Sexually harassed online
In the broader society, the rape and sexual-abuse allegations against Bill Cosby — whom, irony of ironies, NBC had presented as “America’s Dad” a generation earlier — threatened to open the floodgates against men in power.And in politics, the 2016 presidential election would prove to be a choice between a male billionaire drenched in misogyny and a smart, driven woman who probably — consciously or subconsciously — reminded more than a few news executives of … In hindsight, we probably shouldn’t be shocked that Matt Lauer’s new boss and protector didn’t seem to think that allegations that powerful men are sexual predators was much of a story.Since 2005, he’s written the uber-opinionated, fair-but-dangerously unbalanced opinion blog "Attytood," covering a range of topics (but mostly politics and the media these days); it’s been named best blog in the state by the Associated Press Managing Editors and best blog in the city by Philadelphia Magazine.He’s also authored three full-length books and three Amazon Kindle Single e-books, including 2015’s The Bern Identity: A Search for Bernie Sanders and the New American Dream. …Yeah, we got that.”) Like many of the sexual-predator allegations that have roiled Hollywood, Washington, Manhattan’s media ghettos, Silicon Valley, and Anywhere Else Where Privileged and Entitled Men Are Found, the specific accusations against Lauer are serious, and they scream out for justice for the individual women he harassed, abused, threatened, thwarted, and demoralized.She told the magazine: "There was an incident on set of a campaign job when I was 17 years old—I haven’t told this story—and there was a photo assistant who was into me. Unfortunately for Graham, that wasn't even the first time she's been sexually harassed.He was like, “Hey, come here,” and he led me into a closet. She was molested when she was 10 years old, when an 18-year-old boy forced her to touch his erection.It was part of a broader pattern — in TV news in general, and certainly at NBC News — of finding prominent on-air roles for women who were talented but also properly deferential or otherwise pleasing to the target audience of 50-something-or-more white men, which just happened to be the demographic of top media executives.Which meant jettisoning some remarkably talented women journalists who didn’t fit that mold — not only Curry but popular (Temple grad) Tamron Hall, a charismatic African American newswoman who was unceremoniously pushed aside from the third hour of NBC’s this year to make room for news director Lack’s gleaming vision (but not the viewing public’s, apparently) of what a female anchor should be, Megyn Kelly.
But it turned out that “America’s First Family” was every bit as dysfunctional as many real ones.Matt Lauer’s sins were unconscionable, but so is the culture at NBC News — similar to other top media companies — that nurtured him, protected him, and then produced a televised “reality” that reflected those pathologies back at millions of viewers.