Washington Post Editor Marty Baron Accused of Covering Up Sexual Harassment

Is the #MeToo movement dead? Mostly. But it occasionally shows twitches off life. Especially in the media. Most accounts have been settled. The worst offenders are gone. Others were quietly allowed to come back and resume positions of respectability. 

Stories like these though delve into the question of which media outlets were willing to run what stories about fellow press members?

In the hot seat is Marty Baron, the celeb editor who has overseen the destruction of the Washington Post's credibility in pursuit of ideological agendas. Here's what happened when a Washington Post story on sexual harassment at CBS News landed on his desk.

That afternoon, only one person from CBS got on the phone with us. We’d heard that 60 Minutes producer Ira Rosen had for weeks been calling Postreporters he’d previously worked with, demanding to know what we were doing. Amy told him now that three former junior producers had told us he made them uncomfortable by suggesting they flirt with sources and dangle sex for information or to twirl in front of him. One was Nosheen, whose complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had led to an inconclusive result that gave her the right to sue.

Rosen seemed unnerved by Amy, whose southern politesse can quickly give way to relentlessness. “You sound like you’re ready to argue with me, but you’re not ready to listen to me,” he said. He offered to show us emails and documents that Amy told him we’d already seen. Frustrated, he hung up — and called Marty Baron...

Now Baron was furious: about the 24-hour deadline we’d given our subjects, about Rosen telling him, falsely, that Amy had refused to look at documents. I looked helplessly at Wallsten and Barr, who’d authorized the 24-hour deadline, but in Baron’s presence they hunched and murmured that, indeed, they shouldn’t have authorized us to ask our subjects to respond so quickly...

Rosen had told Baron that Nosheen was a disgruntled “crazy person” (though the evidence he offered quickly fell apart) and that he should be “paranoid” about our story — and to our shock, it seemed to have worked. We’d been carefully reporting for weeks and had spent hours vetting each claim and hours more working on our draft with a series of editors.

60 Minutes people, including Lesley Stahl, apparently joined the cover-up.

The calls from 60 Minutes kept coming. We knew Fager had contacted Baron back in December because Baron told us. But in the days that followed, at least two senior women on the show called Baron to say that Fager was being falsely accused and to express anger at the characterization of 60 Minutes as a hostile environment for women. One, who has already made her feelings on the subject publicly known, was Lesley Stahl. Both refused to speak to Amy and me directly.


Later, we were summoned to find out what Baron had said. He’d balked at the claim of a hostile environment for women at 60 Minutes...


I reminded the editors that we’d been told many times by sources that our story would never run, that Fager was too powerful. I’d assured more than one woman that that’s not how things work at the Post. That she should remember Baron’s reputation, that she should watch Spotlight. No one responded.


After weeks of additional reporting, Wallsten and his fellow editors, with Baron’s backing, unanimously decided to strip the Fager allegations from the article.

The gutted story, which barely mentioned the most powerful executive we’d been reporting on, ran on May 3.

The writers blame sexism. But the Post had no problem going with sexual harassment allegations against Republicans. Baron just had a problem hurting another "legend" in his own business.


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