Matt Lauer was fired from NBC News/Today in late November 2017. He was outed as a rapist, a sexual predator, a serial sexual harasser and a completely disgusting man. Savannah Guthrie was his Today Show cohost at the time, and it was widely believed that Lauer hand-picked Guthrie soon after shoving out Ann Curry. But before all of that, Lauer’s most fruitful on-screen partnership was with Katie Couric. They sort of redefined the morning show co-anchor format and for years, they beat everyone in the ratings. As more of Couric’s memoir, Going There, is excerpted, I think I have a better understanding of why Lauer and Couric’s partnership was so successful. They’re birds of a feather, and they both hate women. So, the NY Post has some quotes from Couric’s book about Matt Lauer and they’re just as bad as I expected them to be.
What Lauer told her: Katie Couric wrote in the book that Lauer allegedly said that sometimes women came into his office “crying,” and he worried that if they sat next to him on the sofa, he “can’t even put [his] arm around them.” The former anchor said she tried to “imagine such a scene taking place” and advised Lauer that “he cannot do that — you cannot put your arm around them.”
Couric says one woman told her about Lauer’s sexual harassment: Couric goes on to claim one woman confided in her after she received an inappropriate email from Lauer following a segment with biographer Kitty Kelley for her tell-all book on the Bush family in September 2004. A female producer who retold the story to Couric said she reached out to Lauer to congratulate him on the combative interview. The unnamed producer said that Lauer asked if she was “trying to butter him up” in an email. When she said that was not the case, as Couric wrote, Lauer reportedly responded offering to “show her” how to butter him up and suggested she “spread it on her thighs.” Couric also wrote that the producer told her that he proceeded to invite her into his office, requesting she wears a “skirt that came off easily.”
Couric says that everybody was having sex at the office: This was all part of a culture where sex and affairs were rife in the workplace, Couric said, nothing that she later learned about “a secret office they called ‘the Bunker.’” Couric alleged that only an unnamed “male anchor” had the key to use it for “one-on-one encounters, and I don’t mean interviews,” she wrote.
She quotes Lauer too: “’This MeToo stuff feels like it’s getting kind of out of control,’” Lauer reportedly told her. “’It feels like a witch hunt.’” She added that she thought Lauer was “worried about a lack of due process, people’s livelihoods and reputations being destroyed.”
She heard some rumors: She heard office “scuttlebutt” that Lauer had had a fling at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. In 2018, Brooke Nevils, a former NBC producer in Sochi, accused Lauer of raping her in his Sochi hotel room, prompting his exit from “Today.” Although Couric initially thought it was “gross” that Lauer was cheating on his now ex-wife Annette, and taking advantage of a young staffer, she added: “The general rule at the time was, ‘It’s none of your business. A don’t-ask-don’t-tell culture where anything goes, and everything did.” Couric wrote in her book that she assumed it was a “consensual fling” and didn’t “consider talking to the young employee” for fear of “embarrassing” her.
A rumor about Lauer’s ex-wife: Couric also wrote in the book, out Oct. 26, that she also heard “rumors” that Annette Lauer had called the control room one morning looking for her husband and demanding the phone number of a TV anchor he had been linked with.
She’s not abandoning Lauer: But when Lauer was fired, Couric did reach out to him, calling him a “decent man” whom she felt “heartless to abandon.” After initially texting with him after his NBC exit, she couldn’t bring herself to keep the friendship up, noting she’s “sad” he thinks she “betrayed him.” “But he betrayed me, too, by how he behaved behind closed doors at the show we both cared about so much,” she said.
She spoke to Lauer’s victims: She also claimed in her book that she “connected” with “women Matt damaged” and was able to “hear the shame and humiliation in their voices…I suspect they’ll be dealing with this for the rest of their lives.”
What the actual f–k is all of this??? Matt Lauer harassed, abused and raped women within the NBC News environment. Couric likely did not know the extent of it, but she clearly – and by her own description – had an idea of Lauer’s predatory, indecent and harassing behavior. And she still called him after he was fired (for rape!!) and describes him as a “decent man”? And the way she talks about the women he hurt is disgusting too. It’s like she’s getting off on their degradation.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.