Was The Infamous 2008 Matt Lauer Roast A Red Flag Into His Bad Behavior?
Matt Vespa  | December 06, 2017

By now, we all know that Today’s Matt Lauer engaged in lurid and inexcusable sexual misconduct behind the scenes of the top-rated morning show. Lauer, one of the many faces at NBC, was fired last week for this behavior and then the stories came. A creepy addition was the revelation that he had a button that locked his office without him getting up from his chair. He gave a sex toy as a gift to a co-worker, with a note detailing how he would like to use it on her. He also exposed himself to another female colleague. How was this not known throughout the office, specifically the offices of upper management? Everyone seemed to have known about the depraved outings of Harvey Weinstein, the fallen top Hollywood producer whose allegations spawned this reckoning of women coming forward detailing their experiences with sexual harassment in the workplace. I mean the top executives had to have known, where else would the roast material come from?

Fox News has a rather graphic article about the now-infamous 2008 roast of Matt Lauer that got so out of hand NBC’s Joe Scarborough said he had to leave because the sex jokes got too out of hand. It’s based on an old Village Voice article [Warning: graphic content]. The elite of New York City was there, including Donald Trump. Here’s what occurred, some of which has been censored (via Fox News):

Embattled NBC executives have been falling over themselves insisting they had no idea about Matt Lauer’s pervy past. But if anyone doubts that New York’s media elite was aware of Lauer’s reputation, they should look no further than a top-secret “roast” of Lauer that took place in October 2008.

The notorious event -- now legendary in New York media circles -- pushed the outer limits of sexist, racist, homophobic and obscene jokes -- and left little doubt that Lauer’s colleagues knew NBC’s biggest star had a troubled marriage and a wandering eye.

Last week, NBC’s own Joe Scarborough, who attended the roast but said he left early, feeling uncomfortable, brought it up on “Morning Joe.” Lauer’s peccadillos, he said, were not just known about. At the roast, they were celebrated.

“The whole theme was that he does the show and then he has sex with people, with employees,” Scarborough said. “So was this whispered behind closed doors? No. It was shouted from the mountaintops and everybody laughed about it.”

The 2008 Friars Club roast took place at the New York Hilton and was attended by everyone from future President Donald Trump to TV legend Norman Lear to a constellation of New York’s media elite including Brian Williams, Diane Sawyer, Nancy O’Dell and Howard Stern. Also on hand were numerous top executives from across the business and almost everyone who was anyone at NBC News. Fox News has confirmed many details of the roast with a media executive who attended…

[…]

Speaker Martha Stewart joked, “I hear NBC executives call Matt the ‘C*** of the Rock,'” according to The Voice.

Another of the roast’s speakers was current CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker --- then the chairman of NBC Universal -- who last week adamantly denied that he had any idea about Lauer’s in-office sexcapades.

“It’s just good to see Matt up here and not under my desk,” Zucker said from the podium. “I don’t want to say Matt is a germophobe, but he’s the only guy I know who uses Purell both before and after he masturbates.”

It gets worse. The link above to the Village Voice piece has a few lines from comedian Gilbert Gottfried’s routine that night, which cannot be repeated here. It’s the epitome of locker room talk. No—it may actually go beyond that. In all, let’s just say it’s not anything you want to say with your mother present in the room. The point is that these jokes probably alluded to Lauer’s bad behavior, so this ‘we knew nothing until last week’ like that the top brass at NBC have put out for consumption is probably not the truth. Some of the allegations go back to 2014 at the Sochi Olympics. It seems with Lauer, everyone knew, or had a sense that something could be up with this guy.

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