News and Commentary

New York Times WON’T Fire Reporter Accused Of Sexual Misconduct

New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush, who was suspended from his White House post last month after the paper received word that he’d been accused of inappropriate behavior toward several young female journalists, will remain on staff but won’t return to covering the president.

Instead, Thrush will get credit for time served, and finish out a two-month suspension. He’ll receive “training designed to improve his workplace conduct,” and be assigned to a new beat.

In a memo to staff, NYT executive editor Dean Baquet explained the decision to keep Thrush on despite his objectionable behavior, saying that while Thrush “behaved in ways that we do not condone” and “acted offensively,” he did not deserve to be fired from his post.

Thrush himself said that he will be receiving treatment for an unidentified “substance abuse” problem.

Vox Media reported the allegations against Thrush last month after speaking with several women who said they approached Thrush for career advice and, occasionally, for help finding jobs in journalism. At least four women claimed that Thrush took advantage of their situation.

But The New York Times appears to have considered that Thrush “acted recklessly” outside the walls of his newsroom, both at the Times and, before that, at Politico. After reportedly interviewing “dozens of staffers” about their thoughts and experiences, the NYT powers-that-be decided Thrush had been punished enough.

“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,” Baquet said in his memo. “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.”