A well-established trajectory of witch hunts is that eventually, the purge will turn in on itself. Regarding the left’s efforts to upend perceived power structures through the redefining of men (as a group) as sexual predators, the left is finding that the sights on the identity politics cannon have been trained back on them. After the New York Times announced that embattled White House reporter Glenn Thrush would be keeping his job after his suspension in the wake of sexual harassment allegations, reports began to emerge that the women employed by the newspaper are expressing their concern for how the Gray Lady treats members of the fairer sex.
On November 20, Vox published an article by the website’s editorial director, Laura McGann, reporting claims that Thrush preyed on women working in political journalism. The bombshell of the article was McGann relating her own uncomfortable encounter with Thrush. McGann wrote that he “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.”
Almost immediately after McGann’s story broke, the New York Times suspended Thrush and began conducting an investigation. A month later, the Times reported that Thrush would be returning to work, but with a different assignment. In a statement, the Times’ lawyer, Charlotte Behrendt, said, “While we believe that Glenn has acted offensively, we have decided that he does not deserve to be fired.”
Reporting on the NYT’s in-house fallout, HuffPost says,”The announcement set off a wave of indignation among Times observers, who thought it sent a message that the paper condones sexual misconduct and isn’t concerned about the safety of its female employees. But among the female Times employees who spoke to HuffPost, the takeaway was less about the dangers of sexual misbehavior and more about who actually matters at the paper.”
“We’re not really sure what the message is here,” one woman told HuffPost. “I feel really conflicted.”
According to HuffPost, another woman lamented that “while the Times took careful steps to nurture and protect its star male reporter, there were loads of women struggling to get help with flat-lining careers inside the newsroom. For her, the Thrush decision was another painful reminder of how the Times is failing its female reporters.”
In an internal survey, the Times has discovered that many of its female employees feel undervalued and unsure of how to advance their careers.
For its report, HuffPost interviewed several female Times employees. One subject asked, “‘Are women welcome here?… Is anything going to change? Should I be looking somewhere else? I don’t know. Those are definitely questions that I’m asking myself.”
Many of the women interviewed for the HuffPost piece concede that they do not believe that Thrush deserves to be fired. Their belief that the Times appropriately handled the matter is not their concern, though. They have bigger fish to fry and are beginning to ratchet up their objective of crowning the ideology of identity politics as the ruling ideology of all.
Whether Thrush deserved to be fired or not is almost irrelevant at this point. Men who sexually harass and/or abuse women deserve to be fired. Likewise, women who sexually harass and/or abuse men deserve to be fired, too. How sexual harassment is defined is another sticking point. However, the game plan was never really about justice. It was about remaking the world in the image of progressivism. The New York Times is beginning to find that out the hard way.