Suspended: NYT Reporter Accused Of Sexual Misconduct

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Nov 20, 2017 2:26 PM
Suspended: NYT Reporter Accused Of Sexual Misconduct

UPDATE: Thrush responds. Guy will have more on this and some sexual misconduct allegations that have hit one the nation's largest labor unions.

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It’s certainly been a nasty end to the year. A deluge of sexual misconduct, harassment, and even assault allegations has hit multiple industries. The Harvey Weinstein horror show was when the dam broke. Now, new allegations have hit Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, director Brett Ratner (Rush Hour), comedian Louis C.K., Jeffrey Tambor, hip hop mogul Russell Simmons, Mark Halperin, formerly of NBC News, Al Franken, and now The New York Times has been hit, with their star reporter, Glenn Thrush, being suspended pending an investigation on his reported sexual misconduct with young female reporters. Here’s the statement from the Times:

“The behavior attributed to Glenn in this Vox story is very concerning and not in keeping with the standards and values of The New York Times,” The Times said in a statement on Monday. “We intend to fully investigate and while we do, Glenn will be suspended.”

It all stems from a lengthy Vox story that detailed Mr. Thrush’s reported sordid history with young female journalists, despite claiming himself to be a self-identified champion of women in this business. Laura McGann wrote about a recent incident between Thrush and an unnamed young female reporter last June. McGann also detailed her encounter with Thrush, where he reportedly touched her thigh and began kissing her when she was writing for Politico:

He kept saying he’s an advocate for women and women journalists,” a 23-year-old woman told me, recounting an incident with Thrush from this past June. “That’s how he presented himself to me. He tried to make himself seem like an ally and a mentor.”

[…]

Thrush and the young woman met at her colleague’s going-away party at a bar near the Politico newsroom, she told me, and shared a few rounds of drinks in a booth. The night, she said, ended on a Washington street corner, where Thrush left her in tears after she resisted his advances.

The encounter was troubling enough to the woman that her friend Bianca Padró Ocasio, also 23 and a journalist, confronted Thrush about his behavior via text message the next day.

“I want to make sure you don’t lure young women aspiring journalists into those situations ever again,” she texted. “So help me out here. How can I do that?”

[…]

Three young women I interviewed, including the young woman who met Thrush in June, described to me a range of similar experiences, from unwanted groping and kissing to wet kisses out of nowhere to hazy sexual encounters that played out under the influence of alcohol. Each woman described feeling differently about these experiences: scared, violated, ashamed, weirded out. I was — and am — angry.

[…]

One former Politico staffer told me that she’d become worried about her reputation after an encounter with Thrush sometime in the winter of 2012-’13. The scene was, again, a Politico going-away party. She said she and Thrush spoke most of the night, until they ended up the last two of the party left in the bar. She says she’d had a lot to drink and Thrush offered her a ride home.

Her recollection of the details is fuzzy, but one way or another, he ended up in her place.

“I had alcohol blur,” she says. But Thrush was far from being the grown-up who prevented things from going too far; instead, she says, she was the one to raise objections. “I remember stopping him at one point and saying, ‘Wait, you’re married.’” After that, she says, he left almost immediately. “I remember that by the time he left, I didn’t have much clothes on.”

Vox includes more details, though some have noted the murky ethical waters about McGann reporting on Thrush’s bad behavior and her allegation against the NYT reporter. Her story starts five years ago at a Politico event, where she alleges that Thrush put his hand on his thigh and started kissing her. Granted, I see her point—Thrush reportedly told a different version of the story, which began to impact her in the newsroom. That’s an entirely separate debate and one that you can have among yourselves. The point is that allegations have been lobbed against Mr. Thrush, he’s been suspended, and it’s just another instance of the awful, possibly criminal behavior, we’ve seen from some of the nation’s most influential and powerful people.