Like most outlets Wednesday morning, NPR is top storying headlines that Matt Lauer has been fired by NBC News over sexual harassment allegations. However, NPR is facing another sexual assault case of its own.
"David Sweeney is no longer on staff," acting senior president of news Chris Turpin has told his staff. Sweeney, NPR's chief news editor, was let go after a string of sexual misconduct claims.
As NPR has previously reported, one former NPR producer said that Sweeney unexpectedly kissed her in an encounter in 2002 while they were in a car on loan for a story. In 2007, an NPR journalist said that Sweeney attempted to kiss her when they went out for drinks to discuss her career. The two journalists spoke on condition they not be named.
A third journalist, NPR editor Lauren Hodges, said that Sweeney repeatedly made her the recipient of unwanted attention and unsolicited gifts while he was her supervisor in a way that made her deeply uncomfortable.
This is the second instance in recent weeks that NPR has had to part with an employee over sexual misconduct. It's also the reason the outlet now has an "acting" senior president of news.
National Public Radio's former news chief Michael Oreskes was fired earlier this month after two women came forward claiming he harassed them when he was Washington bureau chief at The New York Times in the 1990s. Separate complaints were filed in 2015, but Oreskes was kept on for two more years.
The firings of both Oreskes and Sweeney are hopefully going to empower any other victims of assault, NPR editor Lauren Hodges stressed.
"I hope it provides a loud, clear message to anyone struggling with harassment...and more importantly, to those who think they can get away with it," she wrote.