“What’s the lesson learned?”
The news that Matt Lauer has been fired from NBC News for inappropriate sexual conduct in the workplace is more than just another instance of a powerful man getting exposed in our post-Weinstein moment. It’s a reminder that the powerful men who have been abusing women in secret have also shaped the way our culture talks and thinks about women in public.
Lauer is a stalwart of morning TV news, a beloved icon who is watched by millions. His coverage helps set the tone for the way Americans think about a given news story — and when that story is about women, his coverage can take on an ogling, proprietary tone, often with the subtext that women’s bodies are both shameful and owned by the public.
In 2012, when Anne Hathaway was on a press tour for Les Misérables, a photographer crouched down as she got out of a car and took a photo of the view up her skirt. That was a horrifically sleazy thing for the photographer to do — but when Hathaway appeared as a guest on Today, Lauer framed the incident as an error on her end. The podcast and radio show Majority Report preserved a clip of the encounter:
“Nice to see you,” Lauer says to open the interview. Then he adds, with what sounds like a leer in his voice, “Seen a lot of you lately.”
Hathaway tries to play it off as though he’s talking about her oversaturated press cycle, flashing her movie star smile in a determined way and saying, “I’d be happy to stay home, but the film.”
But Lauer is having none of it. “Let’s just get it out of Read More Here