Last week the New York Post reported that during the decade-plus he was a top NBC executive, Zucker (who now runs CNN) received complaints about Lauer’s predatory behavior towards women.
Zucker of course denies everything, saying he knew and heard nothing about the man he hired, groomed, and oversaw as a top NBC executive for over a decade.
“No one ever brought to me, or to my knowledge, there was never, there was never a complaint about Matt,” Mr. Zucker said at a business conference last week. “There was never a suggestion of that kind of deviant, predatory behavior. Not even a whisper of it, nothing like that.”
Not even a whisper of it.
And yet, here is that very same Jeff Zucker at Matt Lauer’s Friars Club roast in 2008, while he was still an executive at NBC News … and when he was certain no one was watching:
“It’s just good to see Matt up here and not under my desk,” Zucker said from the podium. “I don’t want to say Matt is a germophobe, but he’s the only guy I know who uses Purell both before and after he masturbates.”
Zucker also made a pointed allusion to Lauer’s marital problems.
“Matt was having some trouble at home with the wife,” he said. “He was sleeping on Bryant Gumbel’s couch.” Lauer and Gumbel, a former “Today” host who is black, are known to be close friends. “What’s more boring than that?” Zucker joked. “Two white men watching golf.”
Here is Martha Stewart at that same event, “I hear NBC executives call Matt the ‘Cock of the Rock.’”
And here is Lauer himself:
“Let me just say that I saw that colon a lot before the rest of you saw it,” Lauer said in an anal sex joke about Couric (who famously underwent a colonoscopy on air).
But the twice-married Lauer wasn’t finished joking about sleeping with female contemporaries.
“What’s with all the small-d— jokes? It was fun to look over and see Ann Curry laughing… like she doesn’t know how big my d— really is.”
Sometime during the night, perky Katie Couric made a joke about Lauer eating his co-anchor Ann Curry — “What? Indian food! What’s wrong with you people?”
Also in attendance were comedians Bob Saget and Gilbert Gottfried, then-Apprentice star Donald Trump and Tom Cruise.
According to no less than MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough (who says he was there), behind closed doors when all of NBC’s Beautiful People were sure no one could hear them, “The whole theme [of the roast] was that he does the show and then he has sex with people, with employees,” Scarborough said, adding, “So was this whispered behind closed doors? No. It was shouted from the mountaintops and everybody laughed about it.”
The only reason we know about the event is because the Village Voice managed to sneak a reporter into the room. Oh, the roast got all kinds of press in 2008, but luckily for NBC all the “inconvenient jokes” were not reported by the likes of Matea Gold of the Los Angeles Times (who is now with the left-wing Washington Post).
This is not about prudishness. Going all the way back to the Rat Pack, these roasts are notorious for their cruder-than-crude humor. Even elites should be allowed to gather together and let their hair down in whatever way they choose. That is not the issue here.
The issue is this — something else these roasts are known for is TRUTH.
These roasts are all about in-jokes, about being in the club, in-the-know, an insiders-insider who knows the honoree — in this case Lauer — well enough to take shots at who they really are. This is not a comedy act for the masses. The jokes are tailored towards this one person, and as is the case with all jokes, if there is no truth, no one laughs.
I have watched dozens of these things. They are a hoot, the show-biz of old before the fascism of political correctness destroyed comedy. But they are also the rare opportunity to get a sense of who the person being honored really is.
Everybody knew about Matt Lauer. Of course they did. And behind closed doors, where no one thought the rest of us would ever find out, and because they are not the victims, the preyed up, the woman being bent over a chair and “harassed” until she passed out, NBC’s elites bonded over the hilarity of it all.
And they are all going to get away with it.
CNN’s left-wing media reporter Brian Stelter has spent years shaming Fox News over what he claims is a lack of accountability, scrutiny, and transparency regarding that network’s numerous sexual harassment scandals. But now that Stelter’s boss, CNN chief Jeff Zucker, is deeply embroiled in the Matt Lauer sex abuse scandal, Stelter does not seem at all interested in applying that standard to himself.
Anyone heard a peep from CNN’s self-righteous Jake Tapper, the guy who loves to signal his own virtue by taunting Bill O’Reilly? No, of course you haven’t. He is too busy protecting his fat paycheck.
Stelter and Tapper know Fox News hired an outside firm to do an investigation of its handling of these harassment cases. Stelter and Tapper also know that NBC News is investigating itself.
The industry-wide cover up began the moment Lauer resigned in disgrace. Because it is not about ethics or protecting women or even human decency — it is only about protecting the dwindling power of a left-wing institution.