Brent Bozell, president of Media Research Center, released a statement Monday imploring NBC to employ an independent investigation into its “culture of deviancy” with regard to sexual misconduct.
The statement comes after the latest in news of the sort — claims of impropriety against MSNBC host and political commentator Chris Matthews. According to The Daily Caller, Matthews — host of Hardball since 1997 and The Chris Matthews Show from 2002 to 2013 — paid $40,000 to a former assistant producer in 1999 in response to accusations of sexual harassment. Like the others at NBC implicated for misconduct, Matthews is staunchly left-wing: as HuffPost put it, he “once cried over an Obama speech and compared him to Jesus.”
In just the past few months, NBC has fired political analyst Mark Halperin, executive Matt Zimmerman, and long-time Today host Matt Lauer, all for sexual misbehavior. Additionally, as reported in October, the network refused to expose Harvey Weinstein, despite Ronan Farrow’s ready-to-air story.
Bozell’s statement reads, in part:
It is evident NBC has been breeding a culture of deviancy for decades and doing everything in its power to cover it up along the way. Two major on-air personalities and a top executive have already been fired from the network for sexual misconduct and now a fourth is being accused of the same. While at this time we do not know the full story behind these allegations against Chris Matthews, NBC’s history of covering for deviants creates suspicion.
Bozell particularly skewers Lauer:
Numerous NBC executives – including Jeff Zucker, the then chairman of NBC Universal – along with Katie Couric, Brian Williams, Meredith Vieira and many other NBC celebrities attended Matt Lauer’s 2008 'roast' where his debauchery was not only acknowledged, but celebrated. Lauer’s lecherous behavior was well-known throughout the NBC hierarchy and went unchecked for years before they were forced to fire him. I can only speculate the same applies to others. If NBC wants to redeem any semblance of credibility they should be transparent and launch an independent investigation into their issues with sexual misconduct in the workplace.
With Congress approving mandatory anti-sexual harassment training, and with “Me Too” legislation pending as part of congressional sexual misconduct reform, it doesn’t seem beyond the realm of possibility that networks will follow suit in some fashion. But despite Democrats' perpetual claims of representing women's best interests, it remains to be seen whether leftists at the major networks will make a long-term commitment to protecting their female employees, or if the recent rash of firings is merely damage control in light of the temporary media frenzy over sexual harassment.