Neither Lauer nor Moore are in court so neither has a right to legal due process. Both, tho’, are subject to either business or political due process.
Is there anyone out there reading this post who does not know that Matt Lauer was abruptly fired this morning for sexual improprieties while on the job? Here’s the official tweet, which is remarkably straight and to the point. NBC’s public relations department worked overtime on this one:
Matt Lauer has been terminated from NBC News. On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment. pic.twitter.com/1A3UAZpvPb
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 29, 2017
The basis for Lauer’s firing was the fact that NBC “received a detailed complaint from a colleague. . . .” That must have been some complaint — and now that we’re hearing the whole “everybody knew” chorus about Lauer, it sounds as if the complaint wasn’t an isolated event; it was part of a continuing course of behavior that Lauer conducted with and before innumerable people.
The lawyer in me couldn’t help but imagine the decision-making process NBC had to go through. Only the naive would think the decision was made along the same lines as the decision-making process forced upon America’s colleges and universities thanks to Obama’s infamous edict, the one that insisted that all men were guilty as accused. That is, the NBC execs didn’t think “We’ve got this complaint before us and we have to assume it’s true, so let’s fire Lauer. We have no other option.”
Instead, NBC had to pay attention to two considerations. One is lawsuits. NBC had to balance the possibility that Lauer would turn around and sue them for wrongful discharge versus the possibility that the women harassed would (will?) sue them for an unsafe work environment. The second consideration was what NBC thought its audience would be willing to tolerate: Would the audience prefer that Lauer get discharged immediately or that he stay in place with NBC backing him during an investigation.
This two step analysis is “due process” business style. For simplicity’s sake, let’s call it “business due process.” This is the kind of thing the boss gets to do. [Read more…]