Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Lauer on set in New York. Photo: Richard Drew / AP

Over the course of a two-month investigation, Variety talked to three women with stories of sexual harassment perpetrated by Matt Lauer at NBC. One woman said Lauer exposed himself to her and reprimanded her for refusing to engage in a sexual act. Another said he gifted her a sex toy with a lewd note.

The big picture: Several women told Variety that NBC has not adequately addressed past complaints about Lauer's behavior. NBC declined to comment, and Lauer could not be reached for comment.

Background: In an email to NBC staff Wednesday morning, NBC News chairman Andy Lack said the network is terminating Lauer's contract after an employee came forward with an allegation of sexual misconduct. Lack's email said that while this was the only complaint against Lauer in his 20-year career at NBC, the network has "reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident."

From Variety's report:

  • "The cause of his dismissal, according to sources, was a detailed complaint from another current NBC employee about inappropriate sexual conduct from Lauer that started on a trip at the Sochi Olympics in 2014 and continued for several months."
  • Lauer's secluded office had a button under his desk with which he could lock the door without standing up. Two women who he allegedly harassed said he would use this mechanism to initiate inappropriate content with female colleagues.
  • "There were a lot of consensual relationships, but that's still a problem because of the power he held," says a former producer who knew first-hand of these encounters told Variety.
  • Lauer "would sometimes quiz female producers about who they'd slept with, offering to trade names.
  • He "loved to engage in a crass quiz game with men and women in the office: "fuck, marry or kill," in which he would identify the female co-hosts that he'd most like to sleep with."

Go deeper

5 hours ago - World

Top general: U.S. losing time to deter China

Stanley McChrystal. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Stanley McChrystal, a top retired general and Biden adviser, tells Axios that "China's military capacity has risen much faster than people appreciate," and the U.S. is running out of time to counterbalance that in Asia and prevent a scenario such as it seizing Taiwan.

Why it matters: McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, recently briefed the president-elect as part of his cabinet of diplomatic and national security advisers. President-elect Joe Biden is considering which Trump- or Obama-era approaches to keep or discard, and what new strategies to pursue.

Progressives shift focus from Biden's Cabinet to his policy agenda

Joe Biden giving remarks in Wilmington, Del., last month. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Some progressives tell Axios they believe the window for influencing President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet selections has closed, and they’re shifting focus to policy — hoping to shape Biden's agenda even before he’s sworn in.

Why it matters: The left wing of the party often draws attention for its protests, petitions and tweets, but this deliberate move reflects a determination to move beyond some fights they won't win to engage with Biden strategically, and over the long term.

Dave Lawler, author of World
8 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.