NYT Will Not Fire Thrush Despite Sexual Misconduct Claims, Remove Him from White House Beat

Late Wednesday afternoon, The New York Times decided that it would not fire Glenn Thrush following an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct, citing “dozens of interviews with people both inside and outside the newsroom” and that Thrush will seek workplace “training” to supplement his “counseling and substance abuse rehabilitation.”

The befuddling decision by executive editor Dean Baquet came exactly one month after Vox.com detailed disturbing claims of sexual misbehavior by Thrush from his tenure at Politico. The paper suspended Thrush that same day while MSNBC took him off the airwaves (where he’s a political analyst).

Baquet announced in a memo that Thrush will remain at The Times despite losing his title as one of the paper’s White House correspondents and moved to “a new beat upon his return.” In other words, Al Franken should consider sending his resume over when he leaves the Senate on January 2. Who knows, maybe Charlie Rose should do that too.

“We have completed our investigation into Glenn Thrush’s behavior, which included dozens of interviews with people both inside and outside the newsroom. We found that Glenn has behaved in ways that we do not condone,” Baquet began.

He ruled that The Times has concluded that Thrush “acted offensively” yet “we have decided that he does not deserve to be fired” but “suspended...for two months and removed...from the White House beat.”

In addition, Thrush “will receive training designed to improve his workplace conduct” to go along with “counseling and substance abuse rehabilitation on his own.” 

Baquet addressed those concerned about this decision by stating “that our colleagues and the public at large are grappling with what constitutes sexually offensive behavior in the workplace and what consequences are appropriate.”
                        
Therefore, the newspaper executive ruled that “[i]t is an important debate with far-reaching consequences that we helped spark with our journalism and that we’ve been reflecting on internally as well” even though “[e]ach case has to be evaluated based on individual circumstances.”

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Here’s the transcript of The New York Times statement from December 20, 2017:

We have completed our investigation into Glenn Thrush’s behavior, which included dozens of interviews with people both inside and outside the newsroom. We found that Glenn has behaved in ways that we do not condone.

While we believe that Glenn has acted offensively, we have decided that he does not deserve to be fired. Instead, we have suspended him for two months and removed him from the White House beat. He will receive training designed to improve his workplace conduct. In addition, Glenn is undergoing counseling and substance abuse rehabilitation on his own. We will reinstate him as a reporter on a new beat upon his return. 

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. It is an important debate with far-reaching consequences that we helped spark with our journalism and that we’ve been reflecting on internally as well.

Each case has to be evaluated based on individual circumstances. We believe this is an appropriate response to Glenn’s situation.

The Times is committed not only to our leading coverage of this issue but also to ensuring that we provide a working environment where all of our colleagues feel respected, safe and supported.

— Dean Baquet


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CyberAlerts New York Times Glenn Thrush Dean Baquet
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