Where In the World Is Matt Lauer?


Fuck this interpretation. You know what alienates a huge segment of religious voters and therefore swells the ranks of the GOP? Societal acceptance and full rights for lesbians and gays. You know what lies behind the historical shift of the South moving towards the Republican party? The end of Jim Crow laws. The GOP always uses cultural shifts to their advantage. It is how they grow as a party because if they were to run on the platform of "we're going to privatize everything and take away your health care and education and housing to serve for-profit industry and millionaires" they would lose. That does not mean Democrats should start compromising on those cultural shifts in order to follow them. We are witnessing a historic shift, when sexual harassment is finally being recognized as a widespread and systemic problem. This is a good thing, and yes it's going to take some Dems down with it and some inflated celebrities too. The Democrats have it within their power right now to transform themselves into a party that could actually combat fascism and deal with the problems of wealth inequality and late term capitalism and they can't think about anything more than very short term gains and losses. If you are worried about people like Franken or Lauer, you are missing a much bigger war right now. This particular tiny aspect of it is about whether or not we are a society that accepts sexual harassment. Obviously Republicans are going to politicize that, but if your party and worldview are so fragile that they can't handle the loss of a shitty tabloid talking head that makes 25 million a fucking year doing shit like interviewing TV actors having breakdowns, a comedian celebrity congressman, and an ancient man who has in fact done good work but needed to retire decades ago, then you never had a chance anyway. Personally I'm fine with kicking every single person out of the Dem party and starting fresh. And turn off the cable news already, folks, it's drivel.

@2 - First we don't (or at least i don't) know what the nature of the allegations against Lauer are. Second I'll give NBC the benefit of the doubt that their judgement in firing their star is appropriate (I don't know his ratings or his contract but suspect NBC just saved a lot of money). Third to compare Franken's accusers which have amounted to "he touched my but for a second or two when taking a picture" into the same category as actual harassers is ludicrous and demeans the women who have been harassed.

Finally your concept of throwing out every Dem is just asinine. You don't throw out the good in pursuit of the perfect unless you're a complete idiot. We had about 60 million idiots just over a year ago we don't need to add to that number.
If you are going to give NBC the benefit of that doubt then I dont know why you are rambling on about not knowing the nature of the allegations. As for Conyers and Franken, I didn't make the comparison, the article I'm responding to did, and I responded to those comparisons. I'm not aware of either being accused of grabbing a woman's ass while taking a picture- that's news to me. I'm aware of Franken making a joke about sexually assaulting a female soldier back when he was a celebrity comedian- taking a picture of himself pretending to grab her breasts while she was really sleeping and unaware. As for demeaning women, it's the soldier in the picture who felt demeaned for being made the butt of a joke unknowingly, and she accuses him of forcefully kissing her as well. In any case, the main point is that this what will happen when we elect comedians, wrestlers, actors or game show hosts as senators, congressmen and presidents in the first place. I don't know why we invest political importance into multi-million dollar cable news talking heads like Lauer. We've completely blurred the line between entertainment and governance, which is a very American thing to do, and yes I think it should be entirely undone. If your plan for the future of the Democratic party rests on the success of people like this, then it's no more asinine than mine. The only difference between us is that I'm consistent across parties and I understand hyperbole.

As for Conyers, the man did good work in his youth, but for the last couple of decades he has been involved in enough scandals to be the poster boy for why there should be limits to how long someone can serve- power corrupts and all that- and also I think anyone nearing 90 is too out of touch with social changes to make policy. (An aside: As much as I think the old fart is one of the few good guys there, Bernie is applicable to this criticism as well- the corruption is systemic. Insane to consider running an 80 year old.) Yes, I wish they'd all quit or get thrown out, and afterwards we can turn the fucking congress into a giant bon fire and dance around it then sweep up all the ashes and bury them deep in a pit beneath the earth reserved otherwise for radioactive waste.

Is this a practical approach? I don't see why it's any more insane than reality. Yes, they ALL deserve to lose their jobs. Everyone who voted for or promoted the Iraq war should've lost their jobs- in media and in politics. Everyone responsible for the 08 crash should've lost their jobs- in industry, finance, media, politics, all of them. Those that aren't in prison should be required to preface every statement they ever make for the rest of their lives with apologies. As for the entire Democratic party, the only thing more stupid than 60 million people voting for a senile old game show host billionaire is being the party that actually lost to a senile old game show host billionaire. What's asinine is that simple and obvious accountability like this is off the table. Oh no, let's compromise instead.
@4 Now you're trying to be funny.
@4 The woman in the Franken Photo is not a soldier. Leeann Tweeden at the time was Fox Sports network host. She has admitted the photo is irrelevant as it was taken as part of the tour. The "kissing" allegation accusation was done during rehearsal for a skit performed overseas for the USO. A second woman came forward saying he inappropriately touched her - the photo taken by her husband shows no such thing. He touched her ass was her accusation.

