Former NBC staffers have accused Tom Brokaw of sexual misconduct, and he has admitted that he acted inappropriately, but says that it did not rise to the level described.
Now, he sent out a mass email to a number of colleagues, in which he takes a much harsher tone towards the accusations and one of the women who made them.
That email has been obtained and published for all to see.
In a lengthy email to his colleagues that has been obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Tom Brokaw denounces the allegations against him.
“It is 4:00 am on the first day of my new life as an accused predator in the universe of American journalism.”
It’s off to a very melodramatic start.
“I was ambushed and then perp walked across the pages of The Washington Post and Variety as an avatar of male misogyny.”
If you think that this hyperbole is a bit much, just wait for this next line.
“Taken to the guillotine and stripped of any honor and achievement I had earned in more than a half century of journalism and citizenship.”
After the hyperbole train comes to a near-stop, he suggests that he knows the motives of Linda Vester, the woman identified by name in the article.
“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.”
He then drops that he’s responsible for her career.
“She has unleashed a torrent of unsubstantiated criticism and attacks on me more than twenty years after I opened the door for her and a new job at Fox news.”
Brokaw seems bewildered that these accusations against him were in print.
“Linda Vester was given the run of the Washington Post and Variety to vent her grievances.”
He then characterizes the accusations against him:
“To complain that I tickled her without permission (you read that right), that I invaded her hotel room, accepted an invitation to her apartment under false pretenses. …”
He sees these accusations as a personal attack.
“And in general was given a free hand to try to destroy all that I have achieved with my family, my NBC career, my writing and my citizenship.”
He says that, essentially, everyone is on his side.
“My NBC colleagues are bewildered that Vester, who had limited success at NBC News, a modest career at Fox and a reputation as a colleague who had trouble with the truth, was suddenly the keeper of the flame of journalistic integrity.”
It sounds like he’s trying to say that she is not trustworthy or truthful. One wonders if he will also say the same about his other accuser if she is named, and about any others who might speak up.
“Her big charge: that on two occasions more than 20 years ago I made inappropriate and uninvited appearances in her apartment and in a hotel room.”
“As an eager beginner, Vester, like others in that category, was eager for advice and camaraderie with senior colleagues. She often sought me out for informal meetings, including the one she describes in her New York hotel room.”
In her accusations, he called her and informed her that she was coming over — after having been turned down when he asked her out for a drink.
“I should not have gone but I emphatically did not verbally and physically attack her and suggest an affair in language right out of pulp fiction.”
She said that he tried to kiss her against her will, which is something that clearly has stuck with her for a long time.
“She was coy, not frightened, filled with office gossip, including a recent rumor of an affair.”
So … they were talking.
“As that discussion advanced she often reminded me she was a Catholic and that she was uncomfortable with my presence. So I left,”
He says that he’s now shocked that she was upset by the visit.
“23 years later, to be stunned by her melodramatic description of the meeting.”
Interesting to hear the guy who just described being guillotined accuse someone else of being melodramatic.
“As I got up to leave I may have leaned over for a perfunctory goodnight kiss, but my memory is that it happened at the door – on the cheek.”
Brokaw says that her description of that kiss was not as she described.
“No clenching her neck. That move she so vividly describes is NOT WHO I AM. Not in high school, college or thereafter.”
Brokaw also says that she left out some details.
“Here is a part of her story she somehow left out. I think I saw her in the hallways and asked how it was going.”
He says that he offered her career advice.
“She was interested in cable start up [sic] and I said I didn’t think that was going anywhere. What about Fox, which was just building up?”
He says that he then made that connection happen.
“She was interested and followed me to my office where, while she listened in, I called Roger Ailes. He said, ‘send her over.'”
He then accuses her of hypocrisy by having never said anything publicly about Ailes after he was accused of sexual harassment and forced to resign.
Again, he reiterates that he does not like that the accusations against him were published, as she believes that this woman is biased.
“I am stunned by the free ride given a woman with a grudge against NBC News, no distinctive credentials or issue passions while at FOX.”
He believes that she was accusing him out of a desire for attention, which is a fairly common deflection from people accused of misdeeds.
“Strip away all of the hyperbole and what has she achieved? What was her goal? Hard to believe it wasn’t much more Look At Me than Me:Too.”
Sometimes, it’s difficult to know a person’s true character until you see how they respond to adversity.
And this scathing letter is how Brokaw has responded.