In October, New York Times White House correspondent Glenn Thrush made an impassioned Facebook post, in the throes of accusations against ace political journalist Glenn Thrush. The post was written in response to political journalist Mark Halperin's admission of significant sexual transgressions. Thrush wrote: “Young people who come into a newsroom deserve to be taught our trade, given our support and enlisted in our calling — not betrayed by little men who believe they are bigger than the mission.”
Vox writer Laura McGann reports that journalist insiders found Thrush's comments ironic, given his own reputation with young women, including her.
Recounting an encounter with a young Politico reporter and Thrush, 50, her friend Bianca Padro Ocasio, also 23 and a journalist launched a text conversation the next day with Thrush.
“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?”
“I don’t lure anybody ever,” Thrush wrote back, according to screenshots provided by Padró Ocasio. “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.”
Now Laura McGrann lowers the boom, citing her own experience with Glenn Thrush:
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. 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.
Three young women I interviewed, including the young woman who met Thrush in June, described to me 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. Each woman described feeling differently about these experiences: scared, violated, ashamed, weirded out. I was — and am — angry.
When just sitting at a bar with a powerful man comes at a price.
Laura McGann's article about Glenn Thrush is a must-read. She had her own experience with him and after talking to over 40 people, including four other sexually harassed by Thrush women, she moves out into a high-level overview of the price of dealing with powerful men.
McGann says that Thrush turned the tables on her after she rebuffed him when she was a writer at Politico. Her experience is one I know well. It's another #metoo moment in which I rebuffed someone and was happy to keep the issue between the two of us. I told know no one. McGann writes that Thrush huddled with the men at Politico and told them that she had made a play for him, but was rebuffed. She noticed that the men began treating her differently and even snickering at her. I had that exact experience, too.
If you don't know the feeling of public shaming, it's a terrible experience -- although never as bad as the moment the priest gave communion to my rapist, but not me. I had never felt so humiliated in my life. Although we had come from separate sides of the church, providence put us side-by-side at the communion rail. I should have stepped back in line, but didn't want to call attention to myself in such a small town.
So read this piece, because McGann moves out into Weinstein and other powerful men. She makes Thrush's influence to be even greater than I understood. He has been suspended from the NYTimes and has entered treatment. ~ Anne