• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

NBC Fires Matt Lauer After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Morning television viewers woke up this morning to the news that Matt Lauer, who has co-hosted the Today Show on NBC for the past twenty years, had been fired after an employee came forward to accuse him of as-yet unspecified sexual misconduct, making him the latest icon to fall in the ongoing revelations about sexual assault and harassment that have swept through a number of industries:

The reckoning over sexual harassment in the workplace claimed another leading television personality on Wednesday when NBC fired its leading morning news anchor, Matt Lauer, over a sexual harassment allegation.

“On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,” Andrew Lack, the NBC News president, said in a memo to the staff.

He said the allegation against Mr. Lauer “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 20 years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident,” Mr. Lack said.

Ari Wilkenfeld, a civil rights lawyer with the firm Wilkenfeld, Herendeen & Atkinson in Washington, said he represented the woman who made the complaint to NBC, but declined to publicly identify her. In a statement provided to The New York Times, he said:

“My client and I met with representatives from NBC’s Human Resources and Legal Departments at 6 p.m. on Monday for an interview that lasted several hours. Our impression at this point is that NBC acted quickly, as all companies should, when confronted with credible allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace.

“While I am encouraged by NBC’s response to date, I am in awe of the courage my client showed to be the first to raise a complaint and to do so without making any demands other than the company do the right thing.”

The Times met with the woman Monday afternoon, but she said she was not ready to come forward and tell her story publicly.

Mr. Lauer’s co-host, Savannah Guthrie, announced the news on “Today” on Wednesday morning. Appearing on the verge of tears, Ms. Guthrie said, “All we can say is we are heartbroken; I’m heartbroken.

She described Mr. Lauer as “a dear, dear friend,” and said she was “heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story.”

Calling Mr. Lauer’s dismissal part of a national reckoning, she continued, “How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly?”

Mr. Lauer’s termination was just the latest in a string of firings involving the very top stars in television news — coming after the ouster of Bill O’Reilly, of Fox News, last April and Charlie Rose, of CBS, earlier this month.

But it also involves the most important part of the NBC News franchise, “Today,” which is a profit driver and highly rated morning program. Mr. Lauer, a co-anchor since 1997, was the centerpiece of the show.

Here’s the video of Trump’s former co-host Savannah Guthrie announcing the news, which she apparently had just learned about this morning before going on the air, at the start of the show:

And here’s a copy of the “Dear Colleagues” letter that NBC News President Andy Lack sent out this morning:

Subsequent reports have indicated that both The New York Times and Variety have been working independently on stories about alleged sexual misconduct by Lauer, so it’s likely that there will be more coming out than just the single report that apparently served as the basis for NBC’s decision to fire the star anchor on one of their most valuable products. Those reports will no doubt be coming out in the coming days and weeks. With regard to the report that was brought to the attention of NBC News, though, at least one media outlet is reporting that the allegation includes a charge that Lauer committed a sexual assault on an NBC News staffer while he was in Sochi, Russia as part of the network’s coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics. There have also been some suggestion that there may have been a similar incident during the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Whatever the nature of the allegations, though, it seems clear that they must have been serious and substantiated enough for the network to move quickly, and to take the step of firing Lauer rather than suspending him pending an investigation as has happened in several other recent cases.

All of this comes amid what has seemingly turned into a torrent of new allegations from across industries and across the political spectrum, all of them involving men in positions of power using their authority to mask serious sexual misconduct on their part. The trend actually began last year with the revelations coming out of Fox News Channel regarding people such as Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly, both of whom were ultimately removed from their seemingly untouchable positions. The trend began to pick up steam, though, in the wake of a round of revelations that began last month. It started, not surprisingly, in the entertainment industry with allegations against people such as Bill Cosby, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and actors such as Kevin Spacey and George Takei. From there it spread into the world of politics as women came forward with accusations against people such as political pundit Mark Halperin as well as accusations that such activity has been common on Capitol Hill for years. For example, California Congresswoman Jackie Spier, who recently shared her own story of having been sexually harassed in the past, stated that she is aware of at least two currently serving men on Capitol Hill, one from each party, who have been accused of sexually inappropriate contact toward female staffers or other women.  Additionally, a number of women have come forward to accuse Minnesota Senator Al Franken of sexually inappropriate conduct, charges which he has not denied and has attempted to apologize for. Most recently, the allegations have extended to Michigan Congressman John Conyers, the longest-serving member of Congress, who has apparently settled at least two claims against him in recent years, is facing other allegations from other women, and is now coming under pressure even from fellow Democrats to resign from office. Lauer is also not the first co-host of a morning news show to see his career brought down due to sexual misconduct charges. Just weeks ago, Charlie Rose was fired as host of CBS’s morning show and host of his own show on PBS after at least eight women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct on the job. Finally, of course, there are the allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore that include sexual assault against two women who were under sixteen at the time the incidents occurred.

The good news is that these allegations are finally seeing the light of day and that women who have been victimized and taken advantage of by powerful men are starting to feel more free to tell their stories and confront their accusers rather than being intimidated into silence. Hopefully, it leads to real changes in the corporate world that spreads down to lower-level positions where the power dynamics are even more unbalanced. It’s one thing for a woman who works in a big corporate environment like NBC News or as a staffer in a government position to come forward to the appropriate Human Resources official. It’s quite another thing if we’re talking about something that happens in a small business situation or in a situation where a low-paid woman is being taken advantage of by her manager or boss and is afraid of losing her job if she tells anyone about what he did to her. Indeed, in some small business situations, there may not be anyone to report misconduct to other than the person committing the misconduct itself. For these women, there aren’t multi-million dollar settlements or the ability to retain high-priced attorneys to represent them. Of course, all of this wouldn’t be a problem if men were to just treat women respectfully and professionally, but that’s a lesson that many men apparently haven’t learned and it’s going to take a lot more Matt Lauer’s for that lesson to sink in.

 

 

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Gustopher says:

    And Minnesota Public Radio has fried Garrison Keillor a few days after his op-ed ridiculing the idea the Franken should step down.

    I’m hoping the timeline shows women who he had abused came forward after reading the op-ed, and Minnesota Public Radio worked fast. It’s nice to see someone taken down for hubris.

    (Whether or not Franken should step down is a separate issue — I tend to think he should, but I’m expecting more accusations are out there with more evidence. But it’s certainly not ridiculous to say he should step down, and if you have a history of sexual harassment and abuse, maybe you don’t want to stick your neck out on an op-ed page…)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  2. gVOR08 says:

    Your linked article lists:
    Entertainment: Cosby, Weinstein, Spacey, and Takei
    Mainstream Media: Lauer, Halperin (thank gawd he’s gone), Rose
    Conservative Media: Ailes, O’Reilly
    Democratic Pols: Franken, Conyers
    Republican Pols: Moore

    It is good that this behavior is being outed and declared unacceptable. But it’s not going to play out well politically. Democrats, mainstream media, entertainment, and other major, visible companies and organizations will, as they should, respond responsibly to complaints. They care about their reputations and they want to do the right thing. (Well, at least as long as the issue is front and center.) They will be receptive to complaints and will investigate and act.

