On Matt Lauer, Do We Really Believe His Colleagues Were "Stunned?"

I was surprised, and yet not surprised, when I woke up this morning to an alert from my Bloomberg app (I'm very hip) about Matt Lauer's firing. 

"How was I not surprised?", you ask, given that I'm in flyover country far away from the media elites in NYC? 

Fair question. I guess there's just something about him. Perhaps it could have been previous articles I read about the in-fighting on the Today show that cast Lauer in a less than favorable light.

Which I suppose is part of the reason why I don't really believe that Lauer's co-anchors were "stunned," as several media outlets have described them, at the news this morning.

I'm not an expert on these situations, but I think we can all think of people that we've worked with, who if they were to be subject to these allegations, we wouldn't be the least bit surprised. These people get talked about in hushed whispers, allegations often going unreported due to the litigious nature of our society, and because people don't want the hassle or embarrassment or career damage from reporting them.

But we kind of know who some of them are.

Did Matt Lauer fit into that category? Only he and his team can answer that. But let's keep in mind that the firing comes after what we're now learning is a 2-month investigation being conducted by the New York Times. 

Were Lauer's co-stars at fault if they knew and didn't speak up? Not necessarily. It's not for me to judge and there are reasons people keep quiet about rumors, especially when they are, well, rumors.

But to believe they didn't know anything is to believe that the New York Times was able to get wind of something happening with NBC's star that nobody at NBC knew about. Common sense tells me that's just simply not likely.

Here's what NBC had to say:

"On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company's standards. As a result, we've decided to terminate his employment. While it is the first 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."

NBC's statement, if you examine it closely, seems to leave out quite a bit. They would have you believe they just found out about this Monday night, and took action by Tuesday night, all the while determining that not only was this case credible in 24 hours, but that there's reason to believe the behavior wasn't isolated.

That's a lot of work to do in a day. Again, are we really to believe the New York Times got wind of something happening with NBC's star two months ago, conducting an investigation for two months, and NBC brass learns about it Monday?

I get carefully worded statements, and I get why people don't take action. I'm not criticizing or defending any of it.

Just don't insult my intelligence. 

Tell me you're angry. Tell me you're disappointed. Tell me that you're hurt.

Please just don't act like you never saw it coming if you did.

I'm a politically independent blogger and podcaster who is often wrong but insists on writing about politics anyway. If you enjoyed this post, join dozens (literally!) of others and follow me on Facebook here.

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