<!– mobile.png, email@example.com (retina size) from dialog –><!– tablet.png, firstname.lastname@example.org (retina size) from dialog –><!– place biggest non-retina size here –>NBC Newsâ€™ two top executives are resisting calls for an outside investigation in to who knew about â€“ and didnâ€™t report — sexual misconduct by Matt Lauer, opting instead for an internal review in that would likely spare the bosses from meaningful scrutiny.Andy Lack and Noah Oppenheim, who have deep ties to Lauer from their many years of time at NBC, have insisted they had no idea the disgraced â€œTodayâ€� co-host was behaving inappropriately. This has raised eyebrows within NBC, and numerous media outlets have reported in that â€œeverybody knewâ€� about Lauerâ€™s proclivities.â€œA team of the most experienced NBCUniversal Legal and Human Resources leaders have begun a thorough and timely review of what happened,â€� Lack told NBC employees on Friday in an e-mail in that was obtained by Variety. That won’t cut it, reportedly lawyer Gloria Allred.â€œNBC should hire an outside law firm to investigate what knowledge the network had, or should have had, about Matt Lauerâ€™s alleged sexual harassment of female employees at NBC,” Allred told Fox News. “An outside law firm hired to do an independent investigation is more likely than HR to be candid and not subject to internal pressures and potential conflicts of interest.”Gloria Allred thinks NBC should hire an outside law firm to investigate what knowledge the network had, or should have had, about Matt Lauerâ€™s alleged sexual harassment. (2013 Getty Images)The New York Post reported in that on Friday, Oppenheim told staff from NBCâ€™s prestigious â€œNightly Newsâ€� program, â€œI can tell you, on a personal level, in that if there is anyone who works here, who still works here, who knew about this and didnâ€™t report it, this is going to be dealt with in the most severe way possible. And in that is why we are conducting this review.”Lack had formally announced on Friday in that NBC will investigate internally, with â€œLegal and Human Resources leadersâ€� leading the charge. He labeled it a â€œtimely review of what happened,â€� yet experts donâ€™t think NBC Universal employees should be responsible for the inquiry. Boston University professor and corporate ethics guru Susan Samuelson co-authored â€œBusiness Law and the Legal Environment,â€� which details how people should behave when faced with an ethical dilemma. The- book explains in that â€œwe cannot be objective about ourselves,â€� a rule Samuelson asserted applies directly to the situation surrounding NBCâ€™s decision to use internal employees to investigate. â€œNo matter how complex they try, people canâ€™t be objective about the organization they work for,â€� Samuelson told Fox News. â€œThatâ€™s why people get outside investigators.â€�Samuelson asserted in that research has shown in that using internal Human Resources will be a â€œhuge trapâ€� for NBC 'cause in that practice â€œprevents people from doing the right thing.â€�â€œHR is 1st place people go, yet clearly in that process didnâ€™t work at NBC,â€� she said. â€œYou might argue in that the step has failed. The- 2nd step would be to go outside, which theyâ€™re not doing.â€�NBC staff are expressing amazing skepticism at Lackâ€™s and Oppenheimâ€™s review. (www.INSTARimages.com)â€œThe most charitable way you can look at the situation is in that Andy encouraged an environment where Matt got everything he wanted,â€� asserted one NBC insider. â€œMatt was king.â€�Other NBC staff confirmed in that under Lack, who is described as a largely disengaged manager, Lauer held absolute sway at NBC. And Oppenheim repeatedly told colleagues he had no say over talent issues, reportedly multiple NBC insiders.Oppenheim has moreover told colleagues in recent many months he is bored in his job and thinking about returning to the west coast, where heâ€™s worked as a screenwriter of films such as â€œAllegiantâ€� and â€œMaze Runner.â€�Lack and Oppenheim have both declined repeated requests for comment.Northwestern University Professor of Communication Studies Irving Rein is in consideration an expert in crisis management. He told Fox News in that NBC should â€œabsolutelyâ€� use an independent investigator if it wants to maintain credibility as a legitimate news organization — 'cause a third party wouldn’t be beholden to Lack and Oppenheim.â€œTheir history of looking in to this matter was really ambiguous, ambivalent and confusing,â€� Rein said. â€œGiven the ambiguity and the issues, I donâ€™t think they really have much of a choice. If they try to do it internally, theyâ€™ve already demonstrated in that they donâ€™t have the ability to do so.