Vicious anti-Trump, anti-conservative Pulitzer-winning columnist and editor fired
Another powerful progressive journalist – one of the most vicious critics of Donald Trump – has lost his job owing to complaints of sexual harassment. It is a shame that the over-the-top nature of his commentary was not the cause of his job loss, but rather "credible accusations" of sexual harassment. (Due process is still a missing factor in the response of most media organizations in the face of claims of harassment.)
The great Don Surber calls our attention to the fate of Stephen Henderson of the Detroit Free Press:
President Trump did not meet the standards of Stephen Henderson, managing director of opinion and commentary at the Detroit Free Press. In column after column this year and last, Henderson called Trump a bigot, a bully, and a harasser of women.
Today the Detroit Free Press fired Henderson.
For sexual harassment.
According to the statement issued by the Freep:
Stephen Henderson, managing director of opinion and commentary, was terminated from the Free Press on Friday, Free Press Editor and Vice President Peter Bhatia announced.
Henderson was much more than a star columnist, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary three years ago:
For his columns on the financial crisis facing his hometown, written with passion and a stirring sense of place, sparing no one in their critique.
Henderson was the managing director of opinion and commentary, indicating that his views and the "passion" that Pulitzer prizes were brought to bear on all the opinion pieces in the Detroit Free Press.
But the thing about passion is that it can lead to excess. For instance, see the lead of this 2016 column that the Pulitzer laureate wrote about people he disagrees with:
We really ought to round up the lawmakers who took money to protect and perpetuate the failing charter-school experiment in Detroit, sew them into burlap sacks with rabid animals, and toss them into the Straits of Mackinac.
That's harsh. Maybe.
The clear implication is that maybe it is not too harsh. That passed muster with the bosses at Gannett, but a #MeToo accusation was fatal:
At a Dec. 6 news conference, Detroit minister W.J. Rideout III mentioned Henderson and two other members of the local media as individuals who had engaged in acts of sexual harassment. Rideout did not cite any evidence or specifics about Henderson and this week the minister's radio show was suspended over that lack of evidence. The Free Press immediately launched an investigation and subsequently uncovered examples of inappropriate behavior by Henderson with female colleagues dating back several years.
Gannett, owner of the Free Press, released this statement: "Effective today, Stephen Henderson will no longer be employed by the Detroit Free Press. The decision was made after an internal investigation was conducted which uncovered credible allegations that Mr. Henderson's behavior has been inconsistent with company values and standards."
Wishing torture and death on people he disagrees with was not enough to get rid of him. I have no idea if the "credible accusations" are true, and think it a shame that the grounds for termination were not his viciousness in print.