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Meredith Vieira once found a bag of sex toys in Matt Lauers office and confronted him on air

2023-05-22 12:45:51 author:sh419

Meredith Vieira once found a bag of sex toys in Matt Lauers office and confronted him on air

Meredith Vieira once found a bag of sex toys in Matt Lauers office and confronted him on air(图1)

Now that he's been fired by NBC News amid multiple allegations of sexual harassment, Matt Lauer's past work has come under intense scrutiny -- and some of it will leave you feeling decidedly icky in light of the new accusations.

From a hypocritical Bill O'Reilly interview to a tone-deaf sexual harassment sketch on Today, Lauer seems to have spent years throwing stones from a very fragile glass house. The latest video to resurface comes courtesy of The Meredith Vieira Show, in which Lauer's former co-host (who was apparently also the subject of Lauer's inappropriate remarks, judging by a video from TMZ(opens in a new tab) in which Lauer encourages Vieira to "keep bending over" in front of him) quizzed him on why she once found a bag of sex toys in Lauer's office closet

“Can we explain what happened?” Lauer says, while co-host Savannah Guthrie laughs awkwardly beside him. “You were there. We had a guest on the show. She was a... what was she? A sex therapist."

"I don't remember that," Vieira counters.

"And so when she left-- I think you did the segment, actually," Lauer adds.

"I didn't, I didn't," Vieira argues.

Lauer continues, "And when she left, she gave each of us a shopping bag of stuff..."

Meredith Vieira once found a bag of sex toys in Matt Lauers office and confronted him on air(图2)

"I didn't get a bag of stuff," Vieira insists.

It's all played for laughs, but the moment takes on an uncomfortable new dimension following the allegation that Lauer "gave a colleague a sex toy as a present. It included an explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her, which left her mortified," according to a Variety(opens in a new tab) report.

The internet never forgets.

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    SEE ALSO: 'Bridgerton' star Phoebe Dynevor on the difference between Regency era courtship and dating now

    I had a special affinity for period romances — anything with elaborate costumes was enough to make me swoon. As both a reader and writer of fanfiction, I had familiarized myself with romance tropes years before I ever experienced any shred of romance myself, from enemies to lovers to friends stuck together to the classic fake relationship that ends up sparking something real.

    Much like the yearning of my adolescence, it's less for a specific human being than literally any human being.

    The yearning took a backseat when I went to college and had the independence to actually experience relationships, whether serious romances or casual one night stands. Real world dating, as I learned, rarely involves a Pride and Prejudice-like pursuit. But the last year or so marks the longest I've been single in my adult life, and consequently, the most I've yearned for another human being in my adult life. Much like the yearning of my adolescence, it's less for a specific human being than literally any human being.

    Although some parts of the United States are in better shape than others, most health officials advise against(Opens in a new tab) gathering with people outside your household. With limited opportunity to safely meet up for dates, I've spent the last year reacquainting myself with my first love: period piece romances.

    During the first few weeks of the pandemic when wearing loungewear every day was still a novelty and not a given, I started Outlander, a steamy series about accidentally time traveling to 18th-century Scotland. I have watched the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice too many times to count, and its 2016 sword-wielding parody Pride and Prejudice and Zombies with alarming frequency. When Netflix dropped Bridgerton this winter, I devoured it in a few days.

    Bridgerton follows Simon, an aloof duke determined to maintain his bachelor status, and Daphne, a naive debutante determined to marry by the end of high society's season, as they fake a courtship and (spoiler alert!) inevitably fall in love. The show gained popularity for its stunning costumes and steamy sex scenes that paired softcore porn with string quartet covers of modern pop songs.

    It would be irresponsible to highlight Bridgerton without also mentioning its odd dismissal of racial politics(Opens in a new tab) and its inclusion of a highly controversial rape scene(Opens in a new tab). Despite the show's problematic aspects, I burned through the show so quickly because its premise felt like an anachronistic reflection of my experience dating during the pandemic.

    Like the romanticized courtship rituals of the Regency Era in which Bridgerton takes place, pandemic dating comes with its own set of rules. All of my early dates have taken place outdoors in public, and because of masks, are inherently chaste. You can have however many matches and suitors as your want, but any level of physical intimacy comes with the expectation of exclusivity. Nobody has asked for my hand in marriage, but being in my twenties and used to casual flings born from apps and dance floors, asking my immediate household for permission to bring someone over feels pretty close.

