It turns out the New York Times won’t be parting with White House correspondent Glenn Thrush after all. After an internal investigation, the Times has decided to suspend Thrush until late January and then bring the reporter back to a different beat, away from the White House.
The Times’ conclusion, which was announced on Wednesday, comes after staff began an investigation in the fall led by Times newsroom lawyer Charlotte Behrendt. The publication interviewed over 30 people between Washington, D.C., and New York, gathering information on Thrush’s behavior toward female journalists. Executive Editor Dean Baquet and a “group of top editors” then discussed the results and reached a conclusion for the reporter’s future.
“While we believe that Glenn has acted offensively, we have decided that he does not deserve to be fired,” Baquet said in an official statement from the Times. “Each case has to be evaluated based on individual circumstances. We believe this is an appropriate response to Glenn’s situation.”
The New York Times Statement on Glenn Thrush pic.twitter.com/23oQUE8srR— NYTimes Communications (@NYTimesPR) December 20, 2017
The New York Times originally began investigating Thrush after receiving word about Laura McGann’s piece for Vox, which alleges Thrush sexually harassed multiple female journalists. In McGann’s piece, she spoke to several young women who had invasive encounters with Thrush, who each claim that the Times reporter nonconsensually groped, kissed, or pressured them into sex.
In one case, McGann referenced several text messages from former Politico journalist Bianca Padró Ocasio, in which she confronted Thrush over his behavior toward an anonymous female journalist.
“I want to make sure you don’t lure young aspiring women journalists into those situations ever again,” Ocasio told Thrush, according to Vox. “So help me out here. How can I do that?”
“I don’t lure anybody ever,” Thrush responded. “I got drunk because I got some shitty health news.”
McGann herself opened up about her experiences with Thrush, who cornered her in a bar booth and started kissing her without consent. She ultimately had to shove him to leave, and in the aftermath, McGann said Thrush spread rumors about her while working at Politico.
“It wasn’t that Thrush was offering young women a quid pro quo deal, such as sex in exchange for mentorship,” McGann said in her piece. “Thrush, just by his stature, put women in a position of feeling they had to suck up and move on from an uncomfortable encounter.”
While Thrush won’t lose his job, he joins a long list of journalists who have faced disciplinary measures over sexual misconduct. That includes CBS and PBS’ Charlie Rose as well as former Today anchor Matt Lauer, who were both fired by their employers over the allegations.