The liberal-leaning The New York Times found itself in the middle of a controversy that runs contrary to the “democratic “values it holds dear. The paper became entangled in the wave of sexual harassment allegations when one of its top White House reporters, Glenn Thrush, was accused of committing years of sexual harassment and groping on Monday.
A story came out on Monday on Vox where the author Laura McGann claims that Thrush made unwanted advances on her. The piece also discussed four other women who described “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.”
McGann wrote that she had once gone out for drinks with Thrush at a bar near their office after their work in Politico before. She said that Thrush then asked another female reporter to leave, after which he tried to box her into a booth, and tried to kiss her. McGann said she resisted his advances and left the bar.
The other women Thrush worked with also claimed he would “lure” them into boozy situations under the guise of work events, and would also try to kiss or grope them.
What was worse and even more disgusting for McGann was the fact that Thrush even tried to turn the tables on her as he tried to tell male colleagues the next day that it was her who came on to him, and that he rebuffed her. Such lies, McGann said, triggered her male colleagues to look at her differently.
Thrush, 50, is married. He is also quite known for breaking “deeply reported stories” on the Trump White House. Before the controversy broke out, he was also working on a much-hyped book about Trump with his colleague Maggie Haberman.
Thrush denied the allegations of McGann, claiming that their encounter was “consensual, brief, and ended by me.” He also said he did not badmouth her to their colleagues. He added: “I did not disparage her to colleagues at Politico as she claims.”
Thrush was also accused of groping and trying to kiss yet another former young Politico reporter in June during a long walk after having some drinks at a bar. It is said that Thrush left the young reporter alone, crying, as she waited for her Uber ride. Thrush even wrote the girl the following day with the message, “Nice meeting you! (And apologies?).”
In a statement, The New York Times reporter said: “I apologize to any woman who felt uncomfortable in my presence, and for any situation where I behaved inappropriately. Any behavior that makes a woman feel disrespect or uncomfortable is unacceptable.”
Thrush also said he stopped drinking in June and shared that he planned to enter a substance abuse program.
For its part, The New York Times through its spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said in a statement to Vox that: “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 paper said they will initiate an investigation into the allegations, and while they do so, Thrush will be suspended. They also support his decision to enter a substance abuse program.