Geraldo Rivera Defends Matt Lauer, Calls Journalism a ‘Flirty’ Business

Lauer is a “great guy, highly skilled and empathetic” with guests and “a real gentleman to my family and me,” Rivera tweets

Last Updated: November 29, 2017 @ 5:51 PM

Out of everyone who is talking about Matt Lauer, Geraldo Rivera may be the most complimentary.

The former “Today” show co-anchor’s good friend and fellow reporter thinks the NBC vet’s firing in light of recent sexual misconduct accusations is uncalled for and he’s making no bones about it.

“Sad about @MLauer great guy, highly skilled & empathetic w guests & a real gentleman to my family & me,” Rivera tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “News is a flirty business & it seems like current epidemic of #SexHarassmentAllegations may be criminalizing courtship & conflating it w predation. What about #GarrisonKeillor?”

Rivera continued his thoughts in several subsequent tweets in which he expressed his opinion on sexual harassment allegations in the workplace.

“#SexualHarassment should be confined to situations where superior imposes himself on subordinate who feels unable to complain because of power of perp or feared consequences to victim’s employment,” Rivera wrote. “Shouldn’t be used to get even w bad bosses or hated ex’s”

Lauer was fired from NBC News following a complaint of “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,” the network announced Wednesday.

The announcement was made at the top of the “Today” show, which he joined full-time in 1994 as news anchor and then as co-host three years later. “I am heartbroken,” said Savannah Guthrie, who has served as co-anchor for the last five years.

In a memo to employees, NBC News chairman Andy Lack said that he had received a “detailed complaint” from a staffer on Monday night.

“It represented, after serious review a clear violation of our company’s standards,” Lack wrote. “While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”

Lack continued, “Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender.”

You can see Rivera’s full thoughts on Lauer’s situation in the tweets below.