Ah, 2012: A lighter, simpler time. Barack Obama was in the White House, Twitter was a platform for stupid internet jokes and annoying memes (instead of hate speech and presidential proclamations), and the sexual culture was such that a genial morning news show like NBC’s Today could run a long segment openly mocking the idea of sexual harassment in the workplace, while only kind of looking like a bunch of tone-deaf idiots.
The Daily Show has always been a one-stop shopping spot for people looking to hang themselves with their own past words, and the Comedy Central series dug up a doozy this morning, tweeting out a 2012 Today sketch in which Matt Lauer pretends to be a victim of sexual harassment, in the form of a slap on what everyone involved keeps insisting on calling his “tush.” Of course, we now know that, while this mockery of the idea of was being filmed, Lauer was also regularly (allegedly) sexually propositioning women working under him at Today, including accusations of exposing himself to them and sending female employees unwanted sex toys with notes stating how he wanted to use them on them. (To say nothing of the super-creepy lock button on his office, which may or may not have been installed at this point.)
The whole crew—including Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie, Jeff Rossen, Willie Giest, and a special guest appearance from fellow accused harasser Dustin Hoffman—is just tickled pink at the idea of harassment in their workplace, laughing along as Lauer jokes about his feelings of abandonment in the aftermath of the “incident.” If nothing else, it should serve as a potent antidote for anyone feeling even the slightest sympathy for Lauer now that he’s been functionally destroyed by his own (alleged) actions; it’s also a good endurance test for anyone who wants to try to get through the whole thing without angrily whispering “You lying motherfucker” at least one time.