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NPR’s Michael Oreskes placed on leave amid sexual harassment accusations – New York Daily News

A top National Public Radio news editor was placed on leave Tuesday amid multiple allegations of sexual harassment.

NPR said it is investigating accusations by two women against Michael Oreskes, NPR’s senior vice president of news and editorial director, The Washington Post first reported.

His accusers, both journalists, allege that Oreskes — then the Washington bureau chief of the New York Times — abruptly kissed them while they spoke to him about their jobs at the paper.

Both women said that they met Oreskes, ostensibly to discuss their careers, when he unexpectedly kissed them on the lips, sticking his tongue in their mouths, The Washington Post reported.

Oreskes’ accusers did not want to reveal their names, for fear of damaging their job prospects, according to the Washington Post.

The alleged incidents took place in the late 1990s, the women told The Washington Post, well before Oreskes joined NPR in March 2015.

He had previously held senior editing roles at the Times and the Associated Press.

The women reported the alleged misconduct to an NPR attorney in mid-October, according to the Post’s report.

NPR issued a statement saying that it takes “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.”

NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik said a memo from CEO Jarl Mohn assured employees that they would be treated with respect, and that he would support “anybody who feels their circumstances are in danger.”

Fokenflik said on NPR’s “All Things Considered” Tuesday that he had not yet spoken to Oreskes, despite repeated attempts to reach him.

The allegations are the most recent in a string of accusations against by women against men in media, including New Republic editor Leon Wieseltier and political journalist Mark Halperin .

One of Oreskes’ accusers said the incident had a lasting, negative impact on her confidence, the Post reported.

“When I first went to see him, it was after screwing up my nerve to try to be bold and maneuver myself into a better job, and after what happened with him, I never really tried that again,” she reportedly said.

The worst part of the alleged harrassment was “the fact that he utterly destroyed my ambition,” the first woman told the Post.

The second woman described her shock at the editor’s unwanted sexual advances. “I was frozen. I was shocked. I thought, ‘What just happened?’” she said, the Post reported.

Both women said it took years for them to come forward because they believed complaining would have jeopardized their chances of working for the Times.

They both said they were moved by NPR’s coverag of recent sexual harassment incidents, most notably those involving Harvey Weinstein.

“The idea that he’s in charge of that coverage is just so hypocritical to me,” one woman told the Post.

“It’s sickening. I want to say: ‘You owe me…a public apology. you should recuse yourself” from NPR’s coverage of harassment.

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NPR’s Michael Oreskes placed on leave amid sexual harassment accusations – New York Daily News

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