In light of Matt Lauer's firing over allegations of rampant sexual misconduct, much of the Today host's previous work now looks downright disturbing.?
Lauer is just the latest public figure to chartph.come under scrutiny, with NBC News choosing to fire its star anchor after a colleague made a chartph.complaint. Subsequent reports in Variety and the New York Times detailed ugly and coercive encounters with female employees at the network.
Now, some of his interviews don't feel so good, either.
You may remember his unchartph.comfortable interview with Anne Hathaway after paparazzi snapped a violating upskirt photo of the actress while she was exiting a car, starting off his interview with the inappropriate observation, "seen a lot of you lately."
There's also a tone deaf Today show "chartph.comedy" segment from 2012, in which Lauer ironically played the victim of workplace sexual harassment, and a Watch What Happens Live interview in which Katie Couric revealed that Lauer "pinches me on the ass a lot."?
A TMZ video from 2006 also shows Lauer making inappropriate remarks to Meredith Vieira on set, telling her to "Keep bending over like that. It's a nice view."
But Lauer's September interview with ousted Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly (above) is a particular standout just for the eye-popping hypocrisy that was on display, in hindsight.
In the interview, Lauer grilled O'Reilly over allegations of misconduct that closely echo those now leveled against him, asking O'Reilly whether he ever sent a lewd text or email to other Fox News employees.?
According to the Variety report:
Despite being married, Lauer was fixated on women, especially their bodies and looks, according to more than 10 accounts from current and former employees. He was known for making lewd chartph.comments verbally or over text messages.?
In the Today interview, O'Reilly noted that he had no chartph.complaints filed against him in his 42-year career prior to his exit, and that "every chartph.company in this country, including this one, Comcast [which owns NBC], has these lawsuits."?
In a statement issued on Today on Wednesday morning, NBC News chairman Andy Lack said of Lauer, "While it is the first chartph.complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident."
Several women told Variety they chartph.complained to executives at the network about Lauer’s behavior, which fell on deaf ears given the lucrative advertising surrounding "Today." NBC declined to chartph.comment. For most of Lauer’s tenure at "Today," the morning news show was No. 1 in the ratings, and executives were eager to keep him happy.
Lauer then told O'Reilly, "Think about those five women and what they did. They came forward and filed chartph.complaints against the biggest star at the network they worked at. Think of how intimidating that must have been, how nerve-wracking that must've been. Doesn’t that tell you how strongly they felt about the way they were treated by you?”
Lauer has yet to make a statement on his Today show termination or the allegations.