This is not an insignificant milestone, nor should it be lost in the sea of all the Boorish White Men who have been exposed as workplace predators.
Because they are point to a very disturbing truth: that journalism has not been honest with their audience for a very long time.
News is about finding predators and exposing them to the public to level a playing field, but if those doing the exposing are predators themselves, it calls what they do into question. These men were hired over other people. They were promoted, hyped, protected, and given all sorts of chances. They were touted as Titans of Journalism, or at least one of the Popular Kids.
They hosted shows. They were the official curators of the Truth.
And all the while, they were taking full advantage of all those invaluable perks, deliberating preying on underlings, and rigging the workplace to ensure they stay on top.
Ann Curry was not about bombast. She did her job, and yet when push came to shove, it was Lauer who stay on at Today, while she was kicked to the curb unceremoniously.
Her supporters are revelling at this news, but I am not.
I am not revelling because there has been no public discussion on finally confronting the far bigger problem in journalism: why the inferior predators get to the top doing everything but the very things they need to do in order to be rightfully called journalists, while those who actually do journalism somehow get turned into prey and cannon fodder.
This is not a minor problem, but the heart of why journalism has been out of touch.
Media outlets are merely turfing out any predator who has been exposed. That is merely cutting rot when an entire rancid structure needs to be replaced.
Media outlets will not change. Journalism schools will not change.
They won't change unless they are forced to change.
Because they have formed unnatural and destructive habits that come down to elevating shaky egos.
Journalism is not about propping up egos. It is not about enabling predators who play office politics as if they are in a war fighting a genuine threat.
It is about gathering facts to relay both reality and truth.
And when a media outlet such as NBC is in the dark about their own reality and truth, there is a much bigger problem to contend with than just Matt Lauer.