Quite your bitching and pick up a pitchfork. You're so sure of yourself and the abusers of our country make the street run red with their blood or shut the fuck up.

As for Compromise. I agree fuck that. Vote out any Dem who compromises with those fuckers.

As for you, you're both sides bullshit stems from your inability to resist brainwashing. The people in office trying to stop the bullshit are being lumped together (by YOU) with fucking child molesters. Go to hell.

Uh, maybe you should read up first before commenting on specifics. The first woman who accused Franken was not a soldier, and the subsequent accusations have been all over the news.
@5 I'm wrapping a gasoline-doused towel around a club and sharpening the blades of my pitch fork, which is frankly what we all should've been doing for the past 12 months.

I'm not worried about Matt Lauer, Al Franken, Jeremy Piven, John Conyers, Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein, John Besh, Nick Carter, Louis C.K., Hadrian Belove, Shadie Elnashai, Richard Dreyfuss, Adam Fields, Gary Goddard, Andy Henry, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Knepper, Andrew Kreisberg , John Lasseter, Brett Ratner, Gilbert Rozon, Chris Savino, Steven Seagal, Russell Simmons , Tom Sizemore, Kevin Spacey , Jeffrey Tambor , George Takei , James Toback ,Matthew Weiner , Ed Westwick , Stephen Blackwell , Giuseppe Castellano , Hamilton Fish, Mark Halperin , Knight Landesman , Michael Oreskes , Roy Price , Charlie Rose , Glenn Thrush , Kirt Webster , Jann Wenner , Leon Wieseltier , Matt Zimmerman , Stephen Bittel , George H.W. Bush , Dan Schoen , Tony Cornish, Jeff Hoover , Roy Moore , Johnny Anderson,Alex Gilady , and Danny Jordaan.

I'm also not worried about the few from the UK such as Michael Fallon, Carl Sargeant(he committed suicide over the harassment allegations, btw), and Ivan Lewis .

What I'm worried about is that this is rapidly spinning out of control, blurring statutory rape with being a poor communicator, thereby eventually diminishing ALL accusations. I'm worried that we are moving towards a serious moral panic where the idea of burning the closest thing to a sane political party we have to the ground seems something close to reasonable.

And, on a deeply personal note, I'm worried that this is constantly bringing up when I was sexually assaulted back in 2010 and I think I might be having a nervous breakdown. It's selfish and awful but there it is.
No more coffee for EmmaLiz, please.
You're correct that I'm not following the Franken case. I saw the first coverage of it- I didn't even know until now that there were more accusers than just the one who said he forcefully kissed her and the joke he made about sexually assaulting a woman while she sleeps. I don't give a shit if she was a soldier or pretending to be one- I just said that to identify the case I was referring to, so don't be dense. And as you'll see, my criticism of Franken is the Dem obsession with celebrity- why the fuck is a comedian in congress in the first place and why is anyone surprised that a comedian's tasteless jokes are going to be inappropriate for Congress? That's what happens when you blur the lines between your party and celebrity culture, a lesson you'd think they'd really have learned by now especially with the Hilary debacle. But now, if your defense of Franken is based on the fact that MULTIPLE women have actually come forward to complain about him groping them, ha ha ha ha. Sure, that's someone we want to defend.

And no, I'm not lumping simple gropers in the same category as child molesters. I'm lumping celebrities and comedians and game show hosts with political aspirations and the people who vote for them in the same category as war criminals, investment bankers and yes, child molesters. Keep up.
Maybe this can end the worship of all celebrities....or at least bring it back down to earth. The idea that everyone who is on tv or has a talent in some entertainment or sports field is also embed with extraordinary character or intelligence and is a hero needs to be dialed back. Sure, Louis CK was funny, but a lot of his stuff was pretty messed up, and I’m sure the world will still go on and there will be more new comedians that we can laugh at.

And is there a kickstarter for a reward for whomever has those DJT Apprentice tapes where he drops the Nword? Or would those only make him more popular with his people?
>The far right

You can only pick one.
@8 Poser

Anyone who thinks republicans play by these rules is a naive idiot.

You know what's great about all these women finally coming out and speaking up about their harassment? It's going to lead to more women being treated like shit because the people who will fill the void will all be woman haters.

