Washington Examiner Editor Quits Above ‘Abusive’ Workplace

Washington Examiner Editor Quits Over 'Abusive' Workplace

A senior editor quit the Washington Examiner this thirty day period immediately after accusing management of failing to handle problems of sexual harassment and a toxic place of work ecosystem, dealing yet another blow to the conservative outlet’s beleaguered editorial staff members.

In a scathing resignation letter acquired by Mediaite, the editor accused management of enabling a local weather of bullying and harassment from the outlet’s previous managing editor, Toby Harnden, and disregarding instances of “abusive behavior” in the place of work.

Harnden was out at the Examiner final thirty day period following a colleague — who was himself fired immediately after sharing a lewd video clip with employees — sent management screenshots and recordings of Harnden evidently generating sexist and homophobic comments.

Whilst Examiner editor in main Hugo Gurdon claimed to have no knowledge of harassment allegations in opposition to Harnden, a single supply with awareness of the scenario alleged to Mediaite that Gurdon “protected” and “enabled” the handling editor. This source explained Harnden — like Gurdon, a British journalist who slash his teeth on Fleet Avenue — would “constantly” trash gals, as effectively as trans and homosexual individuals. They said he would mock American journalists and disparage the Irish in ways workforce found offensive.

Gurdon was perfectly knowledgeable of the verbal abuse, the supply claimed.

“There’s a typical feeling amongst employees that it is been an abusive setting,” they explained. “Toby got caught.”

Harnden denied the allegations in a assertion to Mediaite: “At the Washington Examiner, I hired, promoted, and labored productively with persons from just about every qualifications and wander of daily life. I am very pleased of the results we attained jointly. I have under no circumstances sexually harassed or discriminated versus any individual or group of people.”

Following Harnden’s exit, the editor who not long ago give up sent an email to executives, which includes editor in chief Gurdon, accusing Harnden of making “a weather of nonstop workplace terror and bullying.”

In response to that memo, as nicely as the allegations in opposition to Harnden, Gurdon promised personnel an interior investigation, done by a third bash enlisted by the Examiner’s mother or father corporation, which is based mostly in Denver.

That investigation, in accordance to the editor who stop, never materialized. In the resignation letter, the editor wrote that immediately after they 1st complained, Gurdon “acted shocked” and claimed to have known nothing of what they claimed was Harnden’s “psychological abuse and sexual harassment of me and my coworkers.”

And following CNN noted that Gurdon was promising a probe, the editor wrote that “no just one on staff has read something about an inner investigation.”

Soon after the editor’s resignation in early March, the probe that Gurdon experienced promised began. One supply at the Examiner discussed that Ryan McKibben, an executive at the Examiner’s mum or dad firm, informed personnel the investigation took longer to initiate because of the trouble in locating the ideal regulation business.

Yet another source reported the firm conducting the investigation is not speaking to former employees, boosting questions about how probing the investigation genuinely is.

The editor who stop alleged in the resignation letter that Harnden “frequently produced sexually disparaging comments” about woman staffers. In one episode, when the editor explained to Harnden remarks he experienced manufactured could consequence in a sexual harassment claim in opposition to the Examiner, he allegedly replied: “Oh fuck off.”

The editor also disclosed one more episode that pushed them to give up: an “appalling graphic” that ran alongside a story by Examiner writer Eddie Scarry (disclosure: Scarry earlier wrote for Mediaite). The graphic, illustrating a so-known as “privilege pyramid” (rape victims, transsexuals and refugees ended up revealed at the leading) had sparked outrage on social media. It was eradicated from the online iteration of the tale, but remained a stain on the magazine’s print issues.

Who realized that staying a
set us at just about the top rated of the privilege pyramid? pic.twitter.com/xyGp1AbYx3

— Liz Lilly X⌬X⌬ (@GuildingLilly) February 25, 2020

“At the best of the pyramid is rape victims, not people who falsely claim rape, but rape victims,” the editor wrote in their resignation letter. “Women in the business office who observed this graphic broke down in tears, as did other sexual assault survivors who contacted me in outrage.”

“Management knew that the privilege pyramid graphic was appalling and demeaning and released anyway,” they wrote.

An additional previous Examiner staff who still left the outlet in part mainly because of the unhealthy office culture explained to Mediaite the illustration was a “tip of the iceberg moment” for them.

Staffers in both the news section and commentary facet, the place Scarry performs, were being “disturbed” by the graphic and management’s handling of it, the ex-staff said. Meanwhile, even though Scarry experienced not illustrated the graphic, he “doubled down” and mocked individuals who took concern with it on Twitter, though Gurdon did practically nothing to rein him in.

“I loved that illustration,” Scarry instructed Mediaite when arrived at for comment. “Very resourceful!”

“It can look like the point is to piss individuals off to get more clicks,” the previous staffer reported, introducing that management’s incapability to deal with issues about lifestyle was a “major factor” in their decision to go away.

“They have been biking by means of feminine editors on the information facet mainly because, A, Toby did not know how to perform with women of all ages and B, ladies did not want to get the job done there,” the previous worker described. “So this is not a just one time factor. It was really much a trend.”

In the meantime, sources described staff members as “demoralized” as a visitors slump has prompted Gurdon to demand urgent remedial motion to flip quantities all-around.

The Examiner’s woes lengthen to the outlet’s reliance on Fox Information appearances as nicely: CNN claimed before this thirty day period that Gurdon, the outlet’s top editor, informed personnel to end producing negative stories about Fox Information. Jon Nicosia, a former Mediaite editor and the aforementioned staffer who was fired from the Examiner for sharing a lewd video clip with employees, instructed Mediaite that Fox News was “furious” about posts the Examiner had posted about the community.

There was a ban on Examiner visitors showing up on Fox Information, Nicosia said, until finally Gurdon demanded he not assign destructive breaking news tales about the network. Nicosia explained he was also questioned to end masking “anything” stated by CNN’s Brian Stelter, who frequently criticizes Fox News.

In an email reviewed by Mediaite, Nicosia advised Fox that the Examiner would quit creating about Stelter’s coverage of the community. The Examiner went so significantly as to delete a tale on the movie Bombshell, about sexual harassment at Fox News. A Fox spokesperson instructed Mediaite they did not call the Examiner about the Bombshell piece.

The editor who resigned this month expressed a need to keep at the Examiner in their letter, but wrote that by the time they give up they had become “ashamed to operate for this organization.”

“I’m heartbroken for my colleagues who’ve been handled shamefully,” they wrote. “I’m appalled at the disregard for gays and for females in distinct and for the relaxed mind-set towards enabling and encouraging, demeaning, abusive habits.”

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