UPDATE, 8:04 p.m. ET: Bush has now officially been suspended from the Today Show “pending further review,” according to an internal memo from NBC that has just leaked!
On Sunday night, NBC Senior VP Noah Oppenheim wrote:
“Dear TODAY Family —
I know we’ve all been deeply troubled by the revelations of the past 48 hours.
Let me be clear — there is simply no excuse for Billy’s language and behavior on that tape. NBC has decided to suspend Billy, pending further review of this matter.
If any of you have any questions or concerns please reach out to me directly, anytime day or night.
That’s a big move!!
So is this the beginning of the end for Billy Bush or what?!
The 9:00 a.m. anchor of the Today Show, Bush was all set to anchor like normal on Monday and by as late as a few hours ago today, NBC was openly standing behind him.
But now… nope!
A few hours ago, an NBC spokesman dropped this gem about Bush, and his future at the network:
“The plan is for him to have a chance to apologize.”
That was in regards to NBC’s plan that Bush would open the 9:00 a.m. hour tomorrow on the Today Show with a serious, honest moment speaking directly to viewers about his part in a shameful video from 2005 involving Donald Trump that was leaked on Friday.
But now, after a few hours of outrage over Bush’s potential future on live TV, NBC has changed their minds!
A spokesperson confirmed on Sunday afternoon that now, the plan is for Bush to stay off TV altogether on Monday!
That’s right — no Today Show, no apology, no 9:00 a.m. time slot hosting!!!
It’s unsure what went into this decision, but it’s clear that Bush has drawn considerable outrage for not only enabling The Donald in that disgusting 2005 video, but also going right there, himself, in making lewd comments, openly ogling women, and generally acting in a disgraceful way.
That Bush has already apologized is appreciated, perhaps, but may not end up going far enough — especially considering his voicemail still sounds pretty tone-deaf in light of the situation.
Major media critics and other journalists are busy criticizing NBC, too, for their ridiculous oversight on Bush and their mishandling of this entire situation (below):
NBC has great journalists. I wish it would empower them, rather than celebrity interviewers and sexual assault apologists like Billy Bush. https://t.co/EnicPzQPWF
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) October 9, 2016
And then there’s this, arguably the most important single tweet regarding this entire story (below):
1) Trump hosts SNL
2) Lauer plays footsie w/Trump
3) Fallon tousles Trump’s hair
4) Network sits on Trump sex assault story
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Jody Rosen (@jodyrosen) October 9, 2016
Shameful, shameful job, NBC.
At least you finally got it right by keeping Billy Bush off air… for now.
What do U think, Perezcious readers?!
Should they fire or suspend Bush?? Vote in our poll (below)!
[Image via FayesVision/Dennis Van Tine/Future Image/WENN.]