During Monday morning’s edition of NBC’s Megyn Kelly Today program, the host led an extensive discussion regarding the charges of sexual harassment against Tom Brokaw and had some words of advice for the many women who have signed a letter supporting the former NBC Nightly News anchor.
Referring to her experience with the late Roger Ailes, who was the chief executive officer for Fox News until he stepped down amid allegations of sexual misconduct in July of 2016, Kelly cautioned the NBC News colleagues who signed the letter: “You don’t know what you don’t know.”
The segment began with a discussion involving Kelly, NBC News National Correspondent Kate Snow and NBC News Correspondent Stephanie Gosk.
At one point, Snow relayed comments made by Ari Wilkenfeld, the attorney representing former NBC News war correspondent and anchor Linda Vester, who has accused Brokaw of sexual impropriety during the 1990s.
Wilkenfeld claimed the company’s efforts to investigate the situation are “not enough. I wish you had gotten an outside lawyer.”
“He thinks that’s us investigating ourselves,” Kelly stated before commenting: “Look, I just came from Fox, where we just went through this.”
She then stated:
It wasn’t a true outside independent investigation, where the results would be announced to the world. The world would find out what happened.
The information was was being controlled by Fox.
According to an article written by Joe DePaolo, senior editor for the Mediaite website, Kelly “did not sign the letter backing the former Nightly News anchor against the claims.”
“Brokaw has been accused of sexual misconduct by two women,” DePaolo stated. “One is unnamed,” but Vester told Variety that the former news anchor “tried to force her to kiss him on two different occasions.”
She also alleges that he “once showed up at her hotel room uninvited and groped her in an NBC conference room.”
“Brokaw has denied the claims vigorously,” DePaolo added.
However, “a number of former and current female colleagues of Brokaw signed their names to a letter of support,” including MSNBC anchors Rachel Maddow, Mike Brzezinski and Andrea Mitchell.
Kelly described the letter as “basically a character reference. And they’re saying: ‘For what it’s worth, my experience with him has always been honorable, and he’s always treated me well.’”
“And I understand that because when you love the person being under attack,” she continued, “you want to say: ‘This has been my experience.'”
Kelly then stated:
I will say that the same thing did happen at Fox, and the truth is: “You don’t know what you don’t know.”
And that’s not in any way to impugn Tom, who I love and who’s been so good to me.
“What happens behind closed doors -- we saw it at Fox News – you know, these women came out,” she added. “I remember sitting there thinking: ‘You’re wrong. It happened to me. Your statements are wrong, and you’re going to be proven wrong.'’”
“I don’t feel that way here,” she noted. “I really don’t. I love Tom, but I think letters like that can be dicey. That’s all I’m going to say.”
Of course, Brokaw has many defenders, including the hosts of ABC’s The View program, who tweeted: “Tom Brokaw says he was ‘ambushed and then perp walked’ after facing an allegation from a former colleague that he acted inappropriately with her in the 1990s.”
Liberal co-host Joy Behar quickly leaped to the newsman’s defense: “You need some kind of due process here, even if it’s in the court of public opinion.”
“I think that going to a girl’s hotel room when you’re twice her age is an inappropriate thing to do,” she noted. However, “there’s this false equivalency,” like “comparing Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton” during the 2016 presidential election.
As NewsBusters previously reported, Vester “was 28 at the time” of the first incident and was “30 years younger than him” during “a 1993 trip to Denver, Colorado, to cover the visit of Pope John Paul II."
In addition, the former anchor is now “speaking out to expose the toxic environment for women that permeated NBC News.”
Of course, if these accusations were being hurled at a reporter with the Fox News Channel, many of these defenders would just turn up their noses and move on. So much for “You don’t know what you don’t know.”