The same newspaper that continues to pat itself on the back for exposing the serial sexual abuses of powerful men decided on Wednesday to let a star reporter accused of sexual misconduct off the hook.
Glenn Thrush, a political journalist at The New York Times, will keep his job, but will be removed from the team of six reporters covering the White House—he will also remain suspended until January.
In November, Vox’s Laura McGann published a detailed account of Thrush’s habitual predatory behavior towards younger, female, journalists. McGann spoke to several women who described Thrush’s unwanted advances and “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.”
McGann alleged she was also harassed by Thrush when they were colleagues at Politco. “He caught me off guard, put his hand on my thigh, and suddenly started kissing me,” McGann wrote.
Thrush was immediately suspended following the publication of McGann’s story—an investigation into the story’s claims created “something of a schism” amongst staffers at the Times, according to Vanity Fair’s Joe Pompeo. Staffers in the Times’ New York bureau saw Thrush’s firing a necessity if the paper hoped to continue “lead[ing] the charge in covering the reckoning that has entangled him.”
Staffers in the DC bureau, where Thrush is based, felt differently:
The Vox piece, the logic went, castigated Thrush for “bad judgment around young women journalists,” but did not make any allegations regarding sexual harassment, sexually motivated quid pro quo, sexual assault, or predation. (If any such charges were to come up in the Times probe, many suggested, he would obviously lose his goodwill.)
Luckily for Thrush, the latter logic seems to have prevailed. Following an internal investigation in which 30 staffers were interviewed, the Times’ executive editor Dean Baquet concluded that Thrush’s behavior was “offensive” but “he does not deserve to be fired.”
“We understand that our colleagues and the public at large are grappling with what constitutes sexually offensive behavior in the workplace and what consequences are appropriate,” Baquet added. “Each case has to be evaluated based on individual circumstances. We believe this is an appropriate response to Glenn’s situation.”
Congratulations to the nation’s newspaper of note for leading by example!!