Matt Lauer carved out a long and immensely lucrative career in media by learning to master the very dubious arts of stylized piety, virtue signaling, moral preening, and holier-than-thou sanctimony. But now, suddenly, we find out that good ol’ Matt – while dutifully feigning interest in world affairs, human rights, social justice, economics, and “women’s issues” – was never really anything more than a lewd, lecherous, simpleminded little frat boy whose entire world revolved around his own genitalia.
Lauer’s sanctimony reached its apex during his withering September 19th interview with Bill O’Reilly, after the latter had been fired from Fox News amid allegations of his own sexual improprieties. With an air of smugness and imperiousness, Lauer mocked O’Reilly with all the effervescence of a putrid little nerd gleefully pulling the wings off of a helpless moth. “Is this a vast left-wing conspiracy?” he asked, not even attempting to conceal his trademark smirk.
Nor was it possible to miss the irony in what Lauer said to O’Reilly regarding the apparent credibility of the charges against him: “You were probably the last guy in the world they wanted to fire, because you were the guy that the ratings and the revenue were built on. You carried that network on your shoulders for a lot of years, so doesn’t it seem safe to assume that the people at Fox News were given a piece of information or given some evidence that simply made it impossible for you to stay on at Fox News?”
Remarkably, the Variety magazine article that outlined the facts of Lauer’s crude sexual antics made a very similar point about him, noting that because he “was widely considered the crown jewel of the network’s news division, with a $25 million annual salary” and a morning news show that “was No. 1 in the ratings,” NBC’s executives “were eager to keep him happy.”
In his interview with O’Reilly, Lauer asked: “Did you ever send a lewd text or e-mail to an another employee at Fox News?” Perhaps Lauer’s purpose in asking that question was to try to pick up a few helpful hints for spicing up his own electronic communications, as he himself now stands accused of “sexting female staffers at NBC” and “sending lewd messages and revealing pictures to women including a young intern.”
“The New York Times reported that up to five women had come forward over the years,” Lauer said to O’Reilly, “and complained about sexual harassment at your hands and that Fox News actually made deals with those women – financial settlements – amounting to about thirteen million dollars for their silence. Is that accurate?”
This inquisitor, mind you, was the very same Matt Lauer who privately knew that he himself had once given a female colleague, to her horror, a sex toy accompanied by an explicit note describing how he wished to use the device on the woman. The same Matt Lauer who had once summoned a female employee to his office, dropped his pants, displayed his penis as though he were a chimpanzee performing a mating ritual, and then reprimanded the woman when she resisted his charms and declined to perform a sex act on him. The same Matt Lauer who liked to ask female producers to reveal the identities of people whom they had bedded in the past, even offering to trade the names of his own sexual partners in return. The same Matt Lauer who was big on the quiz game “Fu–, Marry, or Kill,” in which he would identify the female co-hosts with whom he would most like to have intercourse.
“Think about those five women and what they did,” Lauer pressed relentlessly during his sit-down with O’Reilly. “They came forward and filed complaints against the biggest star at the network they worked at. Think of how intimidating that must have been; how nerve-wracking that must have been. Doesn’t that tell you how strongly they felt about the way they were treated by you?”
Yes, it probably took almost as much courage as Lauer’s own accusers had demonstrated over the years when they, as the Variety story asserts, had similarly “complained to executives at the network about Lauer’s behavior, [complaints] which fell on deaf ears given the lucrative advertising surrounding.” As one former NBC reporter put it: “Management sucks there [at NBC]. They protected the sh– out of Matt Lauer.”
“Let me put a period on it this way, Bill,” Lauer continued in fraternal tones, “by asking you, over the last six months since your firing, have you done some soul-searching? Have you done some self reflection, and have you looked at the way you treated women that you think now – or think about differently now that you did at the time?”
One wonders whether Lauer himself has engaged in any “soul-searching” about the fact that in his own NBC office, which was strategically situated in a secluded space, he had a desk equipped with a hidden button that enabled him to lock his door remotely, without even having to stand up and tuck his genitalia back into his underpants. At least two women have reported that Lauer sexually harassed them after pressing that button.
In the final analysis, Matt Lauer is hardly different from Harvey Weinstein, Russell Simmons, Charlie Rose, Mark Halperin, Kevin Spacey, or any of the other many left-wing molesters who have basked in the limelight of the entertainment and news industries for decades on end, casting themselves as moral titans who care so deeply about the “little” guy and gal. For the most part, we only see these pampered celebrities after teams of makeup and wardrobe professionals have given them perfectly manicured nails, impeccably styled hair, shiny leather shoes, and flawlessly fitted suits. But behind the glossy facade, Matt Lauer and his ilk are little more than crude, brutish barbarians. Conservatives ought to keep this very much in mind, the next time some stooge on CNN or MSNBC burps up a hollow, hackneyed platitude about the left’s high regard for women or anyone else.