A CBS reporter on Wednesday revealed a chilling text she received from fired "60 Minutes" producer Jeff Fager while she was covering allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
On "CBS Evening News With Jeff Glor," Jericka Duncan said she contacted Fager on Sunday night after The New Yorker story revealed a seventh former network employee accused him of allegedly touching her inappropriately, the New York Post reported.
Duncan showed a text message, apparently from Fager, which read, "If you repeat these false accusations without any of your own reporting to back them up you will be held responsible for harming me."
"Be careful," he allegedly warned. "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."
After Duncan reported on the text, anchor Jeff Glor told her Fager's message was "unacceptable" and "the entire CBS News team" supports her.
Announcing the "60 Minutes" producer and onetime chairman of CBS News had been dismissed, CBS news president David Rhodes said Wednesday the move was "not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports, which continue to be investigated independently. However, he violated company policy and it is our commitment to uphold those policies at every level," the Post reported.
In his own statement, Fager pushed back, charging 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," the Post reported.
He acknowledged his language in the text was "harsh," but said "although journalists received harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS didn't like it."
"One such note should not result in termination after 36 years, but it did," the Post reported.
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