News of Lauer’s unceremonious canning by NBC on Wednesday for multiple allegations of sexual harassment has been followed by a rush of grotesque accounts of the Today anchor’s behind-the-scenes behavior, including luring a woman to his office and showing her his penis.
This is the rare type of behavior so repulsive that it has the power to unite people across the political and social spectrum in condemnation—with the exception of Geraldo Rivera, that is.
Rivera’s defense of the indefensible is in keeping with his own history. In fact, he has made no apologies about his own sexual misdeeds. He even wrote a book about them. In Exposing Myself, published in 1991, Rivera admits to a variety of lurid behaviors, including groping Bette Midler:
“We were in the bathroom, preparing for the interview, and at some point I put my hands on her breasts. She loved it, and we fell into a passionate embrace.”
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, however, Midler recalled the incident differently, saying Rivera drugged her and forced himself on her:
Meanwhile, Rivera offers some rules on how to deal with all of these allegations going forward:
It appears Rivera’s suggested guidelines would protect men like Matt Lauer. And, conveniently, Geraldo Rivera.