CBS Organizers this morning joined reporter Jericka Duncan after it was revealed that 60 Minutes producer Jeff Fager sent threatening messages that led to his dismissal, a program that veteran Sharyn Alfonsi described as a "terrible day for CBS News "
Duncan contacted the 60 Minutes producer a long time ago to ask him to comment on the new allegations of sexual harassment about him in a New Yorker story as the scandal involving CEO Les Moonves unfolded.
In the texts, which were sent after Duncan was commenting, Fager wrote: "If you repeat these false accusations without your report being based on them, you will be responsible for damaging me."
This was followed by a text that read: Be careful. There are people who lost their jobs trying to harm me, and if you pass these damaging claims without your own report that supports them, it will become a serious problem. "
Duncan appeared at the CBS This Morning roundtable on Thursday to discuss the matter, one day after Fager was fired.
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CBS This morning's presenters gathered around journalist Jericka Duncan after it was revealed that 60 Minutes producer Jeff Fager sent her threatening messages
The hosts (L-R) John Dickerson, Norah O & # 39; Donnell and Gayle King appear in the studio in New York City in January 2018
CBS journalist Duncan received warning messages from the 60 Minutes Fager producer about the coverage of the allegations of sexual misconduct against him, only three days before its completion.
Co-host Gayle King said: "This is a very difficult story for us to cover … big trees are falling on CBS, but I really believe that the company wants and will do well.
While looking at Duncan, she said: I can only imagine what this has done to you and how this has affected you … I certainly applaud you for speaking.
Norah O & # 39; Donnell asked the journalist how he felt when the texts were sent to him.
Duncan replied: "I was surprised … by the many people I have covered, you finally understand that contradictory feeling about why and what … and why did you even put me in this position?"
When O & # 39; Donell asked him if he saw his words as a threat, Duncan added: "I did … and it's even hard to say that today, because, yes, we get a hard language all the time.
"But this is someone who had a huge amount of power here, whom I respected, and I was surprised."
"If you repeat these false accusations without your report being made to support them, you will be responsible for damaging me," Fager wrote in a text.
60-minute veteran Sharyn Alfonsi showed her support for Fager, calling her dismissal "terrible" and a "terrible day for CBS News."
King said: "I think that once people saw that text, they might have felt something different about it, it certainly sounded like a threat."
John Dickerson intervened: "It was a threat."
The 60-minute correspondent Alfonsi supported Fager while speaking with The New York Times this week.
"I think it's a terrible day for CBS News," Alfonsi said. "I think it's horrible … I do not understand how you get fired by a text message."
Fager sent the text messages to Duncan, warning him about the coverage of the accusations of sexual misconduct against him, three days before he was fired from the company.
Just hours after Fager was fired on Wednesday, a composite Duncan spoke at CBS Evening News about text messages and then announced: "I am that reporter."
Duncan, who was given the task of reporting on both Fager and Moonves for CBS News in recent days, went a step further and revealed the exchange that led to the departure of Fager.
Duncan scoffed at his appearance on Wednesday just before appearing in the air to tell the story.
"A lot of people asked me if the text that Jeff Fager referred to was for me, it was, I'll have more reports on this tonight," he wrote on Twitter.
Once in the air, he said he felt the need to speak in light of recent events.
"Since Jeff Fager publicly referred to our exchange today, I want to be transparent about it," he told viewers.
Shortly after the outlets began to hear the news of Fager's departure, he issued a statement of his own, in the light of which CBS News declined to comment on his specific violation.
"The company's decision had nothing to do with the false accusations printed in The New Yorker," said Fager.
"Instead, they canceled my contract ahead of time because I sent a text message to one of our own CBS reporters demanding that it be fair to cover the story.
"My language was hard and, although journalists receive harsh demands of impartiality all the time, CBS did not like it."
Fager sent these two text messages to Duncan after she asked him to comment on accusations of sexual misconduct against him in a New Yorker article.
He added: "A note of that kind should not lead to termination after 36 years, but it did."
The president of CBS News, David Rhodes, confirmed part of this also in his memorandum, writing: "This action today is not directly related to the complaints published in the press reports, which continue to be investigated independently & # 39;
Then it was noted: "However, it violated the company's policy and it is our commitment to maintain those policies at all levels."
Nineteen women have come forward to detail what they consider a hostile environment in 60 Minutes where the harassment was tolerated, with some details of specific incidents involving Fager.
Duncan scoffed at his segment the CBS Evening News on Wednesday only hours earlier
Sarah Johansen said that when she was an intern, Fager allegedly touched her buttocks at a party, and was later told that this movement was known as the "arm of Fager".
"Jeff Fager leaves the company in force immediately," read a memo sent to CBS staff on Wednesday afternoon.
"Bill Owens will lead the 60 Minutes team as Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews and I started the search for a new executive producer of the program."
That memo went on to say: "60 minutes is the most important news broadcast on television.
"We are fortunate to have incredibly talented journalists who we know will continue to deliver our defining research work."
On Sunday, Les Monves (right) resigned as CEO of CBS for a series of accusations of sexual misconduct. He was seen with his wife Julie Chen (right) for the first time since resigning