Female staffers at NBC News are complaining they felt under huge pressure to sign the “women’s letter” defending Tom Brokaw against sexual harassment allegations.
After former colleague Linda Vester claimed he “groped and assaulted” her in the ’90s, plus an anonymous assistant alleged he had made unwanted advances, more than 115 women signed the letter hailing the veteran anchor as “a man of tremendous decency and integrity.”
Big names backing Brokaw include Rachel Maddow, Mika Brzezinski, Andrea Mitchell and Maria Shriver. Brokaw angrily denied Vester’s claims, likening them to “a drive by shooting.”
One NBC News staffer said, “We felt forced to sign the letter supporting Brokaw. We had no choice, particularly the lower level staffers. The letter was being handed around the office and the unspoken threat was that if your name was not on it, there would be some repercussion down the road. Execs are watching to see who signed and who didn’t. This was all about coming out in force to protect NBC’s golden boy; the network’s reputation is tied to Brokaw . . . If more women come forward, that’s a big problem.”