From Daily Mail: Former NBC executive Jeff Zucker who claimed to have never heard ‘a whisper’ of Matt Lauer’s sexual misconduct joked about his in-office antics at an explicit comedy roast in 2008 which was described at the time as ‘three hours of d*** jokes’.
Zucker, who worked with Lauer on Today between 1992 and 2000, was among several guest speakers at the event.
Earlier this week, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said he had to leave it because it was full of jokes about Lauer ‘pushing himself on people’ and ‘having sex with employees’.
While Zucker’s jokes were by no means the most graphic and none centered on harassment or assault, he won laughs from the room by discussing Lauer’s quirky sexual habits. ‘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,’ was one remark. In another crude inference, he told the room: ‘It’s good to see Matt up here and not under my desk.’
The jokes were part of the Friar’s Club Roast at the Hilton Midtown in New York City.
Martha Stewart, one of the other guest speakers, declared to applause: ‘I hear NBC executives call Matt the C**k of the Rock,’ a reference to the network’s Manhattan headquarters.
There is no footage of the event because cameras were banned except for one which snapped Tom Cruise, another guest speaker, at the start of the event.
Some but not all of the jokes were recorded by a Village Voice editor who took notes under his table. His contemporaneous report of the event resurfaced this week after Zucker’s claim that he had ‘never heard a whisper’ of Lauer’s newly-alleged impropriety.
‘Just got back from the Hilton in midtown after three hours of d*** and p***y jokes from some of the biggest stars of TV and film,’ wrote The Voice’s Tony Ortega at the time.
The fact that the audience was comprised of 1,900 media and entertainment insiders makes current proclamations of shock at Lauer’s recent firing and alleged misconduct against junior staffers and assistants increasingly unsettling.
‘This was a comedic roast, but there was clearly a vein of truth running through all those jokes. You had Katie Couric, Meredith Vieira and Jeff Zucker all standing up there joking about his sex in the office, his kinkiness.’
‘They all knew,’ one media executive who was present told Fox News. It is not known which other NBC executives attended. President Donald Trump, who relished Lauer’s firing last week and declared NBC and Comcast ‘fake news’, was also there.
Noah Oppenheim, president of NBC news, has insisted he was not aware of any complaints as has Andy Lack, NBC’s chairman who announced Lauer’s firing last week.
Current staffers say all were aware but formed a ‘boys’ club’ to protect Lauer and sweep complaints ‘under the carpet’.
NBC stars Meredith Vieira, Katie Couric, Martha Stewart and Bob Saget were among other speakers who took the jokes at the 2008 further. Vieira joked about both her and Couric having sex with Lauer.
‘Look at Katie Couric. She juggled Matt’s balls for six years. ‘That’s three years per ball. She squeezed those suckers so tight, she left nothing for me. Thanks, Katie,’ she said.
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