Accuracy in Media

The Washington Post has been critical of President Donald Trump and other conservatives about how they allegedly treat women, but a former Post investigative reporter has publicly called out the Post for failing to publish her reporting about sexual harassment accusations against Jeff Fager, the disgraced former CBS executive producer.

“The Washington Post apparently had the Jeff Fager sexual harassment allegations story before the New Yorker, but decided against publishing it,” reports Adweek’s A.J. Katz. “That’s what former WaPo investigative reporter Irin Carmon writes in a story for New York magazine’s Intelligencer, out Tuesday, where she explains that she and colleague Amy Brittain were ready to go with another bombshell story for the Washington Post on March 7, 2018.

The story details sexual harassment accusations made by multiple women against CBS News chairman-turned 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager. Carmon and fellow investigative journalist Brittain first reported allegations of sexual harassment against Charlie Rose, a story that made the front page of the Washington Post on Nov. 20, 2017.

Rose was fired from CBS News the following day, and his PBS show was canceled right after the story was published. The outlet wanted Carmon and Brittain to continue their reporting on Rose, leading them to the man who seemingly enabled it.

In her New York magazine article, Carmon writes:

“Our editor, Peter Wallsten, had encouraged us to ask who had known about Rose’s conduct and protected him, and whether he’d been enabled by a culture — assuming we had the reporting to back it up, of course. Answering that question had led to the then–60 Minutes boss and former network chairman Jeff Fager, who had repeatedly championed Rose at the network. That was awkward because 60 Minutes had been the Post’s partner for a just-wrapped yearlong investigation of the roots of the opioid crisis.”

Whatever was driving the Post’s reluctance — its investigative partnership or other factors — to publish reporting around Fager, Carmon saw her efforts stymied despite believing she had enough evidence to publish.

“Little did they know that they’d face great resistance from within in the ensuing months, including from executive editor Marty Baron, says Carmon,” Katz writes. “According to Carmon, The Post decided not to publish the Fager-focused followup to the Rose story, even though she felt they had more than enough info and sources to go with it. The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow published his story in September 2018, and the rest is history.”

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