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New York Times star White House reporter Glenn Thrush. Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The New York Times has suspended one of its most high-profile reporters, White House Correspondent Glenn Thrush, after several women accused him of sexually inappropriate behavior in a Vox report.

Why it matters: Thrush is the latest in a string of powerful men in media to be accused. Several Washington reporters told Vox they were disappointed by the news, as Thrush has repeatedly presented himself as an advocate for women journalists.

The allegations:

  • A 23-year-old woman who works at Politico, where Thrush worked before joining NYT, said she and Thrush had a few drinks at a colleague's work party in June. At the end of the night, she says she was left on a street corner in tears after she resisted Thrush's sexual advances. The woman's friend Bianca Padró Ocasio, also a reporter, confronted Thrush about his behavior the next day. She told him in a text message: "I want to make sure you don't lure young women aspiring journalists into those situations ever again. So help me out here. How can I do that?"
  • Laura McGann, a journalist at Vox and author of this report, recounted a similar story from five years ago, when she and Thrush were colleagues at Politico. McGann said Thrush was in the same bar as Padró Ocasio's friend when "he caught me off guard, put his hand on my thigh, and suddenly started kissing me." Thrush said he remembers the encounter differently (statement below).
  • Two other young women told McGann about other similar experiences, ranging from unwanted groping and kisses to "hazy sexual encounters" after consuming alcohol. They described having felt a mix of emotions: "scared, violated, ashamed, weirded out." McGann said she felt, and still feels, angry.

Statement from the NYT:

"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. We intend to fully investigate and while we do, Glenn will be suspended."

The Times also said Thrush told them that he plans to check into a substance abuse program.

Statement from Glenn Thrush:

"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 disrespected or uncomfortable is unacceptable. My recollection of my interactions with Laura differs greatly from hers – the encounter was consensual, brief, and ended by me. She was an editor above me at the time and I did not disparage her to colleagues at POLITICO as she claims. The assertion that I would rate women based on their appearance is also false.
"I have never offered mentorship or reporting advice to anyone, man or woman, with an expectation of anything in return. To assert otherwise is false. The June incident related in the story was a life-changing event. The woman involved was upset by my actions and for that I am deeply sorry. Over the past several years, I have responded to a succession of personal and health crises by drinking heavily. During that period, I have done things that I am ashamed of, actions that have brought great hurt to my family and friends.
"I have not taken a drink since June 15, 2017, have resumed counseling and will soon begin out-patient treatment for alcoholism. I am working hard to repair the damage I have done."

Full disclosure: The founders of Axios were at Politico for portions of Thrush's tenure there. Axios CEO Jim VandeHei, the former CEO of Politico, said the allegations are serious and troubling and wishes he had been aware of the behavior at the time. "We would have been intolerant of it," he said.

Go deeper

UNC race conscious admissions process upheld by judge

Students walk through the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Aug. 18, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill can continue its race conscious admissions process, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

Why it matters: The case could end up in the Supreme Court after the conservative nonprofit Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) vowed to appeal the judge's ruling that UNC didn't discriminate against against white and Asian American applicants in its policy that it said was designed to increase diversity.

SEC debunks conspiracy theories about meme stock mania

Photo: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The SEC issued its long-awaited report on the meme stock mania, which downplayed the narrative that a "short squeeze" was the primary driver behind GameStop's historic stock moves — and shot down conspiracy theories about the event.

Why it matters: The postmortem was highly anticipated, largely because of what it could hint about what the regulator thinks should be done in wake of the saga. But the report stopped short of specific policy recommendations.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Breaking Biden's diplomatic logjam

Expand chart
Data: Center for Presidential Transition via Congress.gov; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The logjam for reviewing and confirming President Biden's ambassadorial picks is finally starting to break.

Why it matters: Biden is far behind his predecessors in the rate at which his ambassadorial picks have been confirmed. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a series of high-profile hearings and votes this week to finally begin chipping away at the backlog.