A former New York Post editor is suing the paper, parent company News Crop, and editor-in-chief Col Allan, alleging a series of spectacularly offensive acts committed against her and other female staffers.
Sandra Guzman, who was fired after complaining about the famous chimp cartoon in the Post, supposedly because her Tempo section of the paper wasn’t pulling enough ad revenue, says in her complaint that “female employees and employees of color have been subject to pervasive and systemic discrimination and/or unlawful harassment.”
While we are not overly scandalized by Guzman’s allegations that Allan “took two Australian political leaders to the strip club Scores,” from which they were reportedly “ejected,” we have to say the charge that News Corp Senior VP Les Goodman “routinely stared at the breasts and butts of other female employees in Ms. Guzman’s presence and would often lick his lips while doing so” seems a little more rich…
On the racism tip, Guzman say that Allan asked her, after she had interviewed Pedro Martinez (“a future member of the Baseball Hall of Fame,” the complaint alleges), if the pitcher “had been carrying a gun or machete during the interview”; that a “White male columnist” liked to serenade her with “America” from West Side Story “in a mocking and fake Spanish accent”; that an editor had “falsely accused her of engaging in ‘Santeria,'” etc.
Guzman’s many third-party reports — such as one that “a White male senior editor sexually propositioned a young female Copy Assistant, telling her that ‘If you give me a blowjob, I will give you a permanent reporter job'” — are also provocative, especially if the wording is accurate.
It would seem Guzman’s main complaint is that the Post had been “unlawfully retaliating” to her public stand against the monkey cartoon, by giving her extra supervision and squelching her plans to attend Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court investiture, doctoring her performance reviews, and finally firing her. The hostile-workplace stuff may go to that, as well as to the “severe anguish and mental distress” she claims. Or it may be that, as a good and pissed-off reporter, she just wanted to get it all in the record.