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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Lauer is just the latest establishmentarian destroyed by his own libido

Another day, another liberal establishment media celebrity exposed as a serial woman abuser or a pervert.

The news media feigned dismay and shock a few months ago when famed Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was revealed as a man who over the course of decades repeatedly used his powerful executive position to pressure women to “perform” in ways that weren’t found in the movie scripts he was introducing to Matt Lauerthem. Similarly, the news industry recoiled in horror when longtime political slouch Mark Halperin was discovered to be interested in underling females for something other than their story-producing capacities.

Prior to their uncoverings, neither Weinstein nor Halperin could be said to be well-known to a wide swath of the American public, so in learning about their shady exploits people may have carelessly overlooked just how sick the overall entertainment and news culture really is in the country.

Yesterday, however, perhaps the most shocking domino of all was knocked over. Today Show host (and ubiquitous NBC News personality) Matt Lauer was abruptly terminated by the network for well-substantiated allegations of sexual hijinks. A collective gasp was heard ‘round America upon the announcement.

Michael Calderone of Politico reported, “NBC has fired Matt Lauer, the longtime host of the ‘Today’ show, as a result of what the network labeled ‘inappropriate sexual behavior.’

“’While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident,’ NBC News chief Andy Lack said Wednesday in a memo sent to employees shortly before the 7 a.m. broadcast…

“The news was quickly seized upon by the country’s most famous watcher of TV morning shows. ‘Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for ‘inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,’ tweeted President Donald Trump. ‘But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News. Check out Andy Lack’s past!’”

Trump’s broadside against Lack must be a TV insider thing because I’ve never heard of the latter and I doubt many others have either.

But where Lauer is concerned, who can forget how eager the NBC host has been to comment condescendingly on any sordid rumor swirling around President Trump or any other conservative (Lauer talked up sexual harassment with Bill O’Reilly recently, too) whenever the subject arose? Lauer is just the latest liberal to be undressed before his accusers for blatant hypocrisy. As would be expected Trump’s tweets were instantly picked up by the news media and criticized – but who are they to talk?

This “Lauer is fired!” news must have hit home to a lot of folks across the fruited plain (not me, necessarily). Not Matt Lauer! He’s the boy next door for heaven’s sake! He’s the type of guy you want your daughter to marry; he’s been in your living room for 25 years and you almost feel like you know him as well as the neighborhood kid who rides his bike across your front lawn every day. Matt Lauer made unwanted sexual advancements and committed assaults? He’s so sweet and cuddly, who would’ve thought he was even interested in that kind of thing!

Was it innocence lost? Nah, not really.

After the initial jolt wore off I’m guessing most folks just shrugged and went on with their lives, correctly surmising that what they’d witnessed in the person of Lauer on TV every morning for the past quarter century was just a skilled actor with dirty little secrets he was hiding from everyone except the people in management who no doubt must have known about all these affairs long ago but kept good ‘ol Matt on staff because he looks great on camera and they feared if the truth leaked out the show’s ratings would plummet.

Wow, Matt Lauer is a human being with prurient appetites. A sad day indeed. Who’s next, Keith Olbermann?

It’s almost as though the American people are getting conditioned to these types of revelations after the Weinstein scandal. It arguably started years ago with the multitude of credible accusations and personal testimonies against Bill Clinton (which the media did its best to kick to the side), and then the he said/she said Anita Hill media circus surrounding the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.

Then there was the first round of accusations against Bill O’Reilly (in 2004) and more recently with fingers pointed at the late Fox News creator Roger Ailes. In just the last few months came Weinstein and Halperin and the unsubstantiated tales of adolescent skirt chasing fabricated to bring down Alabama’s Roy Moore.

Heck, ironically Megyn Kelly even discussed O’Reilly’s case on the Today Show a month ago. Did Lauer consult on the story? Maybe he could have supplied some first-person expert experience and corroboration.

Of course nearly everyone’s first reaction is to believe the claims of the accusers when these matters come up (at least if you’re Mitch McConnell or John McCain). The media rushes to present the women’s stories as the subjects themselves gaze helplessly into furiously clicking cameras, sob a little bit, sign their non-disclosure agreements contained in high dollar settlements and begin counting the zeroes when pondering their upcoming book deals.

