Donaldson made the comments Tuesday evening on CNN, where he discussed the Media Matters-manufactured controversy with host Anderson Cooper.
“Can you think of ‘Good Morning America’ host Matt Lauer or any of the other people — Charlie Rose — saying, well, wait a moment, it was just in jest?” Donaldson asked Cooper. “It happened long ago, but yes, it’s still important. Your character is important,” he continued.
Donaldson characterized Carlson’s words as “vulgarity” and “hate speech.”
“This is homophobic speech,” he declared. “If left unchecked it will change this country forever.”
Donaldson added: “It’s just as bad and should be punished in the way that the men were punished for what they did,” he concluded, referring to Lauer and Rose. “As I say, I don’t foresee it happening. “
The former newsman seemed to resent that his colleagues got caught up in the #MeToo scandal, while thought criminals like Tucker Carlson get off scot-free.
“Because it was a radio show or it was several years ago? How many guys now are taking the fall, and properly so, for having put their arms on the women several years ago? No one is saying, ‘Oh, that was in the past.’ This is in the past only to the extent that the guys that took the fall probably did it,” Donaldson said.
In the fall of 2017, Matt Lauer was credibly accused of sexual harassment
by multiple women at NBC, including one who said he gave her a sex toy as a present and told her how he wanted to use it on her. He is also accused of dropping his pants in front of another female employee and reprimanding her later for not engaging in sex with him.
He would sometimes quiz female producers about who they’d slept with, offering to trade names. And he loved to play a crass game with men and women in the office: “f—, marry, or kill,” in which he would identify the female co-hosts that he’d most like to sleep with.
According to Variety, Lauer’s secluded office “had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside without getting up.”
Eight women came forward to accuse Charlie Rose of making unwanted sexual advances toward them, “including lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas,” the Washington Post reported in November 2017.