By Paul Farhi | Washington Post
NPR’s senior management was aware of multiple harassment complaints by women against its top newsroom executive during the past two years but took no action to remove him from his job until news reports about his conduct appeared on Tuesday.
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The public broadcasting organization formally severed ties on Wednesday with Michael Oreskes a day after The Washington Post reported that he had been accused of making inappropriate advances toward two women when he ran the New York Times’ Washington bureau nearly two decades earlier.
NPR itself reported Tuesday night that a third woman, a 26-year-old assistant producer named Rebecca Hersher, had complained to NPR’s management about a sexually oriented conversation that Oreskes initiated in October 2015.
NPR’s chief executive, Jarl Mohn, and chief legal officer, Jonathan Hart, were aware of all three allegations against Oreskes but didn’t act to remove him until Tuesday, following publication of The Post story.
Oreskes’ behavior, and organization’s response to it, has stirred a virtual rebellion in NPR’s newsroom, particularly among female employees. In a petition signed Wednesday by dozens of women, including some of its best-known hosts and correspondents, the women wrote: “We are profoundly concerned by how NPR has handled sexual harassment reports and senior management’s insufficient efforts to create a workplace environment free of harassment and one that ensures equal opportunity for all employees.”
“The in-house mood is stunned, shocked, angry,” Susan Stamberg, one of NPR’s founding journalists, said Wednesday. “We’re trying to talk it through, and figure out effective responses.”
Oreskes, 63, is the third prominent journalist to lose his job because of sexual-harassment allegations; the others were political commentator Mark Halperin and editor Leon Wieseltier. The rapid developments follow multiple accusations waged against film mogul Harvey Weinstein and former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, among others. The surge in complaints has various industries grappling with how to deal with misconduct allegations that sometimes date back …read more
Source:: East Bay – National & World