“So what was the crime?” Amanpour inquired.

“The stuff we found that Glenn did while working at the New York Times involved comments that he shouldn’t have made,” Baquet responded. “There was a story in Vox that described other activities most in his previous life at other publications. But I had to focus my attention on my workplace, and I didn’t find that kind of activity in my workplace. I’m not raising questions about the Vox story. Far from it. It prompted this investigation.”

(Baquet’s statement isn’t factually accurate: One of the stories relayed was from June, four months before the Vox story was written, and very much while Thrush was employed at the Times.)

McGann says she herself doesn’t have a strong opinion about Thrush’s punishment.

“In the end, I’m not clear what he was being punished for,” she says, and her confusion makes sense: The wording of the Times statement was careful to the point of being non-specific. Was his punishment for misconduct? Verbal harassment? Embarrassing the Times? It’s unclear. What, exactly, was Thrush suspended for and what should Times reporters be careful to avoid in the future? (In early May, Metro Editor Wendell Jamieson resigned after an even more opaque internal investigation, in which he was reportedly accused of “inappropriate behavior” by three women working at the Times. There is such a lack of clarity about what that entailed that several Times employees asked me if perhaps I knew.)

“In the future,” McGann says, “I hope the Times thinks about what type of culture they are tolerating.”

Over the months since the Thrush controversy ended, there’s been a continued, bitter, protracted debate about how to deal with men whose behavior falls along the “continuum of creepy,” as Erik Wemple put it in his piece on the Thrush affair.

“I don’t get to decide [Thrush’s] punishment,” says Aminatou Sow, one of McGann’s friends who was willing to speak to the Times investigator. “And I don’t have an idea of what the punishment should be, because we don’t have good standards around this. But it does endlessly frustrate me—for my friend and myself and women in general—that we don’t say out loud, ‘This behavior is not OK.’ It seems to me that the behavior by which they’re judging these men is the Weinstein standard: If there weren’t multiple rapes and people ejaculating in flower pots, then I guess the women are fine.”

As my colleague Stassa Edwards wrote, it sometimes seems that every powerful man’s fall primes him for an immediate redemptive arc, the steps of downfall, apology and professional rebirth tightly, almost ritually choreographed. It’s unclear—at the Times or elsewhere—what kind of protective measures have actually been put in place to prevent the whole exhausting process from starting over yet again.

The whole experience, McGann says, was a surprise, and an unpleasant one, from the moment Vox received the letter from Thrush’s lawyer.

“We agreed to interpret it as a threat,” she says, referring to herself, her editors, and the publication’s attorneys. “If we published this story, my sex life, real or imagined, was going to be on the table. So we had to make a decision about whether to publish or not, based on that. And I said ‘Let’s hit the button.’”

The New York Times sent us the following statement in response to a detailed list of questions:

“As a result of the allegations in the Vox story, we suspended Glenn and began a thorough investigation. That investigation included more than 30 interviews with current and former colleagues of Glenn’s both inside and outside of The Times. It was rigorous and meticulous. The results of the investigation were deliberated over by a diverse group of 10 senior editors. They determined that Glenn’s conduct violated our standards. Based on the findings of this investigation, he was suspended for two months and had a change of assignment upon his return.

The New York Times Company is deeply committed to maintaining a safe workplace for all. Every complaint about our culture, or about harassment of any kind - to include the spreading of rumors about reporters working on stories, or anyone else - is taken very seriously.

We have a zero tolerance policy for any type of sexual or other workplace harassment and this fact has been communicated repeatedly and clearly in multiple forums to our employees.”