Top NPR Editor Facing Sexual Harassment Allegations from Two Women

NPR senior vice president of news and editorial director Michael Oreskes is facing accusations of sexual harassment.

A new report from The Washington Post this afternoon reveals that NPR is investigating allegations from two women against Oreskes.

The allegations are from when Oreskes was the New York Times Washington bureau chief:

In separate complaints, the women said Oreskes — at the time, the Washington bureau chief of the New York Times — abruptly kissed them while they were speaking with him about working at the newspaper. Both of them told similar stories: After meeting Oreskes and discussing their job prospects, they said he unexpectedly kissed them on the lips and stuck his tongue in their mouths…

The women spoke with NPR’s attorney in charge of labor and employment matters in mid-October. She sent the women emails acknowledging that the news organization was looking into the information they provided.

Former Times editor Jill Abramson spoke to the Post about an incident she witnessed at the time:

Abramson… said in an interview that she regretted not confronting Oreskes about his behavior.

“If I had to do it again, I would have told him to knock it off,” said Abramson, co-author of a book about the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill harassment case. “I think I should have raised this with [the Times’ human resources department]. . . . Maybe confronting him would have somehow stopped him from doing it to another woman.”

Abramson said she hesitated in part because the young woman didn’t want to raise the issue but did want Oreskes’s alleged behavior to stop. But Abramson said: “I don’t really feel it was in a gray area in retrospect. I should have stopped him.”

NPR told the Post in a statement, “We take these kinds of allegations very seriously. If a concern is raised, we review the matter promptly and take appropriate steps as warranted to assure a safe, comfortable and productive work environment. As a matter of policy, we do not comment about personnel matters.”

UPDATE –– 7:22 pm ET: NPR has now placed Oreskes on leave, per NPR’s David Folkenflik:

[image via screengrab]

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