    Conservative organizations will be less forthcoming. (You will say, ‘what about Ailes and O’Reilly?’ It took what, a couple decades and tens of millions in settlements, before FOX was forced to act.) Liberals actually care about this stuff. For conservatives it’s just the natural order, locker room stuff, boys will be boys. Unless they can use it against a Dem or someone who can be labeled a Dem, like the entertainment and MSM figures. Like FOX, GOPs will tough it out and pay hush money until they absolutely can’t get away with it any more, all the while pointing fingers at Dems. And they’ll get away with it. Lack of scruples is an advantage, politically. Look who’s President.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

  3. Paul L. says:

    Democrats, mainstream media, entertainment, and other major, visible companies and organizations will, as they should, respond responsibly to complaints. They care about their reputations and they want to do the right thing. (Well, at least as long as the issue is front and center.) They will be receptive to complaints and will investigate and act.

    The above groups because of being feminist do not have rape apologists and will not use their tactics to protect the guilty like the accused in the Duke Lacrosse/UVA Frat gang rapes .

    Conservative organizations have the Duke Lacrosse/UVA Frat gang rape apologists that will hypocritically not defend the above because of Politics defending them by smearing, exposing the identify of the sexual assault victims and trying to debunk their stories by pointing out their inconsistencies.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 17

  4. James Pearce says:

    Garrison Keillor too.

    Hate to say it, but seems like we’re in the middle of a big retcon, only instead of Sherlock Holmes surviving Reichenbach Falls, this one has Trump and Roy Moore surviving scandals and when we point to Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey and Matt Lauer saying “You can’t do that stuff,” Trump and Moore will just laugh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  5. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Paul L.:

    the guilty like the accused in the Duke Lacrosse/UVA Frat gang rapes

    Um, what?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  6. Paul L. says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    What part of Feminist Holy Writ of “I Believe All Women” do you not understand?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12

  7. JKB says:

    “Latest”?

    You are behind, Doug. Not a good word to use if you aren’t blogging by the minute. Lauer is three or four back just today.

    They are firing quickly now, so probably corporate has some past knowledge that could be a liability in the coming lawsuits.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  8. Mikey says:

    @Paul L.: Besides your tiresome repetition of these two events–one of which is more than a decade in the past–I have to read this comment and ask:

    English, man, do you even speak it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  9. Tyrell says:

    I remember about 8 years ago watching a mandatory video about sexual harassment and emotional abuse. There was one for employees. As I remember there was also another version for school students. These were required by the Federal government.
    I am not sure what is going on now. It may be the results of the “revolution” of the ’60’s:
    “Tune in, turn on, drop out”
    “I’m okay, you’re okay” (no, we are not “okay”)
    No fault divorce
    Open marriage
    These type of attitudes have resulted in a flood of spousal and child abuse, staggering divorce rates, serial killers, predators, and unprecedented adultery and divorces.
    “Whatever happened to sin?”
    “Is there no shame anymore?”
    A total decline of the Judeo-Christian ethic and moral values.
    I read about a member of the famous Lee family of Virginia. It seems like he was caught in some sort of “affair”. Back then that was a big deal. He went into exile way out in the “wilderness” area of the Ohio valley.
    Now a days he would get a book deal or run for office.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11

  10. michael reynolds says:

    I wish I had more faith in the ‘women’s vote.’ It’s a bit like the youth vote in that every cycle we hear how the women’s vote will do this or that wonderful thing. Then when you look at the gender gap you find that most of it came from black women, meaning that the so-called women’s vote is often little more than an echo of the black vote.

    Many years ago, back in the early 80’s, one of the things that concerned me was the obsolescence of the male qua male. It was obvious that the activities specifically designated for men was shrinking dramatically. Not all that much hunting or soldiering going on. Not even as much procreating as there used to be.

    And for a period of time in the 80’s we had a sort of effeminization of men – much more peacocking, more display, more self-expression, all the things the John Wayne era male eschewed. Then it all stopped and we went from Disco Stu to a long period of hyper-masculinization – the Schwarzenegger era, which persisted until pretty recently. Interestingly it was women who helped bring an end to the Disco Stu/David Bowie era of maleness. Where have all the cowboys gone, indeed?

    Now we’re seeing men knocked down a peg. Maybe several pegs. The very notion of ‘male’ is challenged by transgender individuals and their quick acceptance, at least in coastal America. Maleness itself is suspect on the Campus Left. Feminism has successfully shot down the idea that only guys can do X, Y and Z. Who are the big male movie stars now? Not so much Stallone/Schwarzenegger as Gosling/Pratt/Hemsworth guys – muscles with self-deprecation, muscles with a tendre for equally muscular women. Vulnerable muscles. Pretty boys. Men as sex objects.

    Feeding into this is a little stream, not a river, by way of Sebastian Junger, who proposes the thesis that PTSD in soldiers may be less about combat trauma, and more about separation from a group. A loss of identity as part of a group. I would love to see that studied, because it feels right to me.

    What we have is a population, 49% of which (the half with penises) have not a single unique societal function other than firing sperm into a vagina. Men no longer have a monopoly on being soldiers, cops, cowboys, pilots, engineers. .. things earlier generations of men saw as theirs. But that same 49% is the product of millions of years of hominid evolution which perfected the male role as hunter and protector. What do you do with billions of purpose-built machines with big muscles and a bunch of testosterone go-juice in their veins?

    This isn’t a male pity party. I would like nothing better than to see women running the US government. I don’t think it’d be nirvana, but given where the boys have left things, I think it’s past time to give the girls a shot. And being a loner by nature I don’t identify with groups of any kind, let alone an entire gender. But that doesn’t change the fact that most men do feel a need to own something uniquely theirs. We have a whole bunch of wanna-be hunters/killers/protectors who are never going to find useful occupation in those fields.

    This may be a stage in our social evolution. It may become fully absorbed, bought into, accepted. But it may not be. The last time I saw men being challenged this broadly it was women who helped return them to relatively safe space. I am not convinced that 100% of women care about sexual harassment, or at least will care enough to vote that way, to sustain a permanent reduction in male power.

    Just two years ago, a majority of white women (52%) voted for “grab ’em by the pwssy’ and only 43% of women voted for the feminist. Four years earlier 56% of white women voted for Romney. The difference between the non-pwssy grabbing Mitt Romney and the pwssy-grabber was 4%.

