A month after suspending White House reporter Glenn Thrush over sexual harassment accusations, the New York Times announced today that Thrush — a prominent political reporter for the outlet — would be reinstated at the end of January, though he would be taken off the White House beat and reassigned elsewhere. That is to say: Glenn Thrush will be removed from one group of reporters he has harassed, and reassigned to a new group of reporters that he hasn’t yet harassed.
In announcing the decision, executive editor Dean Baquet did not dispute the accusations against Thrush, as first reported by Vox in November. Nor did Mr. Baquet call into question the credibility of the accusers. He simply said that what Thrush was accused of did not rise to the level of a termination-worthy offense.
“While we believe that Glenn has acted offensively, we have decided that he does not deserve to be fired,” Mr. Baquet said.
Mr. Baquet also said Mr. Thrush was undergoing counseling and substance abuse rehabilitation on his own and that he would receive training “to improve his workplace conduct.”
“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,” Mr. Baquet added. “Each case has to be evaluated based on individual circumstances. We believe this is an appropriate response to Glenn’s situation.”
In case you need your memories refreshed, Glenn Thrush was accused of repeatedly groping and kissing women against their wishes. He had sexual encounters with subordinates. He frequently made younger women with whom he worked uncomfortable, and while he often emailed apologies the next morning, he also spread rumors among his colleagues that his accusers had approached him. In other words, he gaslit a number of younger reporters.
The source said that Thrush frequently told versions of this story with different young women as the subject. He would talk up a night out drinking with a young attractive woman, usually a journalist. Then he’d claim that she came onto him. In his version of these stories, Thrush was the responsible grown-up who made sure nothing happened.
This is also worth noting:
The NY Times has the god damn gall to publish pieces about why Al Franken should resign whilst at the same time giving Glenn Thrush a pass 😡— Pᴀᴛʀɪᴄᴋ Kᴀʀʟssᴏɴ ⛈ (@Patrickesque) December 20, 2017
“Glenn Thrush” pic.twitter.com/7vBHRpOI10
I liked Glenn Thrush’s reporting. I liked his Twitter presence. He was very good at his job. A two-month suspension, however, is inadequate for what he is accused of. Look: We would — and have — fired people for less, and we are a site with a made-up name that sounds like vagina (if you have a cold). This is the New York goddamn Times we’re talking about here. They should be setting the bar, and this sends a very bad message: That men who are portrayed by Bobby Moynihan on Saturday Night Live can harass women and spread rumors about them for prolonged periods of time and the only thing they will suffer is a two-month suspension and a reassignment. If we are going to hold our politicians to high standards — and we should — we should hold those who cover them to the same standards. The Fourth Estate cannot hold the fire to the feet of those in power if it doesn’t hold the same flame beneath its own feet. If we start backsliding with Glenn Thrush, more and more men will receive little more than slaps on a wrist, and we’ll be right back where we were a few months ago: With women afraid to speak out out of fear of retaliation, out of fear of being ignored, and out of fear that they would have to continue working with their harassers.