Here’s Why Women Are Saying the Allegations Against Tom Brokaw Are Totally False
Veteran newsman Tom Brokaw is the latest to join the growing list of men accused of workplace sexual harassment. Former NBC journalist Linda Vester said Brokaw forcibly kissed and groped her in 90s, allegations that Brokaw denies, Vox reports. Since Vester came forward, another woman, who remains anonymous, alleged Brokaw groped her.
In light of these accusations, something unusual occurred, especially in this highly charged #metoo environment. Colleagues and respected industry women are coming forward to defend Brokaw and support his character. But is their support blind? Wait until you see what these people are saying on page 6.
1. Female supporters call Brokaw fair, respectful, and honest
Brokaw was referred to as “a man of tremendous decency and integrity” in a letter initially signed by 64 professional women, The Hollywood Reporter cites.
“Tom has treated each of us with fairness and respect. He has given each of us opportunities for advancement and championed our successes throughout our careers. As we have advanced across industries — news, publishing, law, business and government — Tom has been a valued source of counsel and support.”
Next: You’ll never believe who is backing him.
2. The list of supporters includes these heavy hitting names
Many of Brokaw’s supporters have a long history with the newsman. Among the signers were veteran journalists Maria Shriver and Andrea Mitchell, with collective support spanning four decades back to 1976, according to People.
Next: None of Brokaw’s supporters are denying this.
3. Supporters walk this fine line
The women who signed the letter still back the #metoo movement. The missive begins: “As professional women, we fully endorse the conversation around abuse of power in the workplace. In the context of that conversation, we would like to share our perspectives on working with Tom Brokaw,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Next: Guess who recently added her name to the list of support?
4. This host added her name with a single tweet
Next: Brokaw is quick to tell his side.
5. But do you believe Brokaw?
It didn’t take long for Brokaw to give a detailed response to Vester’s allegations of sexual misconduct.
I was ambushed and then perp walked across the pages of The Washington Post and Variety as an avatar of male misogyny, taken to the guillotine and stripped of any honor and achievement I had earned in more than a half century of journalism and citizenship.
I am angry, hurt and unmoored from what I thought would be the final passage of my life and career, a mix of written and broadcast journalism … I am facing a long list of grievances from a former colleague who left NBC News angry that she had failed in her pursuit of stardom.
Next: Not everyone is feeling the love.
6. NBC staffers dropped this bomb about the letter of support
Some women, especially those new to the NBC staff told Page Six, “We felt forced to sign the letter supporting Brokaw. We had no choice, particularly the lower level staffers. The letter was being handed around the office and the unspoken threat was that if your name was not on it, there would be some repercussion down the road.”
Next: Could working at NBC feel like walking through a minefield?
7. Could NBC staffers jeopardize their career if they don’t fall in line?
Staffers said executives were keeping tabs on who signed (and how didn’t) and voiced concern the network, already damaged from the Matt Lauer scandal, might be doing this to protect it’s image.
Next: This sexual harassment victim offers this piece of advice.
8. Megyn Kelly is one NBC employee who refuses to sign
Megyn Kelly, NBC reporter and a professional who experienced sexual harassment firsthand, told women to exercise caution when running to Brokaw’s defense, Variety reports.
Kelly refused to add her signature to the letter saying that the entire story has not played out and that, “You don’t know what you don’t know,” Variety recounted from a recent episode of Megyn Kelly Today. But added, “That’s not in any way to impugn Tom, who I love and who’s been so good to me.”
Next: More misonduct allegations
9. More allegations against Brokaw surface
Following Vester’s allegations, an anonymous woman claimed that Brokaw had also made sexual advances toward her at NBC in the ’90s. And now a third woman, freelance writer Mary Reinholz, has an unsavory story to tell about Brokaw. From her own article in The Villager:
We talked and then, abruptly, he was embracing me and giving me a French kiss. I pulled away, reminding him that he was married and a tryst was out of the question. He said, “Yes, it would be unfair to Meredith,” meaning his wife … Even so, I liked him and wanted to stay friendly. I even called him a couple of times for one reason or another in Los Angeles and once in the early 1970s after I relocated to New York. By then he had been tapped as NBC’s White House correspondent. He was polite, and gave me the telephone number of a government agency I wanted to contact. I never saw him again.
Time will tell if there are others that come forward to tell stories. Even if Brokaw admits to wrongdoings, there will be some who will excuse his behavior as simply a product of the time. After all, Reinholz’s own allegation comes from 70 years ago. But nevertheless, it’s a good lesson in not rushing to the defense of any person accused of offensive behavior.
Additional reporting by Ryan Davis.
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