During the 2016 presidential campaign, Matt Lauer conducted a town hall with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump that was so sexist that it presented an obvious and giant red flag about Lauer’s attitudes toward and treatment of women.
NBC News boss Andy Lack notified employees of Lauer’s firing in a Wednesday memo:
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.
The pattern has been that men who sexually harass don’t do it one. The vast majority men who choose to abuse their status and power and commit sexual harassment engage in this conduct as a pattern of behavior.
Anyone who saw this infamous town hall with Lauer and Hillary Clinton should not be surprised by his firing:
As I noted at the time, “Matt Lauer repeatedly tried to cut off and interrupt Clinton, but the Democratic nominee got rolling and blew past the morning host’s constant interruptions.”
It wasn’t Lauer’s questions, which were off topic and a hit job, but that is what Clinton faced during the campaign from most media, as much as his attitude and the level of disrespect that he showed to Hillary Clinton. Lauer did not treat Donald Trump in a similar manner during his segment at the same Commander In Chief forum. Lauer allowed Trump to run wild, ramble on without interruption and didn’t challenge the Republican candidate in the same manner that he talked to Clinton.
Lauer’s behavior was there for anyone to see, but the problem both at NBC and in society, in general, is people turned a blind eye and allowed a powerful man to harass and abuse women. NBC’s preemptive action shows that the climate is changing, and no one, not even one of the highest paid figures in the land is immune from the consequences of engaging in sexual harassment.