Stephanopoulos to Brokaw Accuser: You ‘Angered’ a Colleague I ‘Admired’

George Stephanopoulos is still working hard to defend powerful men accused of sexually harassing women. The former Bill Clinton operative turned Good Morning America co-host on Thursday interrogated Linda Vester, the woman who accused Brokaw of unwanted sexual advances and groping. Stephanopoulos, who stood by Clinton as numerous women accused him, lectured Vester: “Tom Brokaw is pretty angry.” 

He then questioned her honesty in relating the accusations: “[Brokaw] describes you as a colleague who has trouble with the truth. Are you absolutely convinced that everything you remember about that incident, those incidents with Tom Brokaw are what happened?” 

 

 

Stephanopoulos seriously wondered why Vester didn’t trust NBC to investigate what NBC new about Brokaw: 

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You don't trust them to investigate this themselves? 

LINDA VESTER: Well, I mean I think it's common sense. You can't investigate yourself. You just can't. There's an internal bias. That's how it works, so you have to have outside counsel.

Stephanopoulos touted the character witnesses who have spoken out “in support of his reputation as a colleague of integrity and decency.” Stephanopoulos, who attacked the women who called out against his old boss Bill Clinton, then became a character witness for Brokaw: 

I've known Tom Brokaw for years, watched him for years before that, admired his career, clearly has a loving family, friends, how do we put all that in context? How do you put it all in context?

Vester powerfully replied: “This is an important point in the Me Too movement for that very reason. Because some people might be tempted to believe that all harassers look and act like Harvey Weinstein. It's not true.” 

A partial transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more:  

Good Morning America 
5/10/18
7:36        

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay, thanks. I did speak with Linda and asked her about that response from Brokaw. Tom Brokaw is pretty angry. He says he was ambushed. Says he was perp walked. What is your response? 

...

STEPHANOPOULOS: In that letter, he describes you as a colleague who has trouble with the truth. Are you absolutely convinced that everything you remember about that incident, those incidents with Tom Brokaw are what happened? 

LINDA VESTER: George, my memory of those incidents is crystal clear. The notes that I took immediately afterward are crystal clear. The notes that I took afterwards are crystal clear. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: Why not at the time say something to others at NBC in management? 

VESTER: Let me paint a picture of what it was like inside NBC News when this happened. I was a young reporter, just getting started. Tom Brokaw was the most powerful at the network. So the idea that I could go forward to management and say that I had been assaulted by the most powerful man at the network and a major moneymaker, well, that just get heard. There was HR, but HR was not consider any a place where you could go with a complaint about sexual harassment. It was considered a place where you went I your paycheck went to the wrong address and so for many reasons I felt it was unsafe to go to NBC and I never felt safe at NBC News again. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: Have they called you since this happened? 

VESTER: Yes, they called my attorney and said they would like to talk to me and our answer is, as soon as NBC News or NBC Universal hires outside counsel to do a proper, thorough investigation, I will be glad to sit down. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: You don't trust them to investigate this themselves? 

VESTER: Well, I mean I think it's common sense. You can't investigate yourself. You just can't. There's an internal bias. That's how it works, so you have to have outside counsel. 

STEPHANOPOULOS:  As you know a lot of women at NBC News have come forward, some 60 women, some of the highest profile women at the network, have come forward in support of Tom Brokaw, in support of his reputation as a colleague of integrity and decency. 

...

STEPHANOPOULOS: You think it's a culture problem inside NBC News. 

VESTER: I absolutely do. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: You said what you want from NBC News. Is there anything you want from Tom Brokaw? 

...

STEPHANOPOULOS: How do all of us who — I've known Tom Brokaw for years, watched him for years before that, admired his career, clearly has a loving family, friends, how do we put all that in context? How do you put it all in context? 

VESTER: This is an important point in the Me Too movement for that very reason. Because some people might be tempted to believe that all harassers look and act like Harvey Weinstein. It's not true. Some of them can look like cultural icons like Tom Brokaw and they can be decent during the day to a lot of people and actually be really kind a lot of the time. And yet still have hidden behavior. We need to really fully understand all the ways that sexual harassment manifests in the workplace if we're really going to get to the root of it and root it out so that men and women can work together and mentor each other and be just fine. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: What's next? Any legal action? 

...

STEPHANOPOULOS: We did reach out to Tom Brokaw and NBC for comment and a spokesperson for NBC universal directed us to Brokaw’s initial denial. The spokesperson reiterated to us that NBC has invited Linda Vester to meet with them to discuss her allegations. They also pointed out their investigation was conducted by NBC corporate and not the news division and that they sought two outside law firms who validated their investigation. Robin? 

 

NB Daily Sexuality ABC Good Morning America Video George Stephanopoulos Tom Brokaw Linda Vester
Scott Whitlock's picture


Sponsored Links