Legendary NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw hasn’t exactly been outed as the new Charlie Rose, but for a brief period in 1993 and ’94, when he was in his mid 50s, Brokaw allegedly made NBC news reporter Linda Vester feel sexually pressured and uncomfortable (i.e., “groped and assaulted”). Brokaw’s horndog moves were irksome and humiliating, she says, and now, 24 years later, she’s telling the tale.
On the other hand Brokaw apparently didn’t act like some lust-crazed, nostril-breathing animal, but like a guy who wanted some heavy breathing with a pretty younger woman, and was fairly persistent about trying to win Vester over, using his power and position. After two tries it didn’t work and he backed off.
How bad is this? Not very, it seems. But from Vester’s perspective it was a major drag. Brokaw is denying, for the most part. Should he suffer some sort of after-the-fact managerial admonishment? Should he offer some sort of apology? Offer to donate money to the #TimesUp legal fund?
Brokaw’s initial statement: “I met with Linda Vester on two occasions, both at her request, 23 years ago” — in 1995? — “because she wanted advice with respect to her career at NBC. The meetings were brief, cordial and appropriate, and despite Linda’s allegations, I made no romantic overtures towards her at that time or any other.” Brokaw’s letter to NBC colleagues, sent on Friday morning, 4.27.
A 4.26 Washington Post story by Sarah Ellison reports that “a second woman, a former production assistant at NBC News who spoke on the condition of anonymity,” is claiming to have been the recipient of another incident of boorish, sexual-come-on behavior from Brokaw, during the mid ’90s.