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New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush accused of unwanted groping and kissing

by Rex Santus
Nov 20 2017, 1:17pm

The New York Times has suspended one of its most prominent reporters, Glenn Thrush, after he was accused of sexually inappropriate behavior in an article from Vox.

“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,” the Times said in a statement published on its website. “We intend to fully investigate, and while we do, Glenn will be suspended.”

Vox published screenshots from a text conversation between Thrush, a former Politico reporter hired by the Times in January to cover President Donald Trump, and Bianca Padró Ocasio, a 23-year-old journalist.

Padró Ocasio confronted Thrush about his behavior with a friend of hers, also 23, at at a colleague’s going-away party at a bar near the Politico newsroom. Padró Ocasio’s friend said the night ended after she resisted Thrush’s advances.

“I want to make sure you don’t lure young women aspiring journalists into those situations ever again,” she texted. “So help me out here. How can I do that?”

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Thrush has positioned himself as an advocate of women in journalism, and he used this as a defense in his response to this text message.

“I don’t lure anybody ever,” Thrush wrote back Padró Ocasio, according to the screenshots. “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.”

The writer of the Vox piece, Laura McGann, goes on to accuse Thrush of sexually inappropriate behavior.

“If Thrush is acutely aware of what young women face in the business of political journalism, he should also know it’s because he himself is one of the problems women face,” McGann wrote for Vox. “Five years ago, when Thrush and I were colleagues at Politico, I was in the same bar as Padró Ocasio’s friend — perhaps the same booth — when he caught me off-guard, put his hand on my thigh, and suddenly started kissing me. Thrush says that he recalls the incident differently.”

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More women — all in their 20s at the times of the alleged encounters — accuse Thrush of unwanted groping, kissing, and “hazy” sexual encounters. There’s also a “whisper network” in Washington, D.C., of warnings about Thrush, according to Vox.

Since early October, when the New York Times published a bombshell investigation about Harvey Weinstein’s alleged history of abuse, harassment, and rape, more and more men have faced accusations of sexual misconduct.

Powerful men in media are no exception: Michael Oreskes, the top editor at NPR, resigned earlier this month after allegations that he had harassed multiple women during his tenure as Washington, D.C., bureau chief of the New York Times.

VICE was the subject of a piece by The Daily Beast that detailed alleged behavior by former Los Angeles Bureau Chief Kaj Larsen and former VICE News Editor-in-Chief Jason Mojica.

Vox Media, parent of Vox, fired Editorial Director Lockhart Steele in October after a former employee made harassment allegations against him.