It wasn’t even about him, but somehow Matt Lauer used Ben Smith’s much-discussed New York Times piece going at Ronan Farrow as a way to pitch his return to the media ecosystem.
I know from my childhood that famous people don’t exactly have an accurate sense of themselves, but my God, Lauer really doesn’t have an accurate sense of himself. While Mediaite may have thought they were doing themselves and Lauer a favor by publishing his op-ed, they weren’t.
I don’t know Lauer, though we have many mutual friends and one of my kids briefly went to school with one of his kids and I once shook his hand at a party, but after reading his piece I can tell you he sounds like a dick, and worse. I’m reminded of the quote, “The wicked flee where no man pursueth.”
His piece opened with a “A note of context” about how “I had originally intended to release this piece in November of 2019, but personal considerations at that time, and later news events impacting us all, delayed those plans. This week The New York Times published a piece that was highly critical of Ronan Farrow’s journalistic methods and standards. Ronan stood by his reporting in response. The Times story prompted me to move forward with my own findings.”
I’m sorry, what? What the actual fuck?
You’ll be surprised to learn that Lauer isn’t happy with the book about his sex life and alleged raping. He doesn’t think it’s fair. He would like to come back to his $25-million-a-year paycheck now. Enough tanning in the Hamptons; Matt is ready to be famous again.
I mean, sure Brooke Nevils told Farrow in his book, Catch and Kill, that, "It was non-consensual in that I was too drunk to consent. It was non-consensual in that I said, multiple times, that I didn't want to have anal sex."
After the publication of the book, there was another complaint “from a former employee who said Mr. Lauer had summoned her to his office in 2001, locked the door and sexually assaulted her,” as reported in The New York Times.
Variety noted that, “On another day, he summoned a different female employee to his office, and then dropped his pants, showing her his penis. After the employee declined to do anything, visibly shaken, he reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act.” And that “Matt Lauer once gave a colleague a sex toy as a present. It included an explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her, which left her mortified.”
In his Mediate piece, which begs the question of why any outlet gave Lauer a platform for this, he goes through various parts of Catch and Kill about him, and argues with them as only a wealthy white man might. The former host of the Today show declares “What I found when I read the book was frankly shocking, and it should concern anyone who cares about journalism. This is not just about accusations against the former host of the Today show.”
Oh my God, shut up, you fucking asshole. You have hundreds of millions of dollars and nearly as many allegations from many different women, who have spoken with many different reporters. This isn’t about Ronan Farrow. This is about Matt Lauer.
Lauer’s contention that it was all a big misunderstanding, and sure, he's an adulterer and sure she was at least 25 years younger than he was, but he wants us to know that he's really not a bad guy reminds me of the failed comebacks of Mark Halperin and Charlie Rose and Louis C.K. I mean shut up, shut up, shut up. Go away.
Famous white men get away with so much, imagine how bad they have to be to get in trouble for it.
These men keep being shocked that they’ve been canceled. They keep thinking it must be some kind of mistake that can correct. Every few months another one pops up, needing to tell us what a raw deal it is to be held accountable. It’s not fair, they whine. After all, the president has numerous accusers.
Instead of having to endure white men trying desperately to make career comebacks, why can’t we focus on the many women who’ve had their careers destroyed by men who were retaliating against them for not just “going along with it”? Why don’t we focus on bringing back Mad Men writer Kater Gordon who never worked again after she said she was harassed by show creator Matthew Weiner? Instead of giving him yet another 15 minutes, we could bring back Daryl Hannah or Rosanna Arquette or Annabella Sciorra, who had their careers killed by human succubus Harvey Weinstein.
Sometimes people deserve to be canceled, and this is one of those times.