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CBS News national correspondent Jericka Duncan on Wednesday revealed the text message that 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager sent to her after she contacted him for comment on a New Yorker report on Sunday morning that implicated his conduct. Fager claims it’s what got him fired.
Duncan revealed the messages on CBS Evening News.
Fager texted her: “If you repeat these false accusations without any of your own reporting to back them up, you will be responsible for harming me. Be careful. There are people who lost their jobs trying to harm me and if you pass on these damaging claims without your own reporting to back them up that will become a serious problem.”
Fager, who had been accused of sexual misconduct in two recent New Yorker stories focused on allegations against former CBS CEO Les Moonves, stepped down earlier on Wednesday.
In a statement, CBS News president David Rhodes said that Fager “violated company policy,” but did not specify which policy he violated.
Fager, in a statement, helped clarify what happened, saying that CBS “terminated my contract early because I sent a text message to one of our own CBS reporters demanding that she be fair in covering the story. My language was harsh and, despite the fact that journalists receive harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS did not like it. One such note should not result in termination after 36 years, but it did.”
Later on Wednesday, Duncan revealed that she was the recipient of the offending text message and said, “I’ll have more reporting on this tonight @cbseveningnews @jeffglor.”
After the message was read onscreen, CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor said the staff of his show fully supports her.
As part of the segment, CBS News reporters were shown attempting to interview Rhodes as he walked on the street. “Can’t talk to you guys about this today,” he said.
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