    So. I hope this has legs. I hope women start voting against abusive aszholes. I hope the ‘women’s vote’ becomes more potent. But experience suggests a degree of skepticism. Power, like money, flows to those who love it. Do women love power as much as men do?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  11. MBunge says:

    @michael reynolds: Who are the big male movie stars now? Not so much Stallone/Schwarzenegger as Gosling/Pratt/Hemsworth guys

    Those latter three don’t hold a candle to the “hyper-masculine” Stallone and Schwarzenegger.
    Hemsworth is only a movie star when he’s playing Thor, Pratt has yet to open a picture just on his name alone, and Gosling has only one film where he’s the star that made over $100 million in America.

    And I’m not sure what any of this has to do with a “women’s vote.” Look at how many of these guys are “right” on issue after issue from the feminist perspective.

    I’m going to point this out again. When Bill Clinton had himself serviced by a White House intern in the Oval Office, he was flagrantly violating the established norms of his day, norms which had been established largely by feminists. THAT could have been a Weinstein moment but we all know what happened.

    Mike

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 18

  12. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Paul L.:
    @MBunge:
    @JKB:
    You support an admitted serial sexual assaulter, and a child molester…pretty much without so much as a question.
    The three of you…and your ilk…should really just STFU.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  13. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:
    Reading comprehension has never been your thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  14. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    Lauer got ran over by the Karma bus and Ann Curry was driving.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  15. MarkedMan says:

    Just one comment on the Keillor firing. From what I understand, MPR has also ceased airing reruns of the old Prairie Home Companion shows. I think that is a dangerous and probably bad move. Dozens of people worked on that show. Hundreds, maybe even thousands of guests appeared on it. Pulling it from circulation hurts them as much as it hurts Keillor.

    Maybe more will come out on Keillor, and it will turn out his behavior was so ongoing and egregious no one will want to hear his voice. Lord knows I haven’t watched or listened to a Cosby show in years, I’ve never seen anything by Roman Polanski, haven’t watched a Woody Allen movie or a Tom Cruise movie in a couple of decades because their behavior is so egregious and strange that to watch them is to “break mimesis” to the point I can’t really accept their characters. But if the end of the story is that Keillor had a fireable offense with one employee and he was fired for it then killing off his old shows goes a bit too far.

    Caveat: I hadn’t listened to his show in many years. I got the distinct vibe that he hated having to go back to the podunks after his career as NYC sophisticate literary start floundered, and it sounded like his heart was no longer in it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  16. Lynn says:

    @Tyrell: “I am not sure what is going on now. It may be the results of the “revolution” of the ’60’s: . . . These type of attitudes have resulted in a flood of spousal and child abuse, staggering divorce rates, serial killers, predators, and unprecedented adultery and divorces.

    Right, which is why my mother, born in 1906, was the object of attempted molestation at age 10. A friend of hers, who applied for a job with the TN legislature, was told that, if she was hired, she’d have to be the “girlfriend” of the man she worked for.

    And I remember the late 50s, when at least 3 women in my mother’s age group were known to be the victims of domestic assault.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  17. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Lynn:
    @Tyrell:
    Tyrell lives in a world that has never existed.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  18. Slugger says:

    @Tyrell: Here is some divorce rate numbers:
    http://time.com/4575495/divorce-rate-nearly-40-year-low/

    BTW, I have a mancrush on Ryan Gosling. When he is on screen with Russell Crowe or Harrison Ford, he holds his own. Sylvester Stallone is a joke not a masculine ideal. Cagney and Bogart did not walk around without shirts on.
    We are going to see a change in how women are treated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  19. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Lynn:

    But those bad things never happened in Pleasantville!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  20. gVOR08 says:

    @michael reynolds: Junger’s thesis would be consistent with research that shows combat morale is largely a function of group cohesion. Heroes don’t die for god and country, they die for the guys in the next foxhole. And sometimes also because they were too tired and too angry to care.

    I’ve on occasion referred here to the “Russel Kirk Fallacy”. A few years ago I wasted several hours reading The Conservative Mind. I really shouldn’t say “wasted”. It was really very informative, just not in any way Kirk intended. Kirk blamed enclosure, industrialization, and urbanization on political liberals. He apparently never realized that stuff happens. You’re correct that society is being “feminized”. Liberals aren’t so much causing it as adapting to it. But liberals/Democrats will catch a lot of spit for it.
    ______________
    Good gawd. Until I went to WIKI for the above link I hadn’t realized Kirk looked like a foppish Less Nessman.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  21. Lynn says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: “Tyrell lives in a world that has never existed.

    good point — I need to be reminded of that sometimes.

    It’s like my high school classmate who believes that the 50s were the high point of life in the US. And yes, it was pretty good, if one was white/straight/fit the available niches/middle class/etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  22. James Pearce says:

    @MBunge:

    THAT could have been a Weinstein moment

    Sure, it could have been, but you know as well as I do that on the left, “champion of women” is more of an affectation than a statement of fact.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 13

  23. gVOR08 says:

    @gVOR08: I should add that I’ve often said we killed off the Indians(1) and the buffalo too soon. No way for a guy to show he’s macho except to buy a big pickup truck and put a black gun in the window rack.
    __________
    (1) It’s a joke son! It’s social commentary. I’m not advocating killing Indians. Or buffalo.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  24. Modulo Myself says:

    A couple years ago I happened across a family album with a newspaper article about my grandmother from the 30s. The story was about her winning a piano competition (where she played two of Liszt’s opera transcriptions). As a musician, she was very good but not great. For a man, being very good but not great at music would give you many career options. But my grandmother, in the 30s and from a conservative family, had only one: teaching until she was married. According to my mother, she was always somewhat frustrated with what she was good at: cooking, teaching lessons on the piano, and so on. And why should she not have been? My grandfather was a lawyer and a judge, but she was smarter than him, and probably would have been more accomplished in a world in which she was his equal.

    This scenario is unthinkable now. Harassment is just the tip of the iceberg as far as men go. There are centuries of privileges where men who are not as talented as women get more freedom and liberty and less anxiety, dumbness, and abuse, and these privileges are slowly being exposed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  25. KM says:

    @michael reynolds:

    What do you do with billions of purpose-built machines with big muscles and a bunch of testosterone go-juice in their veins?

    This is going to end up being the question of the century. How we answer it will determine if mankind even sees the century after that. The short grim answer? There’s gonna be a whole lot of dead young men unless somebody figures something out quick.

    Technology and the times have rendered the typical macho male obsolete. The badass one-man army won’t stand a chance against a drone thousands of feet up. The strong-backed worker has been replaced with the even stronger and tireless robot. Even if MRA-types manage to crush feminism like they dream, the world as they knew it is OVER. No longer is being a fit young male good enough to succeed – one must have brains and knowledge to survive in this new world. Being “young and stupid” isn’t going to fly anymore when the Internet never forgets and thousands of 4chan-ers are going to be shocked when their job prospects are negatively impacted by all the trolling they do.

