The long-time host of The Today Show on NBC, Matt Lauer, was fired today barely 24 hours after the first complaint about his behavior during his 25 years at the network, according to a memo circulated by Andrew Lack, the network’s president for news.
The stated reason was “inappropriate workplace conduct.”
But there might be 28 million other reasons: Lauer’s reported salary was $28 million. That’s a lot of bread, for any broadcast network, in an industry plagued by declining ratings amid systemic audience shifts away from traditional broadcast television and towards alternative technologies and media.
Lack’s memorandum stated the network received a “detailed complaint” this past Monday night about the 59-year-old Lauer’s behavior. He acknowledged it was the first complaint ever received, then continued by claiming the network “was presented with reason to believe [the alleged incident] may not have been an isolated incident.”
As the purge — or is it, the putsch — of Men (Allegedly) Behaving Badly continues, of concern should be the apparent Star Chamber treatment of some of the biggest “stars” in show business, politics and, likely, other arenas in public life, celebrities or “big names” all. It is not certain – and from a mathematical perspective, unlikely – that everyone named in a complaint is guilty.
What does this all mean?
The incredible pace with which the network moved after receiving, it claims, the first and only complaint this past Monday night must raise questions about the strength of the evidence, the credibility of the network’s response and investigation and the network’s true motives. For now, without knowing more or having the access to the critical documentation, the incredible speed with which this decision was apparently made suggests haste, at the very least.
Should the NBC documents be accurate, this means that a major employer went from 0 to red zone termination territory, from receipt of complaint through the stages of investigation, inquiry, collection of evidence and likely some review by internal (and external) legal counsel, to decision, in less than 36 hours.
Such speed could – and emphasis needs to be placed on that word, “could,” because there are so many actual hard facts not available right now – mean the “evidence” was really strong. As in damning, no-explanation-necessary, this-is-unacceptable behavior.
We don’t know the behavior, the context in which it allegedly occurred or the validity of the evidence. We also don’t know Lauer’s side of the story.
Quick question: Was 24 hours (and likely, far less time) enough time for anyone to determine that whatever “evidence” may have been presented was indeed genuine evidence, i.e., not fabricated, distorted or otherwise manufactured to support whatever allegation was made?
The speed alone will give rise to suspicions (and conspiracy theories, any second now) that the firing is either a cover-up of something else (misconduct by someone else?), perhaps an intentional distraction, or that it was a pre-ordained move instigated by someone in upper management with either a strong grudge or other motive.
One thing to remember: Such a move might be grounds for “termination with cause” and could be motivated by a desire to get out of the high salary Lauer was commanding. You don’t think saving $28 million wouldn’t motivate a network, plagued by declining market share (which is affecting all old-guard media), to look for every possible way to get from under that burden?
Something else to remember: We have not heard from Lauer or his representatives. They surely will be very busy today. Lauer’s employment is reportedly governed by an employment or personal services contract, and the terms of that will surely be hotly contested.
A third thing to remember: We don’t know the details of the allegations. But what will now be the “bar” or “standard” for what is merely “inappropriate workplace” behavior, or “fireable” offenses?
Celebrities generally are plagued by opportunists, scam artists and the like. They now may be under career-threatening danger from anyone in their pasts with a grudge, real or imagined, who has access to questionable evidence (which is more available in the age of smartphone cameras, etc.).
And those statements are applicable – to the celebrities who are innocent.
The current fever pitch of scandal is encouraging virtue-signaling-by-firing, perhaps with due process being discarded. But we should also pause to think whether this “trend” might ruin — permanently, irreversibly — careers, reputations and even lives.
Lauer started his broadcasting career in 1980 and began his NBC stint in 1992 with dual gigs co-hosting studio programs at the network-owned New York flagship station WNBC.
Will America-First News Outlets Make it to 2023?
Things are looking grim for conservative and populist news sites.
There’s something happening behind the scenes at several popular conservative news outlets. 2021 was bad, but 2022 is proving to be disastrous for news sites that aren’t “playing ball” with the corporate media narrative. It’s being said that advertisers are cracking down, forcing some of the biggest ad networks like Google and Yahoo to pull their inventory from conservative outlets. This has had two major effects. First, it has cooled most conservative outlets from discussing “taboo” topics like Pandemic Panic Theater, voter fraud, or The Great Reset. Second, it has isolated those ad networks that aren’t playing ball.
Certain topics are anathema for most ad networks. Speaking out against vaccines or vaccine mandates is a certain path to being demonetized. Highlighting voter fraud in the 2020 and future elections is another instant advertising death penalty. Throw in truthful stories about climate change hysteria, Critical Race Theory, and the border crisis and it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for America-First news outlets to spread the facts, share conservative opinions, and still pay the bills.
Without naming names, I have been told of several news outlets who have been forced to either consolidate with larger organizations or who have backed down on covering certain topics out of fear of being “canceled” by the ad networks. I get it. This is a business for many of us and it’s not very profitable. Those of us who do this for a living are often barely squeaking by, so loss of additional revenue can often mean being forced to make cuts. That means not being able to cover the topics properly. Its a Catch-22: Tell the truth and lose the money necessary to keep telling the truth, or avoid the truth and make enough money to survive. Those who have chosen survival simply aren’t able to spread the truth properly.
We will never avoid the truth. The Lord will provide if it is His will. Our job is simply to share the facts, spread the Gospel, and educate as many Americans as possible while exposing the forces of evil.
To those who have the means, we ask that you please donate. We have options available now, but there is no telling when those options will cancel us. We have our GivingFuel page. There have been many who have been canceled by PayPal, but for now it’s still an option. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!
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