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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

NBC News lets itself off the hook in Matt Lauer probe

Illustration for article titled NBC News lets itself off the hook in Matt Lauer probe
Photo: Neilson Barnard (Getty Images)

Here’s some good news for NBC News: A probe into the factors that led to Matt Lauer being fired from the organization for inappropriate sexual behavior has determined that everything is going just fine and that there is not a “current culture of harassment” at NBC News. Plus, nobody at any position of authority at NBC News, the Today show, or NBC News HR “received any complaints about Lauer’s workplace behavior” before he was fired. In other words, NBC News is confident that NBC News did nothing wrong here and we can all safely move on with our lives. Of course, Ann Curry recently revealed that she complained to the higher-ups at Today shortly before she left the organization about Lauer’s behavior, so there seems to be some kind of disconnect here.


This comes from Deadline, which says the probe did determine that some of the allegations written about Lauer were “credible,” but there doesn’t seem to be a widespread pattern of sexual harassment at NBC News. Some employees “raised concerns” about other “extramarital affairs” happening at work, but most of them had either already been reported, investigated, or addressed by existing disciplinary measures. The investigators even looked into the infamous button that Lauer had in his desk, which accusers said could be used to remotely lock the door to his office. They determined that the button is actually a regular feature available in a number of NBCUniversal offices, and that it simply closes the door rather than locking it—the fact that the explanation is barely better than the accusation doesn’t help much, though.

So yeah, everything is just fine at NBC News, as long as you don’t pay too much attention to the fact that allegations were also raised against Tom Brokaw last month and that NBC took a slightly dismissive approach in how it asked its on-air reporters to address the allegations. Other than that, just fine.