    China’s going to have a big problem on their hands in the next few years as the gender disparity is going to force some cultural change. There’s a whole lot of men that won’t be starting families and passing the name on like their parents hoped when they insisted on a boy. Now there’s millions of “bare branches” to the family tree and that’s going to go over like a ton of bricks.
    Young men with no chances are hotbeds of violence, extremism and terrorism. Look to China to see the future of masculinity that won’t change and what devastation it’s going to cause.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  26. Modulo Myself says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I was dragged to a performance of Prairie Home Companion at Town Hall once, and Keillor was doing a duet with a much younger woman of something Xmasy. He was standing uncomfortably close with this woman. Seeing that duet, everyone I was with was like she should definitely lock her dressing room after the show. We thought it in a jokey way, but I’m way not surprised, in this climate, that he’s been called out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  27. gVOR08 says:

    @Lynn:

    It’s like my high school classmate who believes that the 50s were the high point of life in the US. And yes, it was pretty good, if one was white/straight/fit the available niches/middle class/etc.

    The 50s were, in many ways, actually good for a lot of people. We had more genuine democracy and significantly fairer income/wealth distribution, for which see Piketty. Piketty refers to the Trent Glorieuses, the 30 years from 1945 to 1975, the period there, and here, when everything was getting better. We are returning to Gilded Age levels of wealth mal-distribution and political influence.

    I’m a leading edge Baby Boomer, and I feel like I won the lottery by retiring now, not a decade from now. I’m good, crossed fingers, as long as the …. GOPs don’t destroy Social Security and Medicare.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  28. Stormy Dragon says:

    Ob:

    Matt Lauer Can Suck It

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  29. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce: You remind me of the XKCD cartoon where one character says “personally, I find atheists as irritating as fundamentalist Christians,” and the other replies “well, the important thing is you’ve found a way to feel superior to both.” Except with you it’s politics rather than religion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  30. James Pearce says:

    Not to distract from the sudden revelation that powerful and perverted men have been hiding in plain sight, but Lisa Murkowski is a yes on Trump’s tax bill.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  31. Lynn says:

    @gVOR08: “The 50s were, in many ways, actually good for a lot of people.

    Right — very good for many, if one was straight, etc. I’m also one of the very first boomers, and it’s been relatively easy. But then, I fit into several of the “acceptable” categories.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. JDM says:

    @gVOR08:

    Your linked article lists:
    Entertainment: Cosby, Weinstein, Spacey, and Takei
    Mainstream Media: Lauer, Halperin (thank gawd he’s gone), Rose
    Conservative Media: Ailes, O’Reilly
    Democratic Pols: Franken, Conyers
    Republican Pols: Moore

    The carnage is so widespread that I smell a rat. Considering the amount of influence that Russian agents had on the last Presidential election, I think they could be responsible for fanning the flames in these sexual harassment claims.

    I’m reminded of this Ian Fleming quote:

    “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  33. James Pearce says:

    @Mikey: I don’t feel superior. I feel like I’ve gone into battle with a bunch of people who are going to get me killed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  34. MarkedMan says:

    With all these famous men behaving like total wankers (ex: Matt Lauer. On what planet is showing your junk to a coworker, or any woman you haven’t slept with, or even most women you have slept with, a cool thing?) I think there is something at play here that I think of as the Michael Jackson effect. It could as easily be called the Lindsay Lohan effect, or the Dennis Rodman effect, or the Charlie Sheen effect. Basically, when you are rich and famous you can find plenty of people who are a) good looking, b) interesting and c) fun to be around who will never call you out on the stupid things you are doing. These people are not your friends, but they can easily appear to be more fun, more witty, more approving versions of actual friends. If you succumb, if you gradually push your real friends away from your life, you end up with no meaningful feedback. No matter what you do, you have beautiful/handsome/interesting/funny people who will treat it all as a funny joke. Eventually you lose your moorings.

    I just read somewhere (maybe here?) about someone who had gotten a huge promotion, to something like president or CEO of a significant company. They came home, walked in the door, and their mother handed them a bag of garbage and said, “Before you tell us your big news, take the garbage out.” When they came back inside, their mother said something to the effect of “Leave that masters-of-the-universe sh*t outside when you walk into your own door.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  35. MBunge says:

    Aaaaaand in the continuing saga of “This is how we got Trump,” I just watched the CBS Evening News report on Lauer getting fired. It was at least 75 to 80% a recitation of past charges of sexual misbehavior against…you guessed it…Donald Trump.

    Now, Trump did tweet about it and including that and his own dubious history is somewhat defensible, but it was literally a 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign commercial. Any journalism student who submitted that story for a grade would receive an “F.” I mean, they didn’t even bring up the point of how news agencies have handled these accusations and compared it to Trump, Moore, Conyers, Franken, etc. The entire piece was “Famous news dude is fired for sexual misconduct. Trump tweeted about it and now we’re going to remind you of why Trump is a big doody-head.”

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  36. MarkedMan says:

    @MBunge: And, if that is the only segment they had on it, then they are no better than Fox News and deserve to be castigated. But if, as I suspect, it was one of several segments, then, yeah, one focusing on the absurdity of Donald Trump, self confessed creepy groper, a man who made jokes about how a friend of his, convicted of raping children, “like them young”, a man who confessed to walking in on naked teenage girls to get an ogle “because I can”, the man who has at least 16 credible women describing gropes, tongues shoved into their mouths, butt grabs and breast feels, then yeah, the irony of him condemning someone like Matt Lauer is worth 2-3 minutes.

    FWIW, I haven’t watched television news since the early 80’s when I realized they spent something like 1 or 2 orders of magnitude more on filming a 20 second blurb (Dan Rather standing in front of the Kremlin!) than a real news organization (AP, NYT, Washington Post, the news are of the Wall Street Journal, McClatchey) spent on taking a deep dive, checking sources and unearthing documents, aka “reporting”. All television news is worthless crap, and its one redeeming quality (video) has been obsolete since we were easily able to stream video on the web.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  37. Guarneri says:

    @gVOR08:

    No, Bill Clinton has been out of office for quite some time. Although the destroy his accusing women at any cost witch just recently lost.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 13

  38. Guarneri says:

    @michael reynolds:

    That’s quite a lot of psychological noodling to say essentially nothing interesting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  39. Guarneri says:

    I hear Hillary Clinton complained about Lauer as well, noting “he kissed my arse repeatedly.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

  40. the Q says:

    Simple solution, men should be wearing burkas and have to divert their eyes when approaching women. Problem solved. Lets be a little more progressive than our backward Muslim brothers.

