By EVAN ALDO
“Today” show co-host Matt Lauer was fired Wednesday due to inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace, an incident that “Today” executives said they learned about two days ago.
Lauer’s co-anchor, Savannah Guthrie, announced the news this morning on “Today.”
“This is a sad morning here at ‘Today’ and at NBC News,” Guthrie said before reading a statement from NBC News Chairman Andy Lack.
“Dear colleagues, on Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,” Lack’s statement read. “It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.”
The statement also said that this is the first complaint regarding Lauer’s behavior the company has received “in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News.”
“All we can say is that we are heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear friend and my partner and he is beloved by many, many people here. And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story and any other women who have their own stories to tell,” said Guthrie.
All that is really known about Lauer’s misconduct is that an NBC staffer had complained about his behavior from throughout 2014, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Also, The New York Post reported an incident that occurred during the coverage of the 2016 Olympics in Rio. However, no details from these incidents can be confirmed.
Lauer’s firing comes just days after “CBS This Morning” host Charlie Rose was canned for his behavior towards women, which included showering naked in front of them at his home. This leaves “Good Morning America” host George Stephanopoulos as the only remaining male anchor of the top three network morning shows.
The news media have covered these stories extensively during the past few days. This story is currently on the front page of CNN, FOX, MSNBC and The New York Times.
Since NBC News fired Lauer without much of an investigation at all, what he was accused of doing must be severe. The network will likely lose ratings due to his absence since he was very popular.
Although I believe it is important for the news media to cover stories such as these, this is taking away a lot of attention from the fact that North Korea has successfully tested a ballistic missile that officially put the U.S. mainland within range of its nuclear weapons.
This is a very dangerous fact that should be the main topic of news for today. With its recent threats and other tests, North Korea is clearly not playing around.
The news media need to help convince citizens and governments that North Korea is a real threat.
A great tragedy can occur if America looks the other way on this issue. If we are not careful, we will be on the verge World War III if North Korea decides to launch one of these missiles at the United States.