NBC & CBS Mark #MeToo Anniversary, Ignore Lauer and Rose

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On Monday, both NBC’s Today show and CBS This Morning marked the two-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement by interviewing the New York Times reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein story in the fall of 2017. However, missing from the coverage was any mention of the scandals that hit both networks just weeks following Weinstein, with the firings of Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose.  

Talking to Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor on the Today show about their new book, She Said, which details their efforts to break the Weinstein story, co-host Savannah Guthrie declared: “Two years ago Harvey Weinstein was riding high with a decades-long career as one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, but on a fall day in 2017 that all changed. The New York Times published a blockbuster investigation, alleging Weinstein had sexually harassed and assaulted many women...” She noted how “That article created a firestorm and kicked off the #MeToo movement...”

 

 

What Guthrie forgot to mention was just weeks later in 2017 her then-co-host Matt Lauer was fired from NBC News after facing similar allegations.

Twohey summed up their reporting on Weinstein with a statement that could just have easily applied to NBC: “And we also wanted to push into the question of complicity. You know, individuals and institutions like Weinstein’s own companies saw – got glimpses of the allegations against him over the years....What did they know? What did they do? And when did they try to stop it?”

Later, Guthrie wondered: “But you talk about covering decades of allegations. Who knew what at this company? I mean that’s – does that question get answered, in your mind?” Kantor responded: “Yes. We know a lot more now about who knew what. And by the way, I think this is a question for all of us in all of our offices. If you know about wrongdoing, what do you decide to do about it?”

In 2018, NBC completed an investigation of itself and unsurprisingly cleared itself of enabling Lauer or promoting a culture of sexual harassment.

Guthrie’s interview with Twohey and Kantor lasted for over 10 minutes. During the 3rd Hour Today show at 9:00 a.m. ET, the Times journalists returned for two segments that totaled over 16 minutes. So despite devoting over 26 minutes of air time to the topic Monday morning, NBC couldn’t mention Lauer’s name even once.

It’s not that surprising, since NBC has gone out of its way to erase Lauer from the network’s history. In June, while celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Today show’s Studio 1A, a video montage amazingly edited out Lauer, despite him co-hosting the broadcast for 20 of those 25 years.

On CBS This Morning, during a taped interview with Kantor about the Weinstein book, King raved: “Jodi, first let me just say, bravo. I started this book and I thought, what more is there to say about the story? And let me just tell you, a lot. You took us behind the scenes. Brilliant reporting by you and by Megan.” Like NBC leaving out Lauer, the five minutes of CBS coverage completely skipped any mention of ex-co-host Charlie Rose being fired for sexual harassment just weeks after the Weinstein story broke.

Later in the segment, King again applauded: “I think the book is really – I can’t say this enough – extraordinary in terms of being a page turner. I couldn’t get enough of it.”

That’s particularly interesting, since King couldn’t stand having to report on her “friend” Rose.

In September of 2018, then-This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell lamented how “hard” it was to cover departing CBS CEO Les Moonves amid his own harassment scandal. Around that same time, longtime 60 Minutes producer Jeff Fager was also fired from the network for sexual harassment and even threatening a CBS News correspondent who reported on the allegations.    

King eventually called out CBS for its lack of “transparency,” though still noted that she was “sick of the story.”

It’s remarkable how eager the media can be to rightfully condemn such behavior, as long as it isn’t in its own house.

Here are excerpts of the coverage on the September 9 Today show:

8:00 AM ET TEASE

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Plus, she said. We’ll meet the journalists who broke the Harvey Weinstein story and sparked the #MeToo movement. How their story still resonates two years later.

8:09 AM ET SEGMENT

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Welcome back. Two years ago Harvey Weinstein was riding high with a decades-long career as one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, but on a fall day in 2017 that all changed. The New York Times published a blockbuster investigation, alleging Weinstein had sexually harassed and assaulted many women and paid some of them for their silence. That article created a firestorm and kicked off the #MeToo movement, as detailed in the new book, She Said.

(...)

8:12 AM ET

GUTHRIE: Well, Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor wrote the original New York Times article, they won a Pulitzer Prize for their work and they have written this book, She Said. Ladies, good morning to you.

MEGAN TWOHEY: Good morning.

JODI KANTOR: Good morning.

GUTHRIE: I mean, we just kind of in two minutes tried to encapsulate what has happened. Did you, in your wildest dreams, ever imagine the impact that one story could have?

TWOHEY: Well, we had no idea. I mean, we hoped that this article would help bring out the truth about this one particular individual, but what we realized was that first article was just the beginning.

(...)

TWOHEY: And we also wanted to push into the question of complicity. You know, individuals and institutions like Weinstein’s own companies saw – got glimpses of the allegations against him over the years, including his own brother, Bob. What did they know? What did they do? And when did they try to stop it?

GUTHRIE: It had to be more than one article with all that to tackle, it had to be a book. But Jodi, I mean, one of the things that’s so riveting about this account in the book is what it took to piece this story together. It’s easy in hindsight to see how it all fits together, but you had to convince women and people who worked at these – at the Weinstein Company or at Miramax to come forward.

(...)

8:18 AM ET

GUTHRIE: I mean, there’s so many questions that this raises. But you talk about covering decades of allegations. Who knew what at this company? I mean that’s – does that question get answered, in your mind?

JODI KANTOR: Yes. We know a lot more now about who knew what. And by the way, I think this is a question for all of us in all of our offices. If you know about wrongdoing, what do you decide to do about it?

(...)

9:25 AM ET

(...)

SHEINELLE JONES: Let’s take it back all the way to where you guys decided to write this book. You guys say you set out to try to figure out how this downfall led to really a societal shift in how we view this whole movement, is that right?

MEGAN TWOHEY: Yeah, that’s absolutely right. We realized that our first story was just the beginning and that there was so much more that we had to learn. This wasn’t just a story about a single individual predator. It was a story about complicity. I mean, there were individuals in Harvey Weinstein’s own companies and his brother who glimpsed what was going on. So we really wanted to ponder the question of like when people get glimpses of wrongdoing, what do they do about it?

(...)

Here are excerpts of the coverage on CBS This Morning:

8:34 AM ET

ANTHONY MASON: For the first time, the investigative reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein story are revealing new details about the Hollywood producer’s alleged enablers and the sources who brought the stories to light. In 2017, New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey uncovered stories of Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment, igniting the #MeToo movement.

(...)

GAYLE KING: The new book, She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement, goes behind the scenes of reporting the investigation. The book’s co-author and CBS News contributor Jodi Kantor joins us at the table. Jodi, first let me just say, bravo. I started this book and I thought, what more is there to say about the story? And let me just tell you, a lot. You took us behind the scenes. Brilliant reporting by you and by Megan.

(...)

8:37 AM

KING: I think the book is really – I can’t say this enough – extraordinary in terms of being a page turner. I couldn’t get enough of it.

(...)

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