    I grew up in Los Angeles. Women objectifying themselves (low cut cleavage, stiletto heels, silicone, short skirts, full lips, botoxed foreheads and cheeks) then object to men who are objectifying them.

    Let the Great Epoch of Male Neutering begin!!!!!

    Sexual harassment at the job can now be interpreted as “hey, you’re looking good today.”

    Next thing you know, “excuse me, Hal in Human Resources would like your pass card and office keys, since you’re fired.”

    It’s the modern version of “the Crucible” Millers play from another era which can now include this era too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 12

  41. James Pearce says:

    @MBunge:

    It was at least 75 to 80% a recitation of past charges of sexual misbehavior against…you guessed it…Donald Trump.

    Trump laughs every time these stories break.

    Harvey Weinstein is done, Kevin Spacey is literally being erased from movies, Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose were given the boot.

    And he’s still president.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  42. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce: If you and I were having this conversation face-to-face, perhaps over a beer or some other tasty beverage, I’d have just tilted my head slightly to the side, raised one eyebrow a bit, and said, “You really don’t hear it?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  43. michael reynolds says:

    @gVOR08:
    Yeah, that’s why it had the ring of revelation to me. He paints a picture of a guy who’s a sergeant in a platoon, with a mission, and an organization, and 40-50 guys he sees as part of his group. Then, suddenly, that brave, mission-driven guy is wearing an orange apron and standing all alone in an aisle at Home Depot. That is a hell of a change. Some people adapt well to change, some don’t, and very few are happy with what feels, subjectively, like a huge loss of status on top of a loss of ‘family.’

    @KM:

    This is going to end up being the question of the century. How we answer it will determine if mankind even sees the century after that.

    I think that may be true. We’re watching a collision between biology and society. Smarter men adapt – like we adapted 10,000 years ago as we moved from hunter-gatherer to farmer and city-dweller. Unfortunately that’s not a terribly encouraging example given that we seemed to channel our Big Strong Macho impulses into various types of domination and war.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  44. Tyrell says:

    This represents a unique opportunity for NBC. Its news unit is just a shadow of what it once was under David Brinkley, as is CBS and ABC news. NBC should take advantage of the declining times at ESPN and change to a complete sports network. CBS has shown no inclination to step up its sports coverage since the glory days of Pat Summerall and John Madden.. ABC’s big sports days have been over since the end of its hallowed “Wide World of Sports” and the Keith Jackson era.
    It makes sense. People want a new sports network that sticks to sports, not politics or social commentary. I don’t remember Joe Garagiola or Chris Economaki reporting political news.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  45. Andre Kenji says:

    But Trump’ s Sexual harassment history SHOULD be a story. He is supposed to be the f* leader of the Free World.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  46. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    Your president is a sex predator who supports a man who tried to rape a 14 year-old. You support him. The conservative British PM has had to call the fool out as a hate-monger. You support him. Your president is a traitor. And you support him. For money. Just like Mike Flynn.

    You and your ilk will go down as a shit-stain on American history.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  47. rachel says:

    @the Q:

    Let the Great Epoch of Male Neutering begin!!!!!

    All because entitled males didn’t think that they also had to keep their hands to themselves and their wieners in their pants.

    Sad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  48. Kylopod says:

    @rachel: It is never too late to include this classic from Ta-Nehisi Coates:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/11/a-high-tech-lynching/248152/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  49. JKB says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: You support an admitted serial sexual assaulter, and a child molester

    I do not support Bill Clinton, Al Franken, Kevin Spacey, Roman Polanski, Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Steven Segal, Garrison Keillor, Charlie Sheen.

    How about you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  50. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @gVOR08: Interesting thought from El Rushbo about the topic today. As I was listening to the third hour of the show driving to visit a friend some distance away, he noted that “you’ll never take down Trump [with these kinds of accusations] it’s what we pay to have him.”

    I wonder if he’ll find himself needing to back pedal that one tomorrow. I expect not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  51. Eric Florack says:

    The left started this Avalanche.
    Consider the baseless charges that were thrown against Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson, Condoleezza Rice, and so on. It’s to the point where the pattern is well-established. When Democrats can’t win at The Ballot Box they try to win by way of sexual innuendo.

    Personally I’m mildly amused that they’re being varied by the Avalanche they started.

    Popcorn, anyone?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 11

  52. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    The left started this Avalanche.

    I go back to the Apostles

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  53. Mikey says:

    @Kylopod: Intersting that Coates’ piece was inspired by something from John Derbyshire, who was fired from National Review for being an overt racist. Seems like these reprehensible views always come packaged together.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  54. James Pearce says:

    @Mikey:

    You really don’t hear it?

    I don’t hear it, but I do smell it. Whiffs of desperation and fear, with an undertone of hypocrisy. I see a bunch of corporate interests panicking that their high-profile dude’s peccadilloes are going to hurt the bottom line, and like in every other scenario, the bottom line wins. A sea change? Or same ole same ole?

    What I hear is stuff like this Tweet from actor Ron Perlman:

    This whole sexual harassment virus that’s been sweeping the nation, where we see swift and decisive action in every private sector, what’s up with letting our elected officials skeeze out with impunity and unscathed? Anybody?

    I don’t know what’s up with it, but my guess is that the politicians have constituencies who don’t care –at all or very little– about their perversions.

    But there I go thinking again, not just bobbing along on the waves of popular opinion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  55. Kylopod says:

    @Mikey:

    Intersting that Coates’ piece was inspired by something from John Derbyshire, who was fired from National Review for being an overt racist. Seems like these reprehensible views always come packaged together.

    Absolutely. Derb was in fact an early figure in what came to be called the alt right (he now openly embraces the term). The racist screed that got him fired from NRO was published in Taki Magazine, the paleo-libertarian website that had been co-edited by Richard Spencer, the white nationalist commonly credited with having coined the term “alt right.”

    The alt right is fundamentally a white identity movement, but it is also a men’s identity movement. One of the early strands in the movement was the Gamergate controversy, which was essentially a campaign of misogynistic harassment by online trolls against female video game designers.

