Former NBC News host Linda Vester, who accused the network’s Tom Brokaw of sexual harassment in 2018, has sharp words for her former employer in the light of recent escalated allegations against colleague Matt Lauer.
Vester told Fox News on Wednesday that Ronan Farrow’s reporting on NBC and Lauer—which exposes rape allegations, among other startling revelations — is showcasing an “inherent problem” at the organization, and it’s not being properly investigated.
“Ronan is reporting, among other things, that NBC apparently did know that Matt was a problem. And let me tell you, from having worked at NBC News for nearly a decade, everybody knew,” Vester stressed. “We all knew Matt was dangerous. He had to be avoided at all costs. So for NBC executives to say they didn’t know — I have a hard time with that.”
Vester admitted that she herself did not personally observe misbehavior by Lauer, but cautioned, “There’s a problem with abuse of power at NBC News where people like Matt Lauer, people like Tom Brokaw, are enabled day after day by having so much power over women and the careers of women. It distorts them, frankly.
“I saw it in Tom Brokaw myself — after enough power and enough enabling, they start to think that they can get away with anything, including coercing women into doing something they don’t want to do.”
When asked her thoughts on Lauer’s female colleagues who have stood up for him, Vester observed, “I think it’s entirely possible that women had neutral or positive professional relationships with Matt — or Tom. But I think it’s important to know that predators hide their behavior. They hide a lot.”
Vester offered sharp criticism for Comcast, NBC News’ parent company, for their handling of the situation. “It’s really hard to get the truth out when the company itself is having an internal investigation instead of outside independent investigators really being able to get to the bottom of things,” she said. “I think it’s time for us to get the answers so that women at NBC News can be safe.”
Vester, 54, served as a war correspondent for NBC in the ‘90s, and alleged that legendary newscaster Brokaw groped her and attempted to kiss her against her will several times when she was 28. Brokaw denies the allegations.
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