The Great 2017 Housecleaning Of Garbage Men In Media™ continues as NBC fired Today Show host Matt Lauer overnight over sexual misconduct claims.
The reckoning over sexual harassment in the workplace claimed another leading television personality on Wednesday when NBC fired its leading morning news anchor, Matt Lauer, over a sexual harassment allegation.
“On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,” Andrew Lack, the NBC News president, said in a memo to the staff.
He said the allegation against Mr. Lauer “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 20 years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident,” Mr. Lack said.
Ari Wilkenfeld, a civil rights lawyer with the firm Wilkenfeld, Herendeen & Atkinson in Washington, said he represented the woman who made the complaint to NBC, but declined to publicly identify her. In a statement provided to The New York Times, he said:
“My client and I met with representatives from NBC’s Human Resources and Legal Departments at 6 p.m. on Monday for an interview that lasted several hours. Our impression at this point is that NBC acted quickly, as all companies should, when confronted with credible allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace.
“While I am encouraged by NBC’s response to date, I am in awe of the courage my client showed to be the first to raise a complaint and to do so without making any demands other than the company do the right thing.”
The Times met with the woman Monday afternoon, but she said she was not ready to come forward and tell her story publicly.
Page Six is reporting that the complaint involved Lauer sexually assaulting an NBC employee during the network's coverage of the 2014 Sochi games.
Matt Lauer allegedly sexually assaulted a female NBC staffer during the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, sources told Page Six.
An NBC insider said Lauer’s alleged victim complained to HR on Monday: “This happened so quickly. She 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.”
Another source tells us that the decision to fire Lauer was made late Tuesday night by NBC News chairman Andy Lack.
Lauer’s firing comes amid rumors that several news outlets were working on stories about his alleged sexual misconduct.
Reporters for the New York Times had been investigating Lauer for several weeks, according to sources who had been contacted by the paper, CNN reported.
I'm sure that NBC knew that the NY Times and Variety were going to drop these stories soon, so the HR complaint became the reason to pro-actively fire Lauer before the stories hit the airwaves, but let's not pretend like they're the good guys. NBC happily employed now fired pundit Mark Halperin as a contributor as well as Donald Trump himself, and Lauer's long list of creepy rumors has been around for years now.
Also, NBC had no problem hiring Megyn "New Black Panther Party is really scary you guys" Kelly away from her state media job at FOX News, so yeah, NBC had no choice but to get rid of him sooner rather than later.
Lauer won't be the last media figure to lose their job over a career filled with sexual misconduct, either. More are coming, guaranteed. The floodgates are open and the garbage is getting washed away...and that brings us to today's other media firing, Minnesota Public Radio's Garrison Keillor.
Garrison Keillor, the former host of “A Prairie Home Companion,” says he’s been fired by Minnesota Public Radio over allegations of improper behavior.
Keillor told The Associated Press of his firing in an email. In a follow-up statement, he says he was fired over “a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.”
He didn’t give details of the allegation. Minnesota Public Radio didn’t immediately respond to messages.
Keillor retired last year from his longtime radio show, but still produced “The Writer’s Almanac” for syndication.
NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik confirmed the story on Twitter this afternoon.
Minnesota Public Radio has confirmed it has severed all ties with Keillor and his enterprises, will pull repeats featuring him & rename "Prairie Home Companion" - one that helped define that broadcaster— David Folkenflik (@davidfolkenflik) November 29, 2017
Considering NPR has its own problems with sexual harassment in the workplace, I'm not surprised at Keillor's firing at all.
2017 has been a garbage year full of garbage people, but let's not forget that the biggest sack of manure remains in the Oval Office.