I just heard the audio book, Going There, by Katie Couric. I found it interesting.
What I did NOT find it is controversial. Or shockingly revelatory, as reviewers insisted. Yes, Prince Harry smelled of booze and cigarettes. Is this a surprise to anyone? Deborah Norville was hurt at being called too perfect. Really? Stuff like that. Louie CK acted badly toward her. Umm, yeah. Believable.
Not big WOW moments.
But. I did have a WOW moment. I lost respect for Katie for the manner in which she treated Matt Lauer after his misdeeds became public. She basically avoided seeing him for fear her own reputation would diminish. Before you get on a high horse about this sexual harasser, let me clarify:
Matt Lauer definitely did women wrong.
Katie purported to be a friend of his and reached with kindness out via text after publicity.
He texted back that he wanted to talk to her. That he needed to hear her voice.
Not once. Twice.
She ignored those plaintive pleas because … well, it became all about HER.
What would people think of her? What if paps caught her visiting Matt? And on and on.
So here’s what I think:
If you’re someone’s friend and they are in trouble and say they need to talk with you. the right thing to do is to give them that ear. Yes, he did wrong, but it’s not like he massacred children. You don’t need to cold-shoulder him before hearing him out. Not if you’re a real friend.
Lauer obviously has a serious problem. Who knows what would have resulted if she’d been a true friend and at least heard what he had to say. She wasn’t obligated to agree with him, to think it’s right or to sympathize with him. She didn’t need to keep seeing him. But if she were a real friend she would have at least given him that initial ear.
That’s what friends do.
She did her “own investigation.” Seriously, Katie? What qualifies you for that? Are you a detective? Did you take the time and make the effort (and spend your hard-earned cash) to TRULY investigate? I don’t think so.
After that, she concluded: “I think what I realized is that there was a side of Matt I never really knew. I tried to understand why he behaved the way he did, and why he was so reckless, and callous, and honestly abusive to other women.”
What does that really say? It says NOTHING. Of COURSE there was a side of her he didn’t know. Duh. And…if she’d really wanted to understand, she’d have given him the ear he asked for. Heard him out. Maybe even had a chance to educate him.
But she didn’t.
What does it mean to be a friend?
Don’t ask Katie. She doesn’t know.