On Friday, in a report on NBC News’ response to the sexual harassment allegations that have been brought against prominent figures at the organization like Matt Lauer, two former staffers—including former NBC News At Sunrise host Linda Vester—revealed new sexual harassment allegations against former anchor Tom Brokaw. Since then, Brokaw has denied the allegations and several dozen women working at NBC News signed a letter stating their support for Brokaw.
Unsurprisingly, though, it seems like things at NBC News aren’t as upbeat as the organization wants the public to believe. According to Variety, NBC’s standards and practices department circulated a memo earlier this week on how to talk about the allegations against Brokaw, saying, “as always in cases where sexual misconduct is alleged, we should be scrupulous in reflecting all sides.” The memo also gave on-air reporters specific guidelines for how to cover the Brokaw story, like making sure to mention “relevant portions of Brokaw’s denial” and the letter from staffers who support him.
Variety says the memo “raised eyebrows” at NBC News because the letter in support of Brokaw has apparently caused some controversy in the newsroom. The letter was created by Goldman Sachs executive Liz Bowyer, who worked with Brokaw as a producer at NBC, and she reportedly passed it on to a bunch of Brokaw’s current and former co-workers. As big-name NBC staffers began to sign, like Rachel Maddow and Andrea Mitchell, others said that they “felt pressured” to do the same and were concerned that the higher-ups at NBC “wanted them to fall in line.”
You can see part of the NBC memo at the Variety link up above.