- Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera tweeted his support for former NBC anchor Matt Lauer, calling him a “great guy” and blaming the news business for his behaviour.
- Rivera tweeted a similar statement of support for former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes in July 2016.
- Lauer has been accused of sexual harassment by a number of women at NBC, including one whom he allegedly called into his office to have sex with.
Lawyer and frequent Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera tweeted his support on Wednesday for ousted NBC anchor Matt Lauer amid wide-ranging allegations that Lauer sexually harassed his co-workers, appearing to excuse his alleged behaviour because Lauer is a “great guy” and “news is a flirty business.”
“Sad about @MLauer great guy, highly skilled & empathetic w guests & a real gentleman to my family & me. News is a flirty business & it seems like current epidemic of #SexHarassmentAllegations may be criminalizing courtship & conflating it w predation. What about #GarrisonKeillor?” Rivera wrote, referencing former Minnesota Public Radio host Garrison Keiller, who was let go by MPR for inappropriate behaviour on Wednesday.
Rivera posted a similar tweet in July 2016 in reference to now-deceased former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes who had also been accused of sexual harassment, writing that he is “about as flirty as the grizzly in #TheRevenant.”
Fox News responded to Rivera’s comments in an emailed statement: “Geraldo’s tweets do not reflect the views of FOX News or its management. We were troubled by his comments and are addressing them with him.”
NBC News chairman Andy Lack informed the network’s employees of Lauer’s firing on Wednesday via a memo that stated that an unnamed employee had reported his behaviour to superiors sometime on Monday night.
After the firing, the details of Lauer’s alleged harassment emerged. Lauer allegedly gave a sex toy to one female colleague, accompanied by a note about how he wanted to use it on her. He also allegedly exposed himself to another female employee after summoning her to his office, then reprimanded her for not participating in a sexual act, according to a Variety investigation.
Since then, two more accusers have emerged, with one alleging he summoned her to his office to have sex with him.