Matt Lauer. Up until a few days ago the mention of that name, for the average American, inspired an almost remarkable non-reaction. Maybe that half second feeling you get when you hold a glass under an ice dispenser. Do you need ice in your water? Sure, why not. Although, you could certainly do without it. The machine rumbled. Is it taking too long? Ah, there’s the ice. Now onto something else. I would argue that soliloquy on ice is more thought than the average viewer of The Today Show ever lent Matt Lauer.
Even the name Matt Lauer sounds fuzzy and muted, as if you were hearing it for thirtieth time yet this was the first time actually you noticed it but you could not tell if it was being pronounced by a deaf person or if you were dreaming that you were in one of those Paxil commercials frequently advertised during The Today Show.
He was not on TV to move the needle. In fact, Matt Lauer’s name is often used in polygraph tests as a control. Until it was recently discovered that he gifted dildos to his coworkers, the name Matt Lauer might just make you wonder if you needed to buy stamps. He cannot move a needle. Not with his on-air personality, which resembles that of everyone’s gay uncle who works for Progressive Insurance.
If you had to describe Matt Lauer as a suspect in a crime, what would you even say? Yes officer, he was a man, uh, two eyes I believe. Good looking? No. Ugly? No. Charming? No. Menacing? No. Funny? No. Unfunny? No. Short? No. Tall? No. Hair? No. Bald? No. Beard? No. Clean shaven? No. Jewish? No. White? No. Pale? No. Tan? No. Seagull? No. Draw up a police sketch, it looks like the culprit is the Jack in the Box guy.
If you’re someone who follows the media you would occasionally hear snippets of how Matt Lauer’s salary was $20 million a year, or about how he would commute by helicopter from his Hamptons mansion to Manhattan for tapings of The Today Show so he could fake laugh at Rosy O’Donnell’s horrendously banal story about her attempt at making chop suey.
Matt Lauer’s career and income could simply not be processed by the average person’s mind, not without a deep dive into the theories of Marshall McLuhan or a visit to Noam Chomsky’s desk during office hours and a heroic dose of psilocybin mushrooms. To even ponder this reality could send an otherwise sane individual over the edge, waking up next to an empty bottle of Wild Turkey three days later in a PF Chang’s parking lot, no closer than where he started.
Our brains have been conditioned to deflect information which could send us over the edge. It’s self preservation. You know that you’re going to die, that every surface is swimming in bacteria, and that Beyonce didn’t write any of her dumb songs. But you can’t dwell on it. You’ve got to keep moving.
Sure children starve to death daily on the streets of Mumbai and some dude a few miles away has a 400,000 square foot house which he built for over a billion dollars to house only himself and his wife and children. You just can’t think about these kinds of things. Like how it’s possible that Matt Lauer makes $20 million a year. Have you seen him on TV? His highlight reel on Youtube simply shows him crossing and uncrossing his legs and kissing ass with resting rat face. He acts like he was engineered by Splenda. He seems like your ex-girlfriend’s asshole brother who smoked cigars and asked the waitress for extra marinara. How the fuck is this idiot making $20 million a year and I can barely afford my car payment? What the fuck! Where is the Wild Turkey!?!?!
This is why the allegations of sexual misconduct against Matt Lauer were so shocking at first: The thought of Matt Lauer having a dick and behaving in a sexual capacity is frankly disturbing, and I would argue that the near impossibility of visualizing this is what secured him his job in the first place as the nonthreatening and supremely benign male face of daytime TV.
The type of face you could just see covered in Similac.
The creeps are always going to be these supposed nice guys. The ones who smile at you and pretend to be concerned about your sick dog and send you a Christmas card and talk about the Hot New Fall Looks on the air with apparently genuine interest. The ones who volunteer to lead the Boy Scouts. The real nice guys are secure enough to make crude jokes in front of you and are blasé in the face of you drawing the lines of their political correctness. As an anecdote, Howard Stern has never been accused of sexual harassment. He gets it all out there.
Matt Lauer on the other hand is the type who has sacrificed his manhood in the name of his image, ironically becoming less desirable to women the more he seeks to uniformly appeal to them. It comes off as just a hint disingenuous, and no woman really wants to hook up with the dude whose grandma finds handsome.
In fact, I think if Matt Lauer genuinely attempted to make a pass at most young women I know they would probably laugh in his face or wonder why the middle aged gay guy with children was pretending he loved boobs.
This is when the creepy behavior comes in.
I would like to point out that, in true Matt Lauer form, even his sexual harassment allegations are quite bland. That’s just who he is. Outside of giving dildos to coworkers it seems he was just a generally annoying perv who often made inappropriate comments and propositioning coworkers, which is not okay and obviously not professional. Although the details are murky, it appears his unnamed accuser simply had consensual sex with Matt Lauer and is now considering it rape.
It sure doesn’t sound like rape, but it must be emotionally scarring nonetheless.
Based purely on the current accusations which are making pervy comments, gifting people dildos, and having consensual sex in his office, it’s possible Matt Lauer doesn’t deserve any of this heat, but he doesn’t deserve anything he has in the first place, so let’s call it even.
The bottom line is, from now on when you hear the name Matt Lauer, instead of momentarily producing a mental image of cotton candy, you can say “Oh, yeah, that pervert guy”, and that is good enough karma for all of his preposterous money and shitty television in my opinion.