Glenn Thrush, the star New York Times White House reporter who was suspended from his job over sexual harassment, is returning to work after a two month suspension. But now he’s on a new beat—covering the social safety net, with an emphasis on the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Health and Human Services.
Thrush was originally taken off his White House beat after Vox’s Laura McGann published a story that detailed numerous allegations of sexual harassment against him, which instigated an internal investigation by the Times. McGann reported that a number of young women—herself included—had experienced incidents with Thrush that included “unwanted groping and kissing.”
The Times decided that Thrush did not deserve to be fired, with executive editor Dean Baquet announcing in a statement that “instead, we have suspended him for two months and removed him from the White House beat.” (The Times declined to outline how it would protect women at the company from Thrush or how they would tackle sexual harassment more broadly at the paper.)
Thrush’s reassignment is widely seen as a demotion. So what’s telling here is that the Times considers covering essential government services for the poor of lesser importance than covering the White House. And perhaps even more insulting is the fact that social safety net issues—including housing and healthcare—are areas that heavily affect women.