On Wednesday morning, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb emotionally announced the news that their friend and colleague Matt Lauer had been terminated for inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace. Even in the current reckoning of sexual abusers and harassers from all walks of entertainment and media that’s currently taking place — the most recent, the firing of Charlie Rose from CBS News — Lauer’s dismissal still came as a shock. This was clear by the reaction from his colleagues, who were clearly blindsided by the news that they had learned just moments before the rest of the country.
Likewise, news outlets across the board were stunned to wake up to the news of Lauer’s firing, and reported on it accordingly.
The Today show’s rival morning show, Good Morning America soberly reported on the news. “I was really struck guys, by Today having Savannah and Hoda to be there to report the story, and that with Charlie Rose it was Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell to report this,” Robin Roberts noted. “And how you can just tell that they’re grappling with this because it’s something that they have worked with. But how they all have spoken about the bravery of their colleagues, of those women.”
CBS This Morning, having just dealt with a bombshell of their own, was understanding in handling the news. “I worked at NBC many years, and I know that Savannah is grappling with this and it’s difficult for them as well,” said Norah O’Donnell.
Gayle King continued, “It’s unfortunate to look at Norah, because I have a picture — a sickening feeling of déjà vu, certainly because we’re dealing with our own situation here but it does send the message, it shows that you are not too big to fall. There is now clearly a zero tolerance policy and I think that’s a good thing, as painful as this is when this happens to someone that we know and that we care about.”
Over on Fox News, Brian Kilmeade said, “Charlie Rose, two weeks ago, Matt Lauer, now. Unlike politics, there’s no deliberation, it seems, in broadcasting.”