After 30-plus years covering politics, I should know by now never to make predictions.

When four scholars filed a story Tuesday morning about the role witnesses play in helping and protecting harassers – a story related to the sexual harassment scandal threatening the job of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo – I said, “We’ve got time. We don’t need to edit this today.”

Boy was I wrong. At 12:13 PM, my cellphone started dinging with news bulletins that Cuomo had resigned. I quickly got in touch with the lead author and said, “We’ve got to move fast and get this story out.” Some of my colleagues pitched in to help move the story, and by 3:15, we had completed two layers of editing, added photos and a headline, the authors had made revisions and the story was ready to be checked for grammar and spelling.

Our speed was more like the work of daily news reporters (which I was for a long time), but this story isn’t just a breaking news report. The scholars’ story reflects years of research about sexual harassment in the workplace, showing how important the people around the alleged harasser – in this case, Cuomo – are in creating a culture that denies and suppresses complaints and protects a man who wields enormous power.

Also today:

Naomi Schalit

Senior Editor, Politics + Society

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, seen here in July 2021, announced on Aug. 10, 2021, that he would resign amid a sexual harassment scandal. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Complicity and silence around sexual harassment are common – Cuomo and his protectors were a textbook example

Sandy Hershcovis, University of Calgary; Ivana Vranjes, Tilburg University; Jennifer L. Berdahl, University of British Columbia; Lilia M. Cortina, University of Michigan

Four scholars who study the role witnesses play in helping and protecting harassers say the role played by many in Cuomo’s office fit a pattern of silence, complicity and intimidation.

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