While the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will be a bit different this year because of the COVID-19, many things about the event will remain the same. As always, the show will be hosted by the Today Show team, including anchors Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie. Matt Lauer previously hosted the annual event as he was a lead anchor on the Today Show. But, he was later fired from the news program in November 2017 due to an allegation of "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace." What has the disgraced former television anchor been doing during the course of 2020?
In May, Lauer resurfaced after taking time away from the spotlight in order to level allegations at journalist Ronan Farrow. The journalist's work helped lead to Lauer's dismissal from the Today Show. At the time, Lauer penned a column for Mediaite titled "Why Ronan Farrow is Too Good to be True." In the column, Lauer claimed that few in the media thoroughly examined the allegations that Farrow made about widespread abuse throughout media and entertainment in his 2019 book Catch and Kill. He wrote that he was going to share his thoughts about the book months prior, but he was re-inspired to speak out after the New York Times published an essay titled "Is Ronan Farrow Too Good to be True" that featured criticism for Farrow's journalistic practices.
"On the morning I was falsely accused of rape, and before I could even issue a statement, some journalists were already calling my accuser 'brave' and 'courageous;' I was also disappointed, but not surprised, that Ronan Farrow's overall reporting faced so little scrutiny," Lauer wrote. "Until this week's critical reporting by The New York Times, many in the media perceived his work as inherently beyond basic questioning."
"However, he was hardly an unbiased journalist when it came to anything to do with NBC, and he was rarely challenged as he dropped salacious stories in a daily marketing effort designed to create media attention for his book," Lauer added. The former anchor continued to write that his essay wasn't meant to be vindication for him but was meant to call into question "whether changing social attitudes can be allowed to change the most fundamental rules of journalism… it's about whether, as journalists, we have a responsibility to check facts and vet sources." In response, Farrow wrote on Twitter, "All I'll say on this is that Matt Lauer is just wrong. Catch and Kill was thoroughly reported and fact-checked, including with Matt Lauer himself."
In addition to labeling allegations against Farrow, there were also several updates about Lauer's personal life in 2020. Shortly after he penned his op-ed, he debuted a new arm tattoo that reads, "Hatred corrodes the container it's carried in." Lauer was also spotted on a yacht date with a mystery woman in July. While the woman's identity was not confirmed, the individual bore a resemblance to Shamin Abas, a longtime friend of Lauer's. The two reportedly started dating at the end of 2019.