list of journalists who took bribes from Fusion GPS? Gosh golly, that seems like an important story.

I took one look at the scenes of the Today Show when they did their ‘special’ for the Fifty Shades of Grey with Matt Lauer in that leather outfit (that just fit him too well) and knew this puppy was sick.

Does anyone still believe there’s one set of rules for everyone.

Anyone suing NBC yet?

Discovery would rubbish this “investigation” pretty easily.

“NBC investigating NBC has found no evidence of wrongdoing by NBC.”


Henry Hawkins | May 11, 2018 at 9:10 am

You know, the American judicial and prison systems could save a lot of time and money following NBC’s lead and simply letting defendants determine whether or not they are guilty.

So why did they fire him then? Since there was no evidence that he was harassing women?