Enjoy! :)
Regrettable 'smile' screen grab. We must be cheery--in the morning!
@9: Good insights - and you know what you're talking about because you've been there.
Meanwhile in Australia, the call has gone out from a nationally known woman in the media, for women to contact her re any men in the media world who have behaved inappropriately in a sexual way. To assist her with investigations, Fairfax media and our federal govt owned ABC, which is independent of govt interference (except to keep cutting their budget), are on board.
On Monday via paper and TV the first guy was up, with multiple media women talking of his behaviour.
I'm guessing there are more than a few well known Aussie men wondering when their Monday night expose will be showing. And just before Xmas too.
"As for Conyers, the man did good work in his youth, but for the last couple of decades he has been involved in enough scandals to be the poster boy for why there should be limits"

You mind outlining what those scandals are/were and Conyers involvement in them?

@9 add Garrison Keillor to the now list of the unemployed.

Please note: I am not an attorney...I don't even play one on TV...

I consider myself a staunch supporter of women's rights, including the right to not being treated as a piece of candy in a candy bowl---free to be eaten by any passerby. However, I fear that we are about to hear about people getting fired without full investigations having been performed of the allegations. All allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviors should be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated but I question the wisdom of immediately terminating the employment/contract of the accused before a thorough investigation can be completed.

Just as there are degrees of murder, there are degrees of sexual misconduct (would anyone in their right mind equate a "dirty" joke with rape?). Unfortunately, although corpus delicti is necessary in cases of murder and other crimes in order to prosecute such cases in the courts, such evidence is not necessary in cases of workplace sexual harassment that result in the alleged perpetrator's termination and are not litigated in a court. What complicates these workplace cases of sexual harassment and, in fact many cases of sexual assault, is that physical proof of any such misconduct can be fleeting if not entirely absent. Witnesses, if any, cannot be compelled by an employer to answer questions about the way an official of the court can. It should be incumbent upon employers to investigate such allegations thoroughly and, perhaps, suspend rather than terminate the accused until such investigations are completed. We might also need to revisit the state and federal laws that outlaw workplace sexual harassment to better outline how it is prosecuted.

I never thought I'd say this but I am afraid that there is a possibility that a future, if not current, percentage of sexual harrassment allegations against politicians (and other powerful people) may be prove to be false. *WAIT, HEAR ME OUT!* As women and men come forward and announce that they too (‪#MeToo‬) had been sexually harassed, assaulted, or battered in their past, there is statistically a probability that at least some allegations will be false. This hurts and diminishes the real pain and anguish felt by those whose reported experiences are true. Additionally, the more men and women tell of men assaulting them, the more likely it is that unscrupulous individuals will use this information to their advantage. Politics is an ugly business and it is quite possible that as time passes, the real pain and anguish suffered by victims will be cynically used to "swift boat" politicians. There may be a "witch hunt" of sorts against opposing parties (this may already be happening). Those who have risked coming forth to speak the truth may find themselves disbelieved out-of-hand because of those who falsely claim to have been harassed/assaulted. So, those who manipulate others to falsely claim having been assaulted will accomplish two things, (1) eventually, no one will believe any claims of sexual harassment/assault unless it was witnessed thus taking us back to the not-so-good old days and (2) real perpetrators of assault and harassment will be inoculated against true allegations. And, as in the past, women and men who have suffered at the hands of people in power will suffer even more.

#metoo. Ask any woman and/or girl if she's ever had to deal with abuse, harassment, incest. If there are females out there seeing all this go down, maybe she will be able to tell someone about it and not keep it a secret for so many years. Families need to be exposed too, not just the govt, work place, and celebrities.
Also meanwhile.. our ex deputy PM( Prime Minister) who had to resign suddenly from parliament when it was found he was a dual citizen. It's against the rules and we've had a balls up here for weeks over this. For many. Seems a lot of them didn't bother checking. She'll be right mate. Background story.
So, our dear ex deputy PM, Barnaby Joyce, country dude, the one Johnny Depp and his dogs had trouble with, he's up for reelection this coming Saturday. Shoe in they say. Except, our Barnaby has been a very naughty boy.
Seems he's got one of his Canberra staffers up the duff, after a months long affair. Well, he has a wife, who has kicked him out of home, and three daughters, back in Tamworth. One of the daughters drove thru the town, in his truck, and thru the speakers told his voters just what sort of man he is! Don't you love this girl.
@23 LavaGirl: I hope Australia's voters don't discount Joyce's behaviors the way Trump's voters ignored his.
Add this article to my already long comment @21: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/29/upsho…
@24, SNJ-RN, it's a hard one. These are country folk in his electorate, so they are conservative. Around family as well as politically, the men don't stray from our country families, quietly. We will see.