    Derb was in a line of right-wing journalists from the last couple of decades who held essentially white nationalist views but somehow managed to be published for years in mainstream publications before eventually being fired for going too far. The list includes Pat Buchanan, Sam Francis, and Joe Sobran. When Rich Lowry announced Derb’s dismissal from NRO, he implied he’d known for years that Derb was a racist, but that this time he’d gone truly out of bounds: “Derb has long danced around the line on these issues, but this column is so outlandish it constitutes a kind of letter of resignation.” It’s rather amazing to me that Lowry admitted he was willing to put up for years with someone who “danced around the line” on racist extremism. But it’s well in National Review’s tradition of playing footsie with the far right while retaining a reputation of purging conservatism of its kooks, like when Buckley in the ’60s attacked the head of the Birchers while refusing to ever denounce the movement itself. It’s the same old story, different names, except that this time the Birchers’ modern-day descendants actually run the government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  56. wr says:

    @Eric Florack: Shorter Eric: “Democrats are dumb because they say they’re against rape.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  57. Eric Florack says:

    @wr: if that’s true then where were all these charges 6 months ago?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  58. grumpy realist says:

    @Tyrell: Tyrell–is it that the 1960s actually CAUSED this flood of “spousal and child abuse” that you claim existed, or did it REVEAL exactly what had been going on behind the white-painted doors of the 1950s house?

    You’re awfully gullible if you don’t think that wife-beating and spousal rape didn’t happen before the 1960s. We just refused to admit that it existed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  59. CSK says:

    OT, but important: The NYTimes is reporting that Tillerson will be booted and replaced by Pompeo within a few weeks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  60. Franklin says:

    @KM:

    China’s going to have a big problem …

    That’s what some of this discussion had me thinking as well. Thankfully you covered that better than I would have.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  61. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @JKB:

    I do not support Bill Clinton, Al Franken, Kevin Spacey, Roman Polanski, Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Steven Segal, Garrison Keillor, Charlie Sheen.
    How about you?

    I do not support any of those people, and I have called for Franken to step down on this very website.
    You, on the other hand, defend an admitted serial assaulter, and a child molester.
    You piece of shit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  62. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Eric Florack:

    …the baseless charges that were thrown against Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson, Condoleezza Rice

    Apparently you are too dumb to understand the meaning of “baseless”. It doesn’t mean “facts you refuse to believe”.
    You are a racist old fool.
    I suggest that everyone go to Florack’s website and search the n-word and see how many results you get.
    Eric Florack is the biggest racist to ever comment on this site.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  63. Paul L. says:

    @Mikey:

    one of which is more than a decade in the past

    The Roy Moore UNPROVEN sexual assault allegations are 40 years old.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  64. James Pearce says:

    @Paul L.:

    The Roy Moore UNPROVEN sexual assault allegations are 40 years old.

    This speaks to something I’ve thought often about Roy Moore:

    There are 101 reasons why this dude shouldn’t be within spitting distance of Congress. His sexual indiscretions are on the list, but it’s a big list, not that there’s much awareness of that in this tabloidy media environment we have today.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  65. Ben Wolf says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Consider the baseless charges that were thrown against Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson, Condoleezza Rice, and so on.

    Thomas is an abuser of women, Carson is remarkably dumb and Rice should be on trial in The Hague. Am I missing something?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  66. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce: Sure, you and I think there are plenty of reasons Moore shouldn’t be in the Senate. But they involve issues on which there’s disagreement, so maybe what we think disqualifies him, others would not find concerning.

    Still…you’d think even if people disagree on stuff like abortion or whether to put the Ten Commandments on the courthouse lawn, they’d at least agree a mid-30s man making an 8th grade girl give him a handjob is a bad thing.

    But, welcome to America, I guess.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  67. Paul L. says:

    @James Pearce:

    There are 101 reasons why this dude shouldn’t be within spitting distance of Congress.

    Still better than Doug Jones.
    Is one reason is He does not respect Supreme Court rulings?
    I do not respect the Supreme Court rulings of Roe, Garrity and Qualified Immunity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  68. Ben Wolf says:

    @Paul L.: When you defend a pedophile you are participating in his crimes. Roy Moore is not worth your integrity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  69. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce:

    I see a bunch of corporate interests panicking that their high-profile dude’s peccadilloes are going to hurt the bottom line, and like in every other scenario, the bottom line wins. A sea change? Or same ole same ole?

    There was a time, not that long ago–certainly within our lifetimes–when what Matt Lauer and the others did wouldn’t have posed any risk to the bottom line.

    Now, it does. Its potential impact is so massive that NBC summarily dismissed the host of the morning show that led the coveted 25-54 demo for 98 weeks straight.

    If you don’t see that as a “sea change,” I’m not sure what else to say.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  70. Ben Wolf says:

    @Mikey: As there is no evidence of a backlash against abuse of women not wealthy and/or famous, more of the same seems likely.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  71. Mikey says:

    @Ben Wolf: I don’t know who you hang out with, but where I am, there’s plenty of backlash regardless of the wealth and/or fame level of the victimized women.

    Sometimes what’s acceptable in society takes a long time to change. Sometimes it changes in a comparative instant. We’re experiencing the latter. But it’s harder to maintain when it changes so fast. It’s up to us to make it stick, not dismiss it with cynical disregard.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  72. SenyorDave says:

    @Paul L.: Still better than Doug Jones.

    Other than Doug Jones being a Democrat, what is your problem with him? Is is that he’s a former US attorney best known for successfully prosecuting two members of the kkk who were responsible for the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing which killed four African-American girls? I guess that pales in comparison to a guy who was removed two times from the bench for refusing to obey the law!

    I do not respect the Supreme Court rulings of Roe, Garrity and Qualified Immunity.

    You weren’t a sitting judge. At a bare minimum I would expect senators to obey the law. Moore’s refusal to do so should disqualify him from serving in government, much less as a US Senator.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  73. James Pearce says:

    @Mikey:

    you’d think even if people disagree on stuff like abortion or whether to put the Ten Commandments on the courthouse lawn, they’d at least agree a mid-30s man making an 8th grade girl give him a handjob is a bad thing.

    If principle overrode partisanship, then I’d think that, but that doesn’t seem to happen very often.

    @Paul L.:

    I do not respect the Supreme Court rulings of Roe, Garrity and Qualified Immunity.

    And I’m sure I could find a few that I disagree with too. Still gotta abide by them, though. Sorry, Roy!

    (Frankly, Paul, if we were having this conversation –Moore’s candidacy on its merits– Doug Jones would be our next Senator from Alabama, so be thankful the race has taken on its tabloid stink.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  74. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce:

    If principle overrode partisanship, then I’d think that, but that doesn’t seem to happen very often.

    With great sadness, I must agree.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  75. James Pearce says:

    @Mikey:

    There was a time, not that long ago–certainly within our lifetimes–when what Matt Lauer and the others did wouldn’t have posed any risk to the bottom line.

    Now, it does.

    I don’t think that’s true. Social media mobs make more noise than trouble. Donald Trump and Roy Moore are providing the template on how to survive these scandals.

    Sometimes what’s acceptable in society takes a long time to change. Sometimes it changes in a comparative instant. We’re experiencing the latter.

