Last week the New York Post reported that during the decade-plus he was a top NBC executive, Zucker (who now runs CNN) received complaints about Lauer’s predatory behavior towards women.
Zucker of course denies everything, saying he knew and heard nothing about the man he hired, groomed, and oversaw as a top NBC executive for over a decade.
“No one ever brought to me, or to my knowledge, there was never, there was never a complaint about Matt,” Mr. Zucker said at a business conference last week. “There was never a suggestion of that kind of deviant, predatory behavior. Not even a whisper of it, nothing like that.”
Not even a whisper of it.
And yet, here is that very same Jeff Zucker at Matt Lauer’s Friars Club roast in 2008, while he was still an executive at NBC News … and when he was certain no one was watching:
“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.”
Zucker also made a pointed allusion to Lauer’s marital problems.
“Matt was having some trouble at home with the wife,” he said. “He was sleeping on Bryant Gumbel’s couch.” Lauer and Gumbel, a former “Today” host who is black, are known to be close friends. “What’s more boring than that?” Zucker joked. “Two white men watching golf.”
Here is Martha Stewart at that same event, “I hear NBC executives call Matt the ‘Cock of the Rock.’”
And here is Lauer himself:
“Let me just say that I saw that colon a lot before the rest of you saw it,” Lauer said in an anal sex joke about Couric (who famously underwent a colonoscopy on air).
But the twice-married Lauer wasn’t finished joking about sleeping with female contemporaries.
“What’s with all the small-d— jokes? It was fun to look over and see Ann Curry laughing… like she doesn’t know how big my d— really is.”
Sometime during the night, perky Katie Couric made a joke about Lauer eating his co-anchor Ann Curry — “What? Indian food! What’s wrong with you people?”
Also in attendance were comedians Bob Saget and Gilbert Gottfried, then-Apprentice star Donald Trump and Tom Cruise.
According to no less than MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough (who says he was there), behind closed doors when all of NBC’s Beautiful People were sure no one could hear them, “The whole theme [of the roast] was that he does the show and then he has sex with people, with employees,” Scarborough said, adding, “So was this whispered behind closed doors? No. It was shouted from the mountaintops and everybody laughed about it.”
The only reason we know about the event is because the Village Voice managed to sneak a reporter into the room. Oh, the roast got all kinds of press in 2008, but luckily for NBC all the “inconvenient jokes” were not reported by the likes of Matea Gold of the Los Angeles Times (who is now with the left-wing Washington Post).