NBC announced that its longtime “fixer” Andrew Lack is stepping down one week after the network broke its silence on the sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden. Lack’s career has been marked by scandals, including comments in which he compared RT to a terrorist organization…
Andrew Lack has been with NBC off and on for nearly three decades, and the network is saying it was simply time to restructure with a focus on news in the new digital age. But the timing of Andrew Lack’s departure is incredibly notable.
Last week, MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes became the first prime-time anchor on the network to address sexual assault allegations against presidential candidate Joe Biden, which were made by former Senate staffer Tara Reade. Hayes simply presented the reports and did not give his opinion. But the fact that he addressed the allegations resulted in #FireChrisHayes trending on Twitter.
The network has not responded directly to the backlash, but it does have a habit of instituting these methods of “restructuring” when it has run into scandals in the past.
Andrew Lack has a reputation as a “fixer,” which is to say that he was there for NBC when the network had a scandal and it needed a ratings boost to recover.
He was hired as the president of NBC News in 1993 after Dateline was caught faking an explosion in a story. He then made Matt Lauer the anchor of the Today show in 1994. Lack left NBC in 2001 and later returned in 2015 after the network’s primetime anchor, Brian Williams, was caught fabricating multiple reports. During his time as chairman, Lack also kept journalist Ronan Farrow from publishing the details of his investigation into Harvey Weinstein.
When Ronan Farrow left NBC and was finally allowed to speak out, he revealed that not only does Lack stand accused of ignoring sexual assault complaints against Matt Lauer, but Lack himself was also accused of sexual harassment in the workplace by female employees.
Andrew Lack was briefly the CEO of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a government agency that supervises media, and in early 2015, he compared RT to a terrorist organization.
Lack was quoted as saying, “We are facing a number of challenges from entities like RT, which is out there pushing a point of view, the Islamic State in the Middle East and groups like Boko Haram.”
The fact that he included RT in the same sentence as two known terrorist groups raised a number of questions about whether he should be in charge of a federal agency. Our late anchor, Ed Schultz also spoke about questionable decisions made under Lack’s direction.
During an interview in April 2018, he said, “I think the Clintons were connected to Andy Lack, connected at the hip. I think that they didn’t want anybody in their prime time or anywhere in their lineup supporting Bernie Sanders. I think that they were in the tank for Hillary Clinton, and I think that it was managed, and 45 days later, I was out at MSNBC.”
All in all, Andrew Lack has had a career marked by the questionable figures he protected, and the scandals he was hired to coverup