    I don’t think so. I think what we’re experiencing a fad. When the mania subsides–and it will– Donald Trump will still be president and Roy Moore will be one of two Senators from Alabama.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  76. michael reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:
    No, this is not ‘same ole, same ole.’ However this plays out in the end, it is at this moment a massive power shift from men to women. A bunch of powerful men are out, and a lot of their replacements will be women. A lot of corporate heads, hospital execs, law partners and producers are sweating like pack mules and casting about for cover in the form of training and seminars and female executives. As of right now, anyone wishing to host a morning show is going to have to get a clean bill of health from women. In the wake of Uber anyone putting together a Silicon Valley start-up is going to have smart VC’s asking whether they have their gender issues settled. The risk is high, the solutions are inexpensive so business, medicine, entertainment, law, are all checking their exposure and looking to bring in more women and rein in the men.

    This is also a big blow to male prestige, generally. In a heartbeat we acquired the same status usually applied to black kids in hoodies. We are suspects.

    Is this the end of the patriarchy? No, of course not. But the patriarchy took a big hit. Not just a flesh wound, not a fatal wound, but a serious hit.

    And this validates my hope, first expressed in the aftermath of Trump’s illegitimate election, to whit that the larger culture would reject him. We’ve got the sexual predator in chief in the White House, and every decent person’s concern was that this would signal open season for other perverts like Trump. In fact: just the opposite has happened. The larger society stomped hard on the gas, not on the brakes.

    Trump and his troglodytes are going one way, the modern world is going the other way. Nothing about this is ‘same ole, same ole.’

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  77. Terrye Cravens says:

    @James Pearce: Politicians might not pay today, especially in places like Alabama, but the rest of the country will change and that in time will change the political repercussions of this kind of behavior.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  78. KM says:

    @James Pearce:

    I don’t think that’s true. Social media mobs make more noise than trouble. Donald Trump and Roy Moore are providing the template on how to survive these scandals.

    No, they’re providing an example that some people are willing to sell out their morals to keep power. That’s nothing new. They like Trump and Moore because they’re scum – I’m sorry, non-PC. It’s not a scandal if it’s a feature.

    And quite frankly, calling this whole thing a “fad” is EXACTLY why it took 40 years for this to break open. Smug males like you condescendingly telling women seeking justice that it’s “popular opinion” and “will fade” but the men will remain in power. If you’re a young girl and get that message, do you even bother trying to get help or do you just keep your mouth shut so none one accuse you of taking advantage of a “fad”?

    Every woman has experienced harassment in their life. EVERYONE. Many experience assault or molestation in horrifying numbers. You’re acting like this was “recovered memories” or “satanic cult” frenzies but in reality is 50% of the population telling you about their day. Every woman on this forum could tell you a dozen stories James and now that people are finally barely giving a crap, you dismiss it as mania. Trump is President because of people like you and Moore going to win for the same reason.

    It’s just a fad. Mania. It’ll pass. Life will get back to normal. Status quo returned. Everybody move along, nothing to see here.

    And nothing *does* change because you’re silencing your vaunted “people behind the scenes” when you demean and dismiss.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  79. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Ben Wolf: You’re assuming that Paul L. has integrity. Based on what he posts here, I think I’ll pass on that assumption.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  80. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Trump and his troglodytes are going one way, the modern world is going the other way.

    This seems like one of those things that we would like to be true…but isn’t.

    The chemistry hasn’t changed. Men, buzzing with testosterone, are biologically primed to consume and dominate and this can only be subdued, not eliminated, with conscious thought and social pressure.

    The only thing that’s changed, I think, is the political positioning, and that has already come back to bite us in the ass. (See Franken, see Conyers.) We’re too busy trying to look consistent that we’re not even asking whether we’re being wise.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  81. James Pearce says:

    @KM:

    Every woman has experienced harassment in their life. EVERYONE. Many experience assault or molestation in horrifying numbers. You’re acting like this was “recovered memories” or “satanic cult” frenzies but in reality is 50% of the population telling you about their day.

    No.

    I’m acting like “Every woman has experienced harassment in their life” is a problem that’s NOT going to be solving by shit-canning Matt Lauer or any other high-profile abuser.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  82. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “Social media mobs make more noise than trouble. Donald Trump and Roy Moore are providing the template on how to survive these scandals.”

    I realize that this may be difficult for you, since it goes beyond “liberals bad me smart” template through which you view the world, but the difference between Trump and Moore on one hand and Matt Lauer on the other is that Lauer’s sole function for NBC is to sell advertising time to corporations, and corporations generally don’t want to buy ads on a show where the host is being accused of sex crimes for fear of being seen as supporting such harassment. This is why O’Reilly was forced out, and Ailes, and Charlie Rose. And so in this kind of case “social media mobs” make noise AND make trouble.

    Please explain how Trump provides a template for how an entertainer should survive these scandals.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  83. KM says:

    @James Pearce:

    I’m acting like “Every woman has experienced harassment in their life” is a problem that’s NOT going to be solving by shit-canning Matt Lauer or any other high-profile abuser.

    You remind me of the judges who let rapists off lightly because we “can’t ruin their futures”. Explain why not shit-canning them for unethical behavior is a good thing. Money and power is what made men like Weinstein, Moore, Conyers, and Lauer think they could get away with it. And guess what, it did!!! For some, it let them get away with it for DECADES! The logical conclusion is to take it away and that would be the case in any other sort of ethical violation involving abuse of power. I’m unclear why you’d think this deserves a pass.

    You mentioned about how the chemistry hasn’t changed. This is true – for many, base behavior won’t be modified with some severe negative stimulus. Well then, it’s time for some old-school behavioral modification. Sensitivity training’s not new – in fact, several decades of it have had time to sink into the culture and mindset of the workplace and its inhabitants. But it’s considered a joke or optional or “confusing” or feminist nonsense being pushed on them. So maybe “biologically primed” and testosterone-driven men need a lesson in a language they can understand: you can and will be eliminated because your domination is gone.

    The message needs to be clear – no more. You harass, kiss your career bye-bye. You ruin a woman’s life, expect to have yours ruined in return. Short of locking an harasser in a room with the biggest, most muscled, overly sexed and amorous bara to ever grace a gay bar so they see what it’s like from the other side, men’s path to understanding is through their wallet and social standing. Occasionally, you need to put a few head’s on pikes outside the city walls to get the point across.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  84. James Pearce says:

    @wr:

    Please explain how Trump provides a template for how an entertainer should survive these scandals.

    Step 1: Go into politics, let your constituents do the work.

    Also:

    And so in this kind of case “social media mobs” make noise AND make trouble.

    Oh, I agree that they make trouble. Not just for the perpetrators, but for anyone associated with them, guilty, innocent, or just related. The angry mob isn’t going to just destroy Matt Lauer.

