Exposing the dark side of Hollywood and Washington, recent revelations about sexual misconduct have swept the nation, destroying the careers of some of the most respected journalists and politicians. Watching 59-year-old former NBC “Today” host Matt Lauer fired for sexual mischief threw the entertainment world for a loop, only 10 days after 75-year veteran journalist Charlie Rose was fired Nov. 21 by CBS, PBS and Bloomberg for predatory behavior. Neither Rose nor Lauer denied the charges, despite taking exception with certain details. Both offered up self-effacing apologies bereft of any real contrition that would have included some type of rehabilitation. Fired for “inappropriate sexual behavior,” NBC News President Andy Lack wanted to show the network acted decisively getting rid of Lauer. But as the complaints roll in, it’s clear the NBC didn’t heed numerous past warnings.
Lauer and Rose’s mea culpa sounded like it was written by the same damage control expert, hoping to elicit sympathy for their disgraceful acts. “There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have cause other by words and actions. To people I have hurt, I am truly sorry . . . as I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and ad NBC,” said Lauer. Lauer’s phony mea culpa comes out early saying there are “no words” to explain his behavior, largely because he’s oblivious to his sexual perversity. No sexual predator, except when caught, can acknowledge their sickness because they don’t recognize their illness. If Lauer or Rose had any sincerity to their apologies, they would have checked themselves into a rehab facility for sexual deviates. Apologizing to victims does nothing other than stroke their own egos.
Lauer got closest to exposing the true nature of predatory sexual behavior with his contrived mea culpa. “Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there’s enough truth in their stories to make me feed embarrassed and ashamed,” said Lauer, showing the key defect to his personality. Lauer’s so narcissistic he can’t imagine anyone talking trash about him, even where he perpetrated lewd conduct and sexual assault. Lauer had to say there are some things that are “untrue” because he can’t imagine he did anything wrong until caught red handed. When Lauer says it’s been “humbling,” he’s really saying recent events have knocked him off his high horse. Getting $25 million a year from NBC put Lauer into the narcissistic stratosphere, above it all to imagine dropping his drawers and exposing himself would be considered inappropriate behavior.
Exposing Lauer, NBC’s 20-year media darling, points culpability at Andy Lack and NBC’s executive suite. It’s inconceivable NBC hadn’t heard for years stories about Lauer’s indiscretions. What’s coming out now, with all the details about his predatory behavior, was known by NBC executive for years, protecting their on-air talent at all costs. When Fox New fired their No. 1 prime-time host Bill O’Reilly Sept. 13, the 68-year-old journalist and best-selling author was unrepentant. No apologies from O’Reilly only denials about his past sexual predatory behavior. O’Reilly stayed true to his former boss the late Roger Ailes who went to his grave denying any sexual misconduct charges while building the nation’s premier conservative news network since 1995. While not known yet about Rose and Lauer, Fox News paid out millions in hush money to numerous sexual harassment victims.
Lack insists that Nov. 27 sexual complaint was the first for Lauer in his 20 years at NBC. “We were present with reason to believe that this may not have been an isolated incident,” said Lack, not admitting that numerous sexual harassment complaints were heard about Lauer for years yet the network did nothing. Lauer’s behavior, like Rose, involved exposing his genitals to his underlings without consent. Engaging in that kind to lewd conduct shows the extent of Lauer’s perversity, where a lack-of-control prevents otherwise rational behavior. Variety published a report of Lauer giving an underling a sex toy with a note of how he’d like to use it on her. In another case, Lauer exposed his genitals to a female co-worker. “We are deeply saddened by this turn of events. But we will face it together as a news organization—and do it in a transparent manner as we can,” said Lack.
Lack refuses to release personnel files that show numerous NBC female employees reported Lauer to their supervisors without repercussions. Lack claims it’s the first “complaint” about Lauer but what about the many notifications to supervisors and management staff that fell on deaf ears. Nationwide school systems have federal laws with mandatory reporting requirements for child abuse. While there’s no equivalent in Hollywood or Washington, Congress should legislate mandatory reporting laws about sexual harassment in the workplace. Only then would there be laws in place to prevent corporate executives failing to heed warnings until formal complaints are eventually filed. Sexual predators like Lauer and Rose have no place in the workplace. Corporations should not coddle key employees because they have top ratings and bring in big advertising bucks.