Former NBC reporter Linda Vester blasted an internal NBC News investigation into who knew what surrounding sexual misconduct accusations against disgraced “Today” host Matt Lauer.
In an Op-Ed for the Washington Post, the woman who has publicly accused Tom Brokaw of sexual misconduct said her former employer needed to stop fighting against the #MeToo wave and needs to bring in an outside investigator.
“I want NBC to stop fighting #MeToo within its own walls. I ask NBC Universal to retain an outside investigator to look into sexual harassment and any coverup of sexual harassment at NBC News,” she wrote in an Op-Ed Wednesday. “People in power at NBC News, and all institutions, must take such accusations seriously.”
Vester expressed her displeasure over how her accusation that Brokaw had groped her and made other unwanted advances in the 1990s was being dismissed by the network and said a letter, which many women at NBC may have felt pressure to sign, was proof that the culture at the company was still a problem.
“NBC News’s actions had the effect of communicating to other victims that they wouldn’t be believed and would be better off staying silent,” she wrote.
On Wednesday, NBC News released the results of a long-awaited internal investigation into the Lauer scandal. The findings, which broadly exonerated network executives and HR officials, was widely panned by objective observers online, with many taking issue with NBC’s decision to have their own in-house counsel, Kim Harris, spearhead the probe. (Harris reports to NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke.)
In a statement to TheWrap yesterday, NBC defended its inquiry.
“Two outside law firms, Proskauer Rose and Davis Polk have reviewed the methodology, findings and conclusions and given their stamp of approval,” a spokesperson told TheWrap