Disgraced TV host Matt Lauer has resurfaced to level allegations at journalist Ronan Farrow, whose work helped bring down Lauer. Lauer, who was fired from TODAY by NBC after accusations of sexual harassment back in 2017, has mostly stayed out of the spotlight since. That changed on Tuesday; he penned an opinion column for Mediate titled "Why Ronan Farrow is Too Good to be True."
In the column, Lauer asserts that few in the media thoroughly investigated the allegations that Farrow made in his 2019 book Catch and Kill, which examined widespread abuse throughout media and entertainment. At first, the former host claimed that he'd intended to write his thoughts on the matter back in November. However, he ended up being reinspired after The New York Times published an article on Sunday titled "Is Ronan Farrow Too Good to be True" that criticized some of Farrow's journalistic practices. As Lauer put it, "the rush to judgment was swift."
"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," he continued. He also stressed that his writing wasn't meant as a 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."
Farrow himself responded to Lauer's claims on Twitter. "All I'll say on this is that Matt Lauer is just wrong," Farrow tweeted. "Catch and Kill was thoroughly reported and fact-checked, including with Matt Lauer himself."
Despite having not appeared on NBC since his firing, Lauer's presence still seems to loom large. In November, people watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade seemed to be divided into two distinct camps: those who wondered why Lauer wasn't co-hosting the event and those who were making jokes about why he wasn't.