NBC News Investigation Weighs In on Lauer's Button

Finds no one in a position of authority was aware of Lauer's behavior
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 9, 2018 1:12 PM CDT
NBC News Investigation Weighs In on Lauer's Button
Former NBC co-host Matt Lauer appears on set in Rockefeller Plaza, in New York, on April 21, 2016.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

(Newser) – NBC News' internal investigation following Matt Lauer's firing says it doesn't believe there is a culture of sexual harassment at the division and that current management wasn't aware of Lauer's behavior until the complaint that doomed him, reports the AP. NBC Universal was criticized for turning to its general counsel, Kim Harris, to conduct the investigation and not allowing outsiders to examine the culture; NBC said the work of its all-female investigative team was reviewed and approved by two outside firms. Harris' report, which involved interviews with 68 people, was primarily concerned with Lauer, and no specific complaints about others—such as the recent accusation against Tom Brokaw—were discussed.

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Investigators found no evidence that anyone "in position of authority" at NBC News knew that Lauer had sexual relationships with others in the company until the Nov. 27 complaint by a woman about an affair that began at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Two of the four women who ultimately complained about Lauer said they believed someone in management knew. The report said that Lauer, who is married, was flirtatious and engaged in sexual banter in the office. Several women said that he had complimented them on their appearance in a sexually suggestive way. Investigators threw cold water on a published report that a button allowed Lauer to lock his office door without getting up from his desk. The button closed the door, but didn't lock it, the report said. (Katie Couric recently discussed the button, too.)

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