The New York Times said this morning that it has suspended a star reporter in its Washington bureau in the wake of published allegations that he had sexually harassed younger female colleagues. The Times also said the reporter, Glenn Thrush, would enter a substance abuse program, with the paper’s support. The moves come in the wake of a report on Vox detailing a history of inappropriate behavior, typically connected to meetings in bars, initiated by the correspondent, hired away from Politico in January to cover the Trump Administration, and women reporters.
Thrush is the second New York Times-related journalist in recent weeks to have been accused of sexual harassment. Michael Oreskes, a former Times Washington bureau chief, recently was forced out of the top news job at National Pubic Radio following allegations of harassment that dated back to his tenure at the paper.
The Vox story, by Laura McGann, quoted an unnamed female journalist who claimed that an encounter in June with Thrush at a bar and, later, on the street, “ended on a Washington street corner, where Thrush left her in tears after she resisted his advances.”
McGann said another colleague, in whom the reporter had confided, confronted Thrush via email about the incident. “I don’t lure anybody ever,” he wrote, according to screenshots provided by the colleague, Padró Ocasio. “I got drunk because I got some shitty health news. And I am acutely aware of the hurdles that young women face in this business and have spent the better part of 20 years advocating for women journalists.”
Indeed, Thrush had recently posted a message in support of the victims of harassment: “Young people who come into a newsroom deserve to be taught our trade, given our support and enlisted in our calling,” Thrush wrote on Facebook, “not betrayed by little men who believe they are bigger than the mission.”
Thrush has been a frequent page one byline and has a book contract with his Times fellow Trump reporter and star Maggie Haberman. McGann reported that “[t]hree 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.”
In its own report on the Thrush suspension, the Times said, “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. We intend to fully investigate and while we do, Glenn will be suspended.”
The Times added that Thrush’s byline “has been among the most recognizable at this year at The Times, where he was one of six reporters covering the White House and President Trump full time. He was writing a book for Random House about Mr. Trump with Maggie Haberman, another White House reporter for The Times and a former colleague of his at Politico.
“Thrush became so well-known,” the paper couldn’t resist adding, “that he was portrayed several times on Saturday Night Live as a foil to [Melissa McCarthy’s Emmy-winning portrayal of former White House press secretary] Sean Spicer.” Thrush was played by Bobby Moynihan.