On Monday, Vox broke an enormous story: multiple allegations of sexual harassment against star New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush. Thrush has become so well-known for his questions, as well as his beat-reporter hat, that Saturday Night Live regularly features his character in sketches:
Just weeks ago, Thrush posted a Facebook note blasting political journalist Mark Halperin over allegations of sexual misconduct against young female journalists. He stated, “Young people who come into a newsroom deserve to be taught our trade, given our support and enlisted in our calling — not betrayed by little men who believe they are bigger than the mission.”
But apparently, Thrush has a habit of going drinking with young female journalists, then attempting to kiss them — and then later telling members of the newsroom that they came onto him. In one instance, a 20-something young reporter was so upset by such an alleged incident that she told her friend, who texted with Thrush:
Three 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. Each woman described feeling differently about these experiences: scared, violated, ashamed, weirded out. I was — and am — angry.
Details of their stories suggest a pattern. All of the women were in their 20s at the time. They were relatively early in their careers compared to Thrush, who was the kind of seasoned journalist who would be good to know. At an event with alcohol, he made advances. Afterward, they (as I did) thought it best to stay on good terms with Thrush, whatever their feelings.
The writer of the story, Laura McGann, says that five years ago, Thrush “slid into my side of the booth, blocking me in. I was wearing a skirt, and he put his hand on my thigh. He started kissing me. I pulled myself together and got out of there, shoving him on my way out.”
McGann says that Thrush then told the entire newsroom that McGann had come onto him, not the other way around. McGann told her seniors at Politico, who apparently did nothing.
McGann’s friend — the one who says that Thrush kissed her against her will — later received an email from Thrush stating, “Nice meeting you! (And apologies?).” She responded “It was nice meeting you too! (And no worries haha).” She then met Thrush later, and worked with him, claiming that “she has to stay on good terms with him since he is connected.”
Thrush now says he doesn’t drink anymore, and that he has “done things that I am ashamed of, actions that have brought great hurt to my friends and family…I am working hard to repair the damage I have done.”
The New York Times has now suspended Thrush.