I turned on CNN to hear the shocking news about Matt Lauer being fired.
As the day went on, I read how many other members of his “forced tribe” came forward to share their stories about the untouchable Mr. Lauer. About the button locking his door under his desk. About his wife and how she knew about his affairs. About him breaking the news to his oldest son. And finally about how many somewhat famous women who worked with him — except for Anne Curry of course — loved him and were shocked.
Here is my take. I know men like Matt. And many senior level executive women I know do too.
Men like Matt. Untouchable executives who have risen through the ranks with fat salaries and fat benefits. Men who have been caressed to a point of believing that they are untouchable. From their family. From their colleagues. From their audience. They are stars and can do no wrong.
They have wives or girlfriends that know they cheat. But their wives or girlfriends like the lifestyle that goes along with it, so they allow it to go on.
I heard on the news that “Katie Couric” even considers Matt a great friend. What does that mean? That Katie likes him and therefore its ok for him to be a sexual harassing putz?
People like Matt prey on creating an environment where likable senior executive females like him. They are “buddies.” Buddies from the opposite sex. Why? Because it allows people like Matt to be despicable human beings. To allow the pretty girls who he wants to take advantage of to be forced to play. In a very calculating way.
Think about it. Who does that pretty young girl want to be? Katie Couric. Or you name the women in your organization who sits at a high level that is friends with these men. That likable girl who is loved by all including people like Matt Lauer.
We all know “Matt Lauer.” And we excuse his “boys being boys” antics. We might not see the sexual harassment happen, but there is little doubt in most our minds that it did.
And this week, finally, he says “I need to take a look at my troubling flaws.”