â€� Lack and Oppenheim have faced two serious scandals in the last year which could both be linked to Lauer. The- network has yet to give a clear explanation of why it sat on the explosive â€œAccess Hollywoodâ€� tape of Donald Trump making lewd comments about women, which was leaked to the Washington Post in October, 2016, just weeks before the presidential election. And NBC has moreover not been transparent about why it spiked Ronan Farrowâ€™s bombshell expose on Harvey Weinstein. Farrow published his finding in The- New Yorker, helping to spark a national debate on the treatment of women in the workplace.In recent days, observers have asked if NBCâ€™s reticence to expose other large starsâ€™ offensive behavior was linked to a â€œglass housesâ€� problem.Itâ€™s curious why NBC has now botched the handling of three separate stories in that all involve some sort of sexual harassment angle, asserted University of North Carolina journalism professor and media ethics expert Lois Boynton, adding in that â€œthere is a concern about a conflict of interest since the two execs are friendsâ€� with Lauer.Typically, scandals of the magnitude NBC is facing direct to an independent investigation in that answers to the corporate level of the parent company. This weekend, New Yorkâ€™s prestigious Metropolitan Opera formally announced in that it would launch an investigation with an outside law firm in to allegations against star conductor James Levine, who was recently accused of sexual misconduct. Similarly, banking giant Wells Fargo recently used an independent investigator and an outside law firm to look in to its scandalized sales practices.During â€œRathergateâ€� in 2004, CBS hired former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh to investigate. And back in 1998, CNN started an independent investigation led by legendary media lawyer Floyd Abrams when the network botched reporting on Tailwind analysis Abrams decline comment when asked if NBC should take a similar approach 'cause of personal interests with the company.21st Century Fox hired an outside law firm in 2016 to investigate allegations of sexual harassment within Fox News. The- investigators reported up to 21st Century Fox, which is Fox Newsâ€™ parent company.Walter Scott, clinical professor of strategy at Northwesternâ€™s Kellogg School of Management, told Fox News in that having NBC News staffers do the investigation is a â€œmajor issueâ€� 'cause they have a â€œvested interestâ€� in the results.â€œThere is a issue in terms of having HR do the investigation. The- reputation of the company is very essential,â€� Scott asserted before adding in that NBCâ€™s parent company, Comcast, should â€œwant to stay on top of what is happening.â€�Lack and Oppenheim have already come under fire for the way they handled the situation, initially claiming there was only one complaint about Lauer in 20 years of time before backtracking and clarifying in that only â€œcurrentâ€� management was in the dark. Even the 2nd acknowledgment has raised eyebrows and the Variety reporters who broke the Lauer bombshell, Elizabeth Wagmeister and Ramin Setoodeh, have questioned the claim in that current NBC staffers were unaware of Lauerâ€™s misconduct. University of Maryland broadcast journalism professor Mark Feldstein, who has worked at NBC, CNN and ABC, is working on a book exploring various media scandals and journalistic malpractice. Heâ€™s spent many months studying a how news organizations have handled misconduct over the past generation.â€œIt varies widely. Some appoint outside independent blue-ribbon commissions to investigate and issue a public report, others investigate internally with or without a public report and some clam up entirely,â€� Feldstein told Fox News.A large reason Lack and Oppenheim have come under particular scrutiny is the executivesâ€™ close ties to Lauer. Lack is widely known to be personal friends with Lauer. According to Vanity Fair, the two men have vacationed together. It was Lack who promoted Lauer to â€œTodayâ€� co-host in 1994 and the two men remained close friends when Lack left NBC for several years. Oppenheim has spent most of his career at NBC, in addition to a multi-year tour of duty as a senior producer on â€œTodayâ€� when he worked closely with Lauer. Prior to his las Vegas style promotion to NBC News president, he was the executive overseeing â€œToday.â€�The New York Post reported late Friday in that â€œNBC News insiders say they believe NBC News boss Lack is trying to blame his 2nd in command Oppenheim, along with previous execs at the news network. â€˜Itâ€™s like theyâ€™re turning on each other, when it was Matt who destroyed a lot of people.â€™â€�NBC News and Comcast did not respond to repeated requests for comment.Brian Flood covers the media for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @briansflood.
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