Mother Jones Washington Bureau chief David Corn is facing his second investigation for inappropriate conduct in three years, Politico reported Friday.
Website CEO Monika Bauerlein told TheWrap that they had investigated Corn three years ago over allegations of inappropriate physical contact between him and female staffers and charges of making “rape jokes.”
Several years ago, women complained about physical contact of a non-sexual nature and insensitive remarks. We investigated and determined there was no misconduct. We informed David about the complaints. He committed to addressing these concerns. We monitored the situation closely and determined that it did improve. Now we are looking at the allegations in three-year-old emails published by Politico to see if any further action is needed.
Corn also issued his own statement categorically denying misbehavior but conceding that his past actions may have been misinterpreted.
“I am an exuberant person and have been known to pat male and female colleagues on the shoulder or slap them on the back, but always in a collegial or celebratory way,” he told TheWrap. “I have never touched any work colleague in a sexual manner. Once concerns were raised about this type of contact, I have been mindful to avoid it to prevent any misperception. If anyone ever perceived any of this as ‘sexual’ or ‘domineering,’ I am sorry — that was never my intent.
“Sexual violence is not funny, and I have never joked about it, or about women’s sexuality and anatomy,” he added.
In one 2015 email obtained by Politico, a former staffer said Corn made “rape jokes,” “regularly gave [several women] unwelcome shoulder rubs and engaged in uninvited touching of their legs, arms, backs, and waists,” and “made inappropriate comments about women’s sexuality and anatomy.”
In a 2014 email, another former female staffer said Corn “came up behind me and put his hands and arms around my body in a way that felt sexual and domineering.”
The Corn troubles are only the latest in a string of allegations against powerful men in media and entertainment that has roiled the industries.
Since the New York Times’ explosive Harvey Weinstein exposé last month, NBC contributor Mark Halperin, actor Kevin Spacey, NPR’s top editor Michael Oreskes and many others have all faced consequences after accusations of professional misconduct.