    The slow burn does put a damper on the more exciting parts of dating, but it's a worthy trade for safety. Michele Shocked, a drag performer based in Ojai, met their partner on Grindr, which is notorious for users seeking casual sex over long term relationships. They texted in paragraphs for weeks before discussing anything vaguely sexual, which Michele Shocked noted was rare for Grindr matches, and despite the intimacy of their conversations and meeting up for socially distanced dates, have yet to actually touch.

    "It feels Pride and Prejudice-y because it's been very regimented, each interaction and escalation in feeling has had special attention paid to it"

    "It feels Pride and Prejudice-y because it's been very regimented, each interaction and escalation in feeling has had special attention paid to it," they told Mashable through Twitter DM. "It has been missing that white hot insatiable feeling some people associate with romance but there is so much non-verbal communication that feels quintessential to romance nowadays that we don't have access to in most capabilities."

    That's not to say that COVID-safe dating shouldn't be sex-positive. My love life over the past year has ironically mirrored my strict Christian upbringing, though the absence of casual sex is less rooted in shame and more in trying not to end up in an ICU bed. The sex I have had during the pandemic, even if it wasn't with some Mr. Darcy-type soulmate, has still required some emotional investment because of how high the stakes are.

    Before embarking on anything under the mask, both parties place an immense amount of trust in each other to not be infected. No matter how casual a relationship may be, there's an implicit commitment and care for the other that I haven't experienced in pre-COVID flings that weren't serious enough to label. The callous nature of casual hookups doesn't work when you're sleeping with someone vulnerable enough to not only be emotionally invested, but also put their physical health at risk.

    For some couples whose love story began during the pandemic, it involves going all in before even being able to explore the relationship in person. Neil, an English professor, met Molly through a "playful exchange" on Twitter in last October and they've been talking constantly since. (They preferred to only be quoted using their first names out of privacy concerns.) Neil lives in Canada, and Molly lives in the United States. With travel restrictions(Opens in a new tab) in place for the foreseeable future, the couple has yet to spend time together in person, and likely won't be able to for months. That hasn't stopped them from pursuing a serious relationship, which Neil does admit sounds "crazy."

    "I'm not nervous that we won't have chemistry. It's possible, I guess? But there are so many things that I'm looking forward to and they far outweigh the things that might make me nervous."

    "I'm not nervous that we won't have chemistry. It's possible, I guess? But there are so many things that I'm looking forward to and they far outweigh the things that might make me nervous," Neil explained via Twitter DM.

    "We agreed pretty early on that we wouldn't waste one another's time, that if we're going to explore this, it would be serious and one of us would have to [be] willing to move," he continued.

    A pandemic courtship skips the steps that modern dating tends to wallow in, and dives headfirst into the ones that involve difficult conversations. When sex comes with the risk of spreading COVID, potential lovers can trap each other in an eternal talking stage(Opens in a new tab) without meeting, the purgatory between expressing interest and putting a label on it.

    The second option is to be direct about exclusivity before even taking off the mask, but that also requires charging forth with some level of trust in each other. You can bypass this entirely by hooking up within your lockdown circle, like 41 percent of adults surveyed(Opens in a new tab) by, but I personally can attest to the fact that this situation also requires having excruciatingly honest discussion about intent and expectations.

    My colleague Rachel Thompson referred to pandemic dating as "turbo relationships" because of the intensity that COVID restrictions add to otherwise new couples. It's a natural progression considering that both parties have to agree to be all in before actually having sex. To agree to exclusivity before even kissing is a daunting but necessary part of safe COVID-era dating. It sometimes does feel regressive to adhere to these rules, but remembering that it's for public safety and not because of archaic societal expectations that strip women of their autonomy, helps.

    In spite of the patriarchal views that shaped old-timey courtships, the great romance novels make the wait somewhat sweeter. Erika Lee, a reporter in Boise, met her boyfriend at a wedding in Australia only a few weeks before the United States began mandating stay-at-home orders. In the last year, they've managed long distance with FaceTime dates, online games, and even taking weekend "trips" together by exploring destinations on Google Maps. The yearning is slightly more bearable, Lee said, when she frames it as her own personal fairy tale.

