SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - One of the basic principles of any news organization is you never want the news to be about you.
Well, that's what happened last week when Matt Lauer, NBC's Today Show host became the latest, and arguably most visible person to face a day of reckoning after years of sexual abuse and deviance.
Lauer, along with CBS News' Charlie Rose joins a long list of accused predators who used their position of power and fame in ways that are unfathomable.
This national conversation has been going on for quite some time and, up until now, I've remained silent, mostly because I've struggled to find the right words to say.
I was struck last week by NBC's statement saying they took swift action due to the overwhelming evidence against Lauer. They also said this was the first official complaint they've received about Lauer in his 20 years of service at NBC.
I suspect, in the end, the moved quickly to fire the face of their $500 million a year franchise, not because they wanted to, but because they had to. While this may have been the first complaint someone filed, rumors about Lauer's infidelity and behavior have been around for years.
It's easy to ignore the rumors when we live in a society where we re-victimize the victims once they decide to come forward. Unfortunately, we've created such a male-dominated society that living in painful silence is the better option for a woman than coming forward.
Consider this: As men, we are sons, husbands, and fathers and we're all complicit in allowing this problem to fester. We turn blind eyes and deaf ears to these stories, or worse yet, we write it off to boys being boys or locker room talk or whatever the easy excuse is.
The time for talk is over. Now is the time action. Soon the shock and awe of these high-profile cases will no longer shock us and make headlines and the abuses will continue and our society will be no better off. We must immediately create a culture of accountability that's equally applied to everyone including those who inform us, those who entertain us, and those who serve us in public office.
And most importantly, we must support the brave women who risk their careers and their reputations in a quest for justice in an unjust environment.