    It’s a mob. They’re going to smash all the windows on the way, beat up anyone who looks like Matt Lauer. It’s not a good thing, the angry mob.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  85. the Q says:

    Rachel, there is a HUGE difference between showing one’s penis (which should result in firing) vs. casual jokes or oafish behavior at the water cooler. Currently, these are all being conflated into a generic “harassment’.

    Shoplifting a candy bar (Franken) is now being equated with murder (Moore) in that they both result in the same punishment.

    Are they the same in measure? Again, read the Crucible. We’ve gone through these witch hunts before.

    Lets not let the silly get in the way of the serious nature of discussing male dominating behaviour,and harrasment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  86. Tyrell says:

    @Mikey: NBC news and other network news have seen their better days and are going the way of print journalism. NBC could find a niche as the new sports network king, especially with ESPN in decline; some of which has been caused by their increasing political focus instead of just reporting the sports and concentrating on the game. Keith Olberman would be great returning to sports broadcasting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  87. KM says:

    @the Q:

    Currently, these are all being conflated into a generic “harassment’.

    So then what would you call it? Please keep in mind that “joke” is the new word for “got caught so sorry not sorry”. The thing is, a joke is supposed to be *funny* as in you meant to laugh or find it humorous. Most of the “locker room talk” you are referring to aren’t jokes – they’re insults or demeaning commentary trying to pass itself off as humor. They’re designed to laugh *at* women, not *with* women. They may be said in true jest or a non-malicious manner but it doesn’t change what they are.

    Let’s look at it this way: someone jokingly tells you every day you’re stupid. Moron jokes, blond jokes, references to your low IQ and how everybody like you must be dumb, how somebody that looks like you must be an idiot, your mama must dress you, etc. At what point does it start being funny instead of irritating? At what point does it becomes them just plain ragging on you instead of a “joke”?

    Now let’s say clients start overhearing this and it begins to affect your career. Your boss wants to joke along with them and admit out loud you’re stupid in front of clients. He reaches over and writes STUPID whatever skin he can reach. He tells you your career will suffer if you tell anybody so you better play along with the “joke”. You have to wear a dunce hat in the office and clown clothes for managerial approval. Finally, your boss wants you to wear clown paint and let him call you Bozo off-hours. You go to report them but your co-workers scoff that you can’t take a joke; after all weren’t you always at the water cooler laughing when they said you were dumb? Why are you so mad now? Why didn’t you say anything then? It must be you – it was never a problem before!!

    The reason it’s harassment is it’s unwanted negative attention. And if you let the small things slide, they tend to get used against you as an excuse when the big things come up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  88. James Pearce says:

    @KM:

    Money and power is what made men like Weinstein, Moore, Conyers, and Lauer think they could get away with it.

    Actually…..and I hate to “actually” you here, but “#metoo” indicates this is not just a problem of money and power.

    Also:

    Well then, it’s time for some old-school behavioral modification.

    I’m not so sure. If this is indeed chemical/hormonal, maybe instead of attempting to modify behaviors –or focusing on the righteous retribution– we should work on harm reduction instead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  89. KM says:

    @James Pearce:

    harm reduction

    Who’s harm are you reducing?

    Harm reduction doesn’t stop the behavior but rather tries to reduce negatives associated with it ie give prostitutes condoms to stop the spread of HIV. It also relies on people understanding the behavior is bad / socially unacceptable but things like sensitivity training are treated like horrible punishments to endure rather then opportunities to learn.

    indeed chemical/hormonal

    It’s not hormonal because if it was, gay men would be harassing the shit of of straight men. Funny how that’s not happening, isn’t it – it’s kinda like some males have been conditioned to *not* prey on their biologically preferred targets or bad things might happen to them. Plus, there’s a really simple cure for hormonal imbalance: drugs. I really don’t think that’s the angle you want to pursue since chemical castration is always an option for those who plead biology’s overwhelming call.

    It’s socialization. Men have been taught all their lives this kind of crap is OK and resent being informed that it’s “suddenly” not. For the first time in a long time, the onus and consequences in social conscious is starting to become “male” and not “female”. The reason men are feeling “attacked” is because they’re seeing responsibility for their behavior shift towards themselves. Can’t tell a dirty joke in the office? Well, why are you – since when is that work appropriate? Can’t comment on women’s clothes? Hmmm unless you tell Bob what you think of his pants regularly, you shouldn’t be doing it to Jane. Can’t hint you’d like to bang a chick to see if she’s interested? It’s work, not a bar – why are you trying to pick up women? A decent-size of the male population won’t grab a woman but how many of them will speak up to say “that’s wrong” if “locker room talk” begins?

    They don’t want harm reduction, they want to not get in trouble for what they consider normal behavior.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  90. michael reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:

    I love it. After all your incessant ‘concern’ for the Democrats, your suggestion is to tell women, “Meh, men will always be in charge, get used to it.” Yep, that’s some smart political thinking there dude. Insightful!

    I sense a personal interest on your part in this, Pearce. Most of us men understand the biology, but we also understand that civilization requires us to not do things just because testosterone tells us to. For example, I sometimes go entire days without murdering people who piss me off.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  91. James Pearce says:

    @KM:

    gay men would be harassing the shit of of straight men.

    The closest I’ve ever come to being sexually harassed was at the hands of gay men. (FWIW, one guy was drunk and he backed off since we were friends. The second time, the guy was in drag –not transgender, in drag– and it was part of this party routine he was doing. I forgave him considering it was part of a bit. Context does matter.)

    And no, I’m not talking about a hormone imbalance. I’m talking hormones period. I’m talking about the subconscious and feral impulse to stick our willies into other people’s orifices. Socialization has provided rules for how to do that, but it’s not enough to keep a lid on those impulses. Centuries of rape and violence against women is testament to that.

    And it does no good to pretend that this impulse, which is responsible for the propagation of the species, is the result of some kind of imbalance that can be resolved with chemical means. As George Michael said, sex is natural and –for the most part– it’s good.

    When I talk harm reduction, I’m talking about tolerating the harmless stuff while being harsh on the harmful stuff. We are not really equipped to do that in this society. We flatten everything out, blurring distinctions, making false equivalencies. (I mean, one of Matt Lauer’s “crimes” is that he played “F, Marry, Kill” like a normal human. That’s not the same as whipping his junk out, which is not the same as Bill Cosby drugging women and raping them.)

    Maybe we need more sexposition and gratuitous nudity on our favorite cable show? Maybe we should stop teaching boys the “madonna or whore” myth. Maybe we need to legalize prostitution?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  92. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    your suggestion is to tell women, “Meh, men will always be in charge, get used to it.”

    Ummm….I don’t think that was my suggestion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  93. Tyrell says:

    “NBC News is erasing all memory of Matt Lauer”
    NBC News is erasing itself as it continues its slide into irrelevance. It erased professionalism long ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0