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Matt Lauer fired from the Today show

Savannah Roberson | sroberson8@radford.edu

Former news anchor, Matt Lauer, has been fired from his position at the widely known NBC morning organization, ‘The Today Show,’ for alleged cases of sexual misconduct. For most, it is hard to think of the show without immediately picturing Matt Lauer. After joining ‘The Today Show’ full-time in 1994, he has been one of the most prominently recognizable journalists and anchors on TV, from his various hosting and co-hosting pursuits to his shorter segments, such as the widely known ‘Where in the World is Matt Lauer?’ in which he participated in a yearly global adventure spanning the world. When looking at his expansive career, it is undeniable that for decades, Lauer has been a friendly face recognizable by nearly all Americans, which perhaps makes the recent allegations against him even more surprising.

Though the allegations and consequential termination of Lauer are difficult to imagine after the consistently positive relationship he has had with America’s NBC viewers, he is only one in a long string of prominent men recently facing similar allegations. Among those in the spotlight for related reasons are movie connoisseur Harvey Weinstein and former news anchor, Bill O’Reilly, both well-known and previously well-respected in America. One of the most tangible outcomes of the recent increase in situations such as Lauer’s is a huge swelling of proposed victims who are speaking out. As more prominent figures are accused, victims are gaining the confidence and support to tell their stories.

While it is essential for victims to find the support and encouragement they need to vocalize their stories, it is also important to investigate each situation before taking action, since these accusations can ruin a person’s career, their standing in society, and their personal lives. Victims should be offered the utmost support and love in these situations, but both sides need to be considered and examined before action is taking place.

This investigative action is something that NBC seemed to carry out very well in this situation. According to MSN, NBC spoke with several of their staffers, both present, and past, who had reported being in uncomfortable situations with Lauer. They also received complaints from more women, suggesting that the alleged incidents were not isolated, and had most likely occurred multiple times over the course of several years. Though it saddened me to receive news of Matt Lauer’s termination from ‘The Today Show,’ I also feel that NBC investigated the situation well enough and that there was just cause for the actions that were taken to protect the victims who came forward in this situation. Freshman Gillian Shepard seems to feel the same, stating that “even though Matt can receive a certain degree of forgiveness, his actions don’t need to be completely forgotten.” In a follow-up statement in an MSN article regarding his termination, Lauer is reported to have said, “Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul-searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full-time job.”

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