    "Those types of stories romanticized it for me. It made me feel like waiting is actually a noble act, and that makes it more worth it in the end," Lee DM'd Mashable on Twitter. "I think without these types of narratives, like you know the ones with people writing letters to their husbands at war, or [to] their long distance lovers, it definitely would be less fairy tale-like. But the idealism is fun."

    My reputation as a virtuous woman worthy of a land-owning husband isn't at risk, but my lung function probably is.

    It's unlikely that I will end up in anything as extreme as an accidental marriage because of a salacious kiss, like Daphne and Simon do in Bridgerton. Still, physical contact during a pandemic, whether premeditated or in the heat of the moment, does have consequences. My reputation as a virtuous woman worthy of a land-owning husband isn't at risk, but my lung function probably is. Until COVID is less of a threat, I'm happy to keep yearning through these courtships.

    Read more from Love App-tually:

    • Swiping for friends: Why managing others' dating apps is so damn fun

    • Stop creating cutesy buzzwords for asshole online dating behavior

    • Just a Jim looking for his Pam: Fictional couples dominate dating apps

    Related Video: How to go on a virtual date during the coronavirus pandemic

  • The artist behind the Awards for Good Boys Instagram isnt afraid to piss off her trolls

    The artist behind the Awards for Good Boys Instagram isnt afraid to piss off her trolls


    The most online among us have heard the adage. "Don't feed the trolls," people say. When someone attacks you online, don't respond. Don't engage. That's what they want.

    This is not Shelby Lorman's approach. The writer and artist, who runs the delightful Instagram account Awards for Good Boys(opens in a new tab) and has a book forthcoming from Penguin Random House, frequently reposts and riffs on DMs from people -- usually white men -- who feel compelled to weigh in on her work.

    Lorman, 24, started the Awards for Good Boys account in 2017. Since then, she's been posting regular cartoons skewering the "good boy"(opens in a new tab): the ostensibly "progressive" dude whose shitty treatment of actual people doesn't dovetail with his performative feminist politics.

    Considering the immense pile of filth that makes up so much of the internet, it's not surprising that Lorman's DMs are full of harassment. Her work, after all, critiques the men who do the absolute minimum, the self-proclaimed "woke" dudes who are all talk at best. As one might expect, the "good boys" aren't the best at fielding criticism -- and their entitled commentary has fueled much of Lorman's recent work.

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    "A lot of people will be like, 'I used to like your stuff, but this comic about emotional labor just paints women as nitpicky cunts, and you're doing a disservice to everyone,'" Lorman says. "Like, 'why are you so angry? Why are you so bitter?' A lot of that happens around stuff that's nuanced."

    SEE ALSO: Jouelzy is here to talk — and whether you're a #SmartBrownGirl or not, you should listen

    She points to a post about catcalling(opens in a new tab) as an example. "People [in her DMs] were like, 'You’re advocating for a world in which no one gives compliments!' No, I'm just saying street harassment is not cool," she says. "People are ready to skip the nuance and make some humongous claim about my work."

    In most cases, skipping the nuance involves re-centering blame -- for a disagreement in the comments section or on society's ills -- on anyone but men. "[People] blame women for choosing the bad men," she explains, "or our anger, or the culture right now. The immediate urge to blame anyone but the obvious population I'm talking about is really intense."

    So Lorman turns the tables on her trolls. Instead of ignoring them, she posts their DMs on her own Instagram account. Sometimes, readers will even send her their own text conversations, with messages so clearly written by "good boy" types that she'll post them alongside her own illustrations: a hilarious IRL example alongside the concept.

    View this post on Instagram
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    Humor is a big part of Lorman's approach to creativity in a hostile online space. "I think that in some cases, humor can be really effective in pointing out the irony of someone’s argument … or why it was absurd," Lorman says. "I'm never trying to shoot down what someone is saying for the content of it. It's about the way someone chooses to deliver it."

    But Lorman also sees the grain of truth within the "don't feed the trolls" argument, particularly when someone is coming from a place of bad faith. "It's a mixed bag, because humor is really essential for me to be able to cope with what people are saying," she says. "But I also know it feeds their narrative."