But there are now so many perpetrators and accusers coming out of the woodworks that people are likely to begin tuning them out – especially those without any concrete proof to back their fantastic allegations (see Roy Moore episode). Voters go to the polls in less than two weeks to decide Moore’s fate, but how many others will never get their day in the “court” of public opinion?

Is Matt Lauer now a victim, or will he tearfully issue a pathetic sounding acknowledgement and apology and then after a period of time reappear on TV as a rehabilitated former abuser? Maybe CNN will take him back – it would be a good fit.

Politicians are at a loss to explain away these things as well, especially Democrats who are having a heck of lot of difficulty figuring out what to do with what’s left of 88 year-old Michigan Rep. John Conyers’ reputation after it was reported the House has been paying off his many sexual harassment victims for years.

Nancy Pelosi made an idiot of herself trying to defend Conyers. George Neumayr wrote at The American Spectator, “Struggling to summon a defense of John Conyers over the weekend, Nancy Pelosi looked a bit like a malfunctioning robot with a depleted battery. But after warming up, she finally hit on the button ‘icon.’ Pelosi uttered the word icon as a cue to end all discussion. She had spoken her formula of absolution over Conyers and now it was time for NBC’s Chuck Todd to let the penitent go in peace.

“Pelosi’s comment completes feminism’s arc of hypocrisy: Clarence Thomas’s tormentors have become John Conyers’s defenders. The same feminists who scoffed at Thomas’s description of his hearing as a ‘high-tech lynching’ now play the race card for Conyers as a civil rights ‘icon.’

“The long-awaited ‘reckoning’ looks more like the tired rationalization, as feminists, for all their advertised anguish in recent days, return to what can be called the Pelosi rule: our pigs are better than their pigs.”

Some might even argue it’s admirable to see Democrats rallying around their own every time something unseemly surfaces to make one of them look like a moral leper. If only Republican ruling class leaders would have demanded “due process” for Trump last year when the media vultures were feeding off what they were sure was Trump’s political carcass after the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape surfaced a month before the election.

But many of them didn’t. People like John McCain stake their characters on confirming media rumors before any kind of facts come out. The Roy Moore reports sounded fishy from the outset yet the establishment couldn’t wait to be rid of the whole matter by demanding Moore step away from his senate race rather than simply asking for more time for the truth to show up.

Why didn’t McCain leave the GOP presidential race when the New York Times printed a story alleging he had an affair with a lobbyist? McCain was leading the Republican field at the time (late February, 2008) and had established himself as the likely Republican nominee. McCain denied the veracity of the story and pressed on – isn’t that exactly what Roy Moore is doing now?

In reality, both party establishments are awful hypocritical when it comes to treating their own. Jonah Goldberg wrote yesterday at National Review, “It is difficult to exaggerate the anger among many Republicans who believe that liberals use the rules selectively, shamelessly invoking standards of conduct to delegitimize and destroy their enemies while exempting their own. ‘Zero tolerance’ for thee, ‘it’s complicated’ for me…

“We live in a moment beset by tribalisms, from partisanship to myriad forms of identity politics. All of them work on the assumption that neutral rules are unfair or unjust because my tribe is somehow especially noble or your tribe is especially evil.”

Goldberg’s solution to the “tribalism” problem was to use philosopher John Rawls’ “original position” thought experiment where people would envision the world as a blank slate and then make up the rules from square one.

It’s a nice idea, and both sides are culpable to some degree of instinctively protecting their own “tribe,” but the truth exists out there somewhere and both parties can’t be right. There is such a thing as right and wrong – to think otherwise is to see the world as just an endless series of unsolvable moral dilemmas.

For math equations there is a correct answer. Moral questions aren’t so different. Similarly, wrong is wrong and if you’re confronted with overwhelming evidence a fair inference can be made (lawyers may not agree but they fight over everything anyway) without a full rendering on the subject.

Matt Lauer is gone and people will get over it. The real question now is where does all the “inappropriate sexual behavior” end and how do we determine who’s telling the truth? Harvey Weinstein unknowingly opened Pandora’s Box and there’s no way to seal and lock it again.

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