Matt Lauer was everything that was fucked up and bullshit about journalism, and that was before we knew he was a criminal and a disgusting sex pervert.
He was fucked up and bullshit because for what he made, you could run a newspaper in a decent-sized city for ten years. For what he made interviewing the same six celebrities everybody else was interviewing so that America’s mom-bies knew what to talk about at playdates, you could have paid for any number of journalistic enterprises. And by that I mean papers. Magazines. Metro desks. You could have paid for them all.
Read this entire thread:
had that thought this morning while we were chasing something.
Local newsrooms are playing with pennies now, it’s hard to fathom what a big-city metro desk could do with $25m. It’s too much money to seem real.
But this is as good a thought exercise as any. https://t.co/3G5XgJoOVB
— Peter Nickeas (@PeterNickeas) November 30, 2017
Matt Lauer was everything that was fucked up and bullshit about journalism because he did that thing that really only famous men are allowed to do, which is to float back and forth between being a talk-show-host celebrity bullshitter and being a serious journalist. I don’t love Katie Couric, okay, but when she wanted to hold down an anchor desk everybody laughed themselves sick. Yet Matt Lauer, who did her same job except worse, got to ask presidential candidates questions like he was some kind of authority and everybody had to bow down.
Like a guy who gets owned by Anne Hathaway should be given the keys to that particular vehicle. Like that’s a thing we should do.
Matt Lauer was everything that was fucked up and bullshit about journalism because he got owned by a 90-pound actress but NBC paid him like he was somehow essential to society. Like, democracy dies in darkness but here, this anthropomorphized circumcision of a human is our highest offering to the gods of the presses.
He got good ratings. People liked him, so NBC did what they had to do to keep him around, and somewhere along the way he started acting like he deserved to be liked instead of lucking into it. People like what they’re used to, so I guess you’d want to shell out to keep people comfortable with a show they’ve come to like.
But what I also know is that people can get comfortable with anything if it’s around long enough, and the way I know that is that we replaced Regis & Kathie Lee some time ago with a couple of other people and the Republic did not fall. It stands to reason, thereby, that at any point when Matt Lauer’s money or his antics became unsustainable he could be jettisoned for the next guy.
That he wasn’t, proves Matt Lauer was everything that was fucked up and bullshit about journalism. And as glad as I am that we are rid of him, there are a dozen others just like him, making his money, whose salaries should all be given to weekend photogs and whoever’s working night cops at the smallest paper in the market, because those people on their laziest days are working harder than Lauer ever did exposing himself to his interns.