Three weeks ago CNN's veteran foreign correspondent Christane Amanpour addressed a packed New York awards gala and used the occasion to speak out against sexual harassment of journalists. Sitting at the table next to hers was CBS and PBS star host Charlie Rose.
"The floodgates are open, a reckoning is underway," Amanpour told a rapt audience of media executives and reporters attending the annual Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) awards that honor courageous reporters around the globe.
That night, Rose had yet to be outed for his sexual misdeeds, though he knew reporters from The Washington Post were delving into his past. Five days later the Post published the accusations of eight women, and within a week of Amanpour's speech he was fired.
On Tuesday PBS announced Amanpour will be replacing Rose. Her show, "Amanpour," on CNN International, will be aired by PBS stations "on an interim basis."
Amanpour's words to the CPJ could not have been more prescient. "I would like to call tonight on all publishers and news executives and editors, to root out sexual harassment and assault, of all staff in all our news organizations," she said. "We need a loud and proud declaration of zero tolerance, a repeat of what our rules and code of conduct is – publicly."
Since she spoke, not only has Rose been removed from PBS, CBS and Bloomberg, other newsmen have also come under scrutiny, from Glenn Thrush at the New York Times to John Hockenberry, a former host at NPR, and Matt Lauer at NBC.
"Charlie Rose" was a staple of the PBS schedule for decades. The hour-long program was owned by Rose's production company and distributed to local PBS stations all across the country.
Rose has apologized for "inappropriate behavior" while casting doubt on some of the accusations.
The veteran international correspondent anchors " Amanpour" on weeknights, most frequently from London. CNN International will continue to produce and air the program. The rebroadcasts on PBS stations will help the program reach a bigger audience in the United States.
"Featuring conversations with global leaders and decision makers on the issues affecting the world today, 'Amanpour on PBS' adds to the long tradition of public affairs programming that has been a hallmark of public media for decades," PBS CEO Paula Kerger said in a statement.
Speaking to the CPJ, Amanpour did not mince her words, highlightsing the risks that journalists already face covering conflicts abroad. "We journalists encounter enough threats in the field from bombs and bullets or secret police. Surely we should be safe in our own workplaces at home from our own colleagues," she said.
"We might not be able to stop dictators at every turn, but we can stop sexual predators. We get flak jackets and we get helmets when we’re reporting abroad, so why are we left to be threatened at home," she added.
However, Amanpoour said it was not an us and them issue. "One thing I know for sure is that none of us will be safe … unless our male colleagues, and our all-male bosses, are on our side," she said. "Gentlemen, we are your friends, you are our friends, we cannot win this and we cannot be safe without all of you," she stressed.