    View this post on Instagram
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    She's also aware of how difficult it is to communicate effectively on Instagram, particularly about an issue as huge and fraught as harassment. For example, Lorman says that while her trolls aren't 100 percent men, she doesn't post as much about the women who are angry about her work. It boils down to caution: On a platform where engagement is brief, she doesn't want to dilute her message. "I have such a small window to let people understand how fucked up our heteronormative relationships are," she says. "I'm wary to be like, 'Oh, no. Women do this shit, too.'"

    That's partially why Lorman is so excited about her book. She'll have space to explore her experience online with far more nuance -- and without the constant back-and-forth inherent to social media.

    View this post on Instagram
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    SEE ALSO: Joana Ceddia went viral and brought back the spirit of old YouTube

    "For some people, Instagram debates get confusing," she says. "Someone told me recently that I was just creating drama, and that's not what they came to my page to see. So I'm very excited to have the space to explain why perpetual harassment is not drama, and why calling it out is also not drama. It's that I don't want to hear people's feedback -- I genuinely do -- but it is nice to think about a book space where [critics] will have to decide to deliberately contact me. They can't just shoot off a comment into the void."

    "Perpetual harassment is not drama, and calling it out is also not drama."

    Lorman realizes that, despite the harassment she faces, she's in a pretty good spot compared to some of her peers. "I don’t know any woman who has any modicum of visibility online who isn’t constantly dealing with either people being like 'this sucks' or violent harassment," she says. She's also aware that she has the space and security to discuss her experiences in a way that others do not.

    "I have a friend who is an activist and educator, and if she posts something about harassment, [the comments] get violent," she says. "She's a black woman. And this stuff just perpetuates violence offline."

    Lorman does think there is hope for the internet. What she's less sure about is what all of us are less sure about -- how to actually make it better.

    "The entire space of the internet is so complicated and fucked up," she says. "We have to do a lot of thinking about what that means and how to fix it. I certainly don't know."

    View this post on Instagram
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    In the meantime, though, she has a deep community of fans who enjoy and are comforted by her work. The support is sometimes so affecting that it brings her to tears: "[The community] is really intuitive around harassment itself," she says. "I'll get messages like, 'Hey, you’re getting so much hate today, and I just want to tell you what this page and this work means to me' and I just sit in my DMs and cry."

    "There’s so much support [from] people who are like, 'Yeah, this has happened to me a hundred million times,'" she adds. "It's really validating to meet so many people, even in the space of a comments section, who can relate. I wish there could be an Awards for Good Boys convention."

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  • Rogue Burning Man 2021: Should you go? Probably not.

    Rogue Burning Man 2021: Should you go? Probably not.

    Officially, Burning Man 2021 takes place in an alternate reality. The VR version of Black Rock City, which I reviewed last year, is returning with several neat upgrades — including museums dedicated to the event's nondenominational Temple and its eponymous Man, along with live musical performances via virtual hologram.


    But that's not the hot topic of conversation among veterans of the 35-year old counterculture festival, which normally takes place the week before Labor Day. Frustrated by the second year in which COVID-19 canceled an actual physical gathering, thousands of Burners are taking matters into their own hands — by camping in their regular spot in the Black Rock desert of northern Nevada. Even a giant pall of smoke from California's ongoing mega-fires does not appear to be dissuading them.

    Call it Rogue Burning Man. Some veterans estimate as many as 20,000 people could show up next week. (Black Rock City's population in 2019: 78,850.) A private Facebook group called Black Rock Plan B has more than 13,300 members, and its admins are constructing an unofficial map(Opens in a new tab). It overlays the planned coordinates of 500-plus unofficial Burning Man camps on the traditional Black Rock City road grid — normally constructed a month in advance by Burning Man's official Department of Public Works(Opens in a new tab), now no more than a vague idea.

    "We're not dissuading people from going," says Marian Goodell, longtime CEO of the nonprofit Burning Man organization, who plans on visiting Rogue Burning Man herself. "But I don't think you should try to go if you're not an experienced Burner. And if you last went in 1996, when we respected the dangers of the desert and communal effort was key, this is your year."

    In the years after the event transferred from San Francisco's Baker Beach to the Black Rock desert in 1990, it was a rough-edged gathering with few rules. In 1996, three people were seriously injured when a drunk driver ran over a tent at night. Co-founders John Law and Larry Harvey disagreed about whether it should be held again. Harvey took control and returned in 1997 with the city grid, a 5 mph speed limit, and the beginnings of an army of volunteers.