I can't believe no one has mentioned to date that Lauer did that horrendous interview with Hillary during the debate that was supposed to be about foreign policy, which is obviously one her of her strong suits, having been Secy of State, and all he could focus on the whole time was her fucking emails. As Rebecca Traister has said, you have to wonder if these men in the media such as Lauer and Halperin, and their treatment of Hillary and in Halperins' case, poo pooing of the sexual assualt allegations against Weinstein, didn't obviously help shape the anti-Hillary narrative, in turn helping to give us Trump.

So ya, bigass deal.

Roy Moore is a creep who was absolutely inappropriately exploiting a power differential to take advantage of young women (in a way that I'm fine with making/keeping illegal), and he's alleged to have outright assaulted some, but can we please decry this without throwing teens' sexual agency under the bus or calling them "children"? Sure, we're technically all the children of someone, but the usage to imply youth (as here) generally refers to people who can't exercise full agency yet, and teenagers very much can. Far too many condemnations of Moore have relied on the idea that teens simply shouldn't engage in any sexual activity with anyone (rather than the idea that a much-older person with social status, legal rights, and money that most teens lack is unacceptably exploiting that power differential in pursuing sexual relationships with teens), and calling him a "child predator" implies those arguments.

I'm also rather uncomfortable with the immediate dismissals (or calls for resignation), especially based on a single accusation. I think PATTERNS OF BEHAVIOR from people who have every reason to know better are a problem becasue they exhibit a willful refusal to change, but I have no interest in punishing people who behaved badly and then demonstrated a commitment to changing for the better. Indeed, I think it's an overall mistake to disallow the possibility of people actually becoming better; if we do that, we might as well start a civil war tomorrow, because by that logic we're not going to be able to convince our large White nationalist minority (and possible plurality) to adopt a better worldview, and capitalism is going to doom the planet anyway. If people can't change, we're so incredibly fucked that sexual assault is WAY down the list of worries behind several dozen existential threats to humanity or demographic groups. Luckily, people can and do change all the time, for the better even - just look at things like support for queer rights and marijuana legalization.

I second SNJ-RN's closing concerns:
So, those who manipulate others to falsely claim having been assaulted will accomplish two things, (1) eventually, no one will believe any claims of sexual harassment/assault unless it was witnessed thus taking us back to the not-so-good old days and (2) real perpetrators of assault and harassment will be inoculated against true allegations.

And I second Sydney Brownstone's position stated on Blabbermouth on Nov. 15 that "believe women" doesn't mean something like "assume without question that any accusation is true and immediately act on that basis" but rather "treat any accusation of sexual harassment or assault seriously, assume it's credible (distinct from 'definitely true'), and evaluate the specifics of the accusation". Unlike Sydney, I absolutely HAVE been hearing versions of the former all over, and we're now seeing actions that match that pattern.
Whoa, now that it's come out exactly what Lauer did, I can't believe anyone is acting like he's not very well deserving of his fate today. But even if he were perfectly innocent, there's no way the man should've been paid 25 million to laugh at bad jokes on the Today Show. THIS is what's wrong with American media. This is what we call journalism?

Yes, @20 Dr. Zaius, The main thing on my mind is that Conyers' wife (also a Dem politician) was actually convicted of misusing city funds (I don't remember the details) and bribery and served a couple years in prison for it even. This was just a few years back, around the time of the crash, when loads of people should've been going to prison. (Her situation was unrelated to the crash- I just mean it's rare to see any accountability at all for wealthy, powerful people.) She has been otherwise accused of misusing city funds for other things (personal travel, etc) and Conyers himself has been accused of similar things- requiring public employees to act as babysitters and run errands for him, etc. He was investigated by the FBI for this- and I think the reason the Feds were involved is that he was using publicly paid staff for campaign stuff which is a big no-no, but again I don't know the details. I'm sure you can look it all up if you like. To me, the bigger point is that this is what happens to people who stay in power for a long time- you get a family who started out as real activists and public servants (and Conyers has been on the right side of history in most cases and has done really good work even up to recently), but over the decades, they become entitled to their power and position and start to use the government as personal ATMs and servants. He's nearly 90. Why the fuck is he still in power anyway? He needed to move on a long time ago. And if you are the sort of person who thinks the actions of spouses of people in power should be considered entirely separately from their own- even when they are a married couple BOTH involved in the elite of the same party and stay married throughout and share finances, etc, fine- but I'm not that person. I'm sick to death of corrupt political families and dynasties using the Dem party as a cash cow or a career building org.

