MRC’s Noyes: Lack Had to Have Known of Lauer Behavior ‘Unless He’s Living in a Cave’

On the Wednesday edition of FBN’s Risk and Reward, the MRC’s Rich Noyes told Liz MacDonald that, concerning the firing of NBC’s Matt Lauer for sexual misconduct allegations, it’s difficult to believe NBC News president Andy Lack didn’t know of Lauer’s misdeeds “unless he's living in a cave or everybody else whose talking on the record is lying.”

MacDonald started by asking how Lack fit into the story, so Noyes recounted Lack’s history at NBC going back to his first stint following “the Dateline General Motors exploding car controversy” from the 1990's when the newsmagazine deceptively blew up cars that wouldn’t explode like they had thought.

 

 

Lack’s second stint started following the Brian Williams scandal, which led to Wednesday’s decision to fire Lauer. Here’s Noyes:

[A]nd now, he's saying that this is the first time he's had a formal complaint about Matt Lauer in 20 years. He must not have been looking very hard because there seems to be a lot of people inside NBC, according to this Variety story, who knew all about it and said management was covering up for Matt Lauer. 

The FBN host followed up by wondering if Noyes doesn’t “believe Andy Lack when he says this is, you know, the first time he's heard about this in 20 years, it seems a lot of people knew about it at NBC.”

Noyes stated that Lack “might have been parsing” his words when explaining that Lauer’s firing came after “the first formal complaint” against the Today co-host was filed. 

“[B]ut it seems unlikely it was the first time he heard about it unless he's living in a cave or everybody else whose talking on the record is lying,” Noyes added.

After being asked about the President’s Lauer tweets and his “not wise” choice invoke the death of a former Joe Scarborough intern, Noyes concluded by reiterating how NBC shouldn’t exactly be praised for its handling of the Lauer controversy:

According to reports earlier in the day, NBC news executives knew about these stories so I think the idea is they just got a complaint on Monday and turned around and fired him on Tuesday and they should be praised for swiftly handling this problem, I think all of these stories make for this being a long simmering problem inside NBC and executives looked the other way because of Matt Lauer being seen as a ratings powerhouse.

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

Here’s the transcript of the Noyes appearance from FBN’s Risk and Reward with Deirdre Bolton on November 29:

FBN’s Risk and Reward with Deirdre Bolton
November 29, 2017
5:29 p.m. Eastern

LIZ MACDONALD: Let's get back to NBC. Matt Lauer’s dismissal putting a harsh new focus on NBC News boss Andy Lack. President trump tweeting: “Wow Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for ‘inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace’ but when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News? Check out Andy Lack's past!” Joining me now, Media Research Center Director Rich Noyes. Good to see you, Rich. 

RICH NOYES: Good to see you Liz. 

MACDONALD: Do you think there is a reason to take a closer look at NBC News president Andy Lack? 

NOYES: Well, he was originally brought in back in the 1990s to deal with the — remember this — the Dateline General Motors exploding car controversy. Dateline wanted to do an expose on exploding cars, but they didn't explode so they blew them up themselves. That was an ethtical problem for NBC. He came into fix this and one of the things he did in 1990s was put Matt Lauer on the Today show. He left NBC, came back to deal with Brian Williams and his ethical problems. He's put Brian Williams back on the air on MSNBC to start rehabilitating him and now, he's saying that this is the first time he's had a formal complaint about Matt Lauer in 20 years. He must not have been looking very hard because there seems to be a lot of people inside NBC, according to this Variety story, who knew all about it and said management was covering up for Matt Lauer. 

MACDONALD: So, Rich, you don't believe Andy Lack when he says this is, you know, the first time he's heard about this in 20 years, it seems a lot of people knew about it at NBC? 

NOYES: He might have been parsing. There was the first formal complaint but it seems unlikely it was the first time he heard about it unless he's living in a cave or everybody else whose talking on the record is lying. 

MACDONALD: Yeah and now we have breaking news The New York Times reporting two more women have stepped forward to say they were sexually harassed by Matt Lauer. Let's get to President Trump, who also tweeted out another quote about NBC: “So now that Matt Lauer is gone, when will the Fake News practitioners at NBC be terminating the contract to Phil Griffin? And will they terminate low ratings Joe Scarborough based on the ‘unsolved mystery’ that took place in Florida years ago? Investigate!” Okay, it should be now 16 women have basically accused the President of inappropriate behavior and as for that last part, CNN’s Jake Tapper now says it's in humane for the President to exploit the death of the intern Lori Klausutis, who was found dead at age 28 in Scarborough's office in Florida when he was a Florida congressman. The local medical examine examiner, Rich, said she lost consciousness, had a heart problem and hit her head. What do you say about these tweets? 

NOYES: Yeah — well — that I think is his point about let's take a look at NBC and take a look at their whole culture covering up for sexual harassment inside the workplace and then yes, having a biased news product, those are things that we should care about. I think bringing in the Scarborough story from years ago that has been dealt with by authorities and there’s no problem on that part, you know, that was something he should have — that should not have brought up. It was not wise to bring that up. 

MACDONALD: Rich, we’ve got breaking news. Let’s get back to it again. The New York Times is saying NBC had at least two new complaints about Matt Lauer. One complaint came from a former worker who said Matt Lauer had summoned her to his office in 2001 and then had sex with her. This is according to the allegations of The New York Times. The allegations continue. She provided her account to the paper but declined to let her name be used. Rich, weigh in. What are your thoughts here? 

NOYES: Well, I mean, again, The New York Times we know has working on this story for a while. The Variety has been working on this for a while. According to reports earlier in the day, NBC news executives knew about these stories so I think the idea is they just got a complaint on Monday and turned around and fired him on Tuesday and they should be praised for swiftly handling this problem, I think all of these stories make for this being a long simmering problem inside NBC and executives looked the other way because of Matt Lauer being seen as a ratings powerhouse. 

MACDONALD: You’re terrific, Rich. We love having you on. Come back soon. 

NOYES: Thank you. 


Please support NewsBusters today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)

DONATE
CyberAlerts Media Bias Debate Liberals & Democrats Fox Business Network Video MRC/NB News Rich Noyes Matt Lauer