    "I don't think you should try to go if you're not an experienced Burner. And if you last went in 1996, when we respected the dangers of the desert and communal effort was key, this is your year."

    As Black Rock City became larger and safer, Burning Man's anarchic early years have acquired a kind of mythic status among some attendees. Be careful what you wish for, Goodell warns: "I was there in '96, it was scary as fuck," she says. "People were driving 45 mph" — a speed at which cars can kick up large dust clouds on this ancient lake bed, not to mention hit things, especially at night. "I wouldn't camp out on the edge of the playa, you'll need to be near people," says Goodell. "Camping in groups helps keep you visible."

    Not that much of anything may be visible anyway. At time of writing, the air quality on the playa is at an unhealthy-to-all value of 160 on the Air Quality Index, and has risen as high as 350, a hazardous level, in the last week, thanks largely to the out-of-control Caldor fire(Opens in a new tab) near Lake Tahoe. Wildfire smoke can make you more prone to a COVID infection(Opens in a new tab), and the nearest hospitals, about 100 miles away in Reno, have seen a threefold increase in COVID cases this month(Opens in a new tab).

    The entrance to Burning Man's location on August 18. Mountains are normally visible in the distance. Credit: washoe county sherrif

    Throw in all the other potential hazards of Black Rock life — hundred-mile-an-hour dust storms, sudden downpours that can trap vehicles in mountains of mud — and you have plenty of avenues for potential disaster.

    Which is just the way that some adrenaline junkie Burners like it (a frequent motto at the event is "safety third"). But many event volunteers are nervous. One says he has dissuaded 13 people from attending by asking what they would do if a campmate broke a leg at 3 a.m. Drive them to Reno while keeping them sedated with tequila and a joint?

    Goodell says she isn't worried about hospitalizations for injury or dehydration so much as outsiders with evil intent infiltrating the event, or possible food poisoning. (In prior years, camps that served food to the public at Burning Man were required to get a permit.)

    The Bureau of Land Management can't stop people camping at the site; it is public land, after all. But the BLM has introduced temporary restrictions(Opens in a new tab): no fires beyond elevated camp fires, no fireworks, no lasers, no gray water(Opens in a new tab), no peeing on the playa, and perhaps most importantly to would-be attendees, no porta-potties. A good portion of the Plan B Facebook group is devoted to discussing various makeshift personal toilet options, for those who aren't bringing an RV with enough capacity.

    Thanks to such unappealing specifics, the number of attendees appears to be whittling down by the day. Anecdotally, out of my 41 friends who are members of the Plan B group, I could only confirm that two are planning on attending. The tone of the group appears a lot more sober than it did in July, even if there are still a few genuine posts from newbies asking about whiteouts and WiFi. (Given the prankster nature of the event, there's also a lot of trolling along those lines.)

    Rogue Burning Man may yet be a success. The air quality may drop to safe levels just in time. Either way, there will be art, there will be dancing to EDM, there will be playa weddings. Goodell's hope is that Burners trained by years of radical self-reliance will be able to improvise their own infrastructure, such as agreeing to leave 20 feet between neighboring camps in case emergency vehicles need to get through.

    But if you're nervous about even trying, you absolutely do not need to go just to battle FOMO. After all, there's a fascinating VR Burning Man taking place in the next universe over.

  • An 18-inch pizza has more pizza than two 12-inch pizzas, and people are losing it

    An 18-inch pizza has more pizza than two 12-inch pizzas, and people are losing it


    Are you ready for a mindblowing revelation?

    If you're splitting pizza with friends, you'll technically get more bang for your buck by splitting one 18-inch pizza instead of ordering two 12-inch pizzas.

    It sounds counterintuitive, but Fermat's Library did the math: An 18-inch pizza has 254 square inches of "pizza," while two 12-inch pizzas only have about 226 square inches.

    People were understandably confused — isn't two more than one?


    SEE ALSO: 'Tidying Up With Marie Kondo' has Twitter obsessed with cleaning

    Others found flaws in the math: If you like crust, this logic doesn't make sense. If you're getting a stuffed crust, then definitely go for two pizzas.

    But if you just want to get ahead of the Great Pizza Conspiracy and have more cheesy goodness, then just opt for one large pie. Your wallet (and stomach) will thank you.