So now it's come out that he settled a sexual harassment suit a few years ago and has new accusers today. I'm actually more offended by his using the party as personal servants than the fact that he hit on his staff. Like I said, the man is 90. I don't think you'll find many men that age that didn't do similar things- it was a norm then and all of our male icons from his time were shitty with women. But that doesn't mean he doesn't need to step down now that times have changed. That's how you get the benefit of being judged in the context of your time.

All these people lamenting the loss of people like Conyers and Franken- do you really think there aren't people who aren't celebrities or 90 years old or millionaires who can't step in with new energy and progressive activism? Seriously there is a reason people are disaffected, and this is part of it. Conyers was able to achieve so much because in the time that he rose to power, he was in touch with the needs of people. He was actually a part of his community, not just some millionaire celebrity with name recognition because he used to be on TV. And it's sad that he has to end this way- with his family finances in scandal and his personal ethics under scrutiny- but that's what happens when you act like there is no one who could possibly step into power in the DNC other than established corrupt out of touch political families who've been in power for decades and don't seem to notice how ancient they are.
How quickly some of you jump to seeing this time of accountability as a negative. Yes, some might lie. As if that has never happened before around any crime.
If powerful people are fired and wrongly accused, they got mouths, they can deny it, have their day in defamation court.
This time is important, especially for women. It's a further moment in dismantling patriarchal structures. It's letting men know that they need to become a lot more self aware of how they behave around women.
@29 matt lauer 'deserved' the paycheck. that's what he and his agent convinced his boss he was worth. his business/job was making it easy/profitable for NBC to sell advertising, and from appearances it was a worthwhile expense for NBC. ML was an entertainer, not a 'journalist'. complaining about his salary is like arguing that Clooney is paid too much for acting or Beyonce makes too much signing and dancing.

until the general public becomes educated enough to realize the diff in news and entertainment, there's no use being indignant about what these bozos make reading a teleprompter and pretending to be journalists.

I would guess there's another scandal of what he made vs his co-host salary. now that would be worth getting angry about, IMHO
@31 Saying Lauer is not a journalist is bullshit. Tom Brokaw held that position for years and went on to anchor NBC Nightly News for more than two decades. George Stephanopolous has the same job at a different network and also hosts its Sunday morning show. Are neither of them journalists?

You could make the case that Lauer is not a very good journalist; his hard-news interviews with both HRC and Trump in the 2016 campaign were terrible. But that's a different question.
32 perhaps more accurately is that Lauer high salary was due more to his ability to establish this illusory relationship to his viewers to keep them enthralled and returning in the stories he reported on , and many of these stories were less than rigorous news topics, and much more celebrity and gossip related items, and his goofy skits and hijinks as part of the show don’t strike me as journalistic
@32: “Saying Lauer is not a journalist is bullshit”

He’s a talking head. He does not perform nor is he qualified for journalism.
Interesting Op Ed by actor Amber Tamblyn: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/30/opini…
Interesting article SNJ-RN.@35. Yes, must be a few men in scared shitless mode.
Can Louis come back with new power in his act.. it'll be hard to look at that guy the same way again. I'll just keep seeing him whipping out his dick and rubbing it.
And there's a lot of good male comedians around.
@33, 34: This is going to be one fun game. Can I start?

Peabody- and Edward R. Murrow Award-winning former major-market network affiliate general assignment reporter/anchor Hoda Kotb, who is about to start her third decade as a Dateline NBC correspondent and holds a degree in broadcast journalism from Virginia Tech:

Journalist, or not?
This sure is a time of reckoning..it wasn't as if men didn't know. I remember clearly women standing up and saying no more, I'm sure all the men have heard that cry.
But still they try it on and still others enabled this, because ratings and money.
Excuse me and I'm sure a few other women, while I see this all and feel not an ounce of concern for these men caught, these creeps.
It's got nothing to do with the severity of the crime, as the writer in the article @35 referenced, stated. These men won't be going to prison. Weinstein maybe. But they have been publicly shamed for not listening about consent, ignoring the sexual agency of others.
37 if a journalist dresses up as a clown and goes to a circus and reads some news for a few minutes and then for the rest of the show runs around and does tricks and announces (emcee’s) the event, does he still qualify as a journalist ?

How about a compromise - he is a journalist that acts like a clown on a circus show? Does that make you feel better?