Matt Lauer was fired from NBC’s “Today” show Wednesday after the company said it received a complaint about the co-anchor concerning “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.”
The stunning announcement certain to disrupt the morning TV landscape was read at the top of NBC’s iconic program by Lauer’s on-air partners Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, both of whom appeared shaken by the news they learned only moments earlier.
The statement from NBC News Chairman Andy Lack said: “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.”
Unlike, say, the Comey letter, the effect of sexism on the coverage of the campaign cannot be meaningfully quantified. But that doesn’t mean it should be ignored, or that Clinton should be attacked when she brings up the obvious.
This will always be one of the wisest things written about the 2016 election:
The anger at Clinton from some quarters — in tandem with the beatification of her from others — reminds us just how much this election tapped into unresolved and still largely unexplored issues around women and power. In the aftermath, the media has performed endless autopsies. We have talked about Wisconsin, about Comey, about Russia, about faulty messaging and her campaign’s internal conflicts. We have fought over unanswerable questions, like whether Sanders would have won and whether Clinton was particularly mismatched to this political moment, and about badly framed conflicts between identity politics and economic issues. But postmortems offering rational explanations for how a pussy-grabbing goblin managed to gain the White House over an experienced woman have mostly glossed over one of the well-worn dynamics in play: A competent woman losing a job to an incompetent man is not an anomalous Election Day surprise; it is Tuesday in America.