Liberal Journalist Defends Himself Against Claims Of Sexual Assault

REUTERS/Mike Theiler

Ian Miles Cheong Contributor
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Former Young Turks’ reporter Jordan Chariton is defending himself against allegations of sexual assault, which he was fired for last Friday.

Late last week, the liberal reporter was abruptly dismissed from The Young Turks after being initially accused of sexual assault by a former employee who worked with him at Truth Against The Machine, an outlet Chariton founded.

Word of Chariton’s actions surfaced in a now-deleted article by Chicago activist Christian Chialukas on the HuffPost’s self-publishing platform.

Chariton claims that there “exists substantial evidence” that the claims against him were fabricated to ruin him.

“This evidence includes discussion board posts wherein the author and co-conspirators plotted a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against the website I founded — Truth Against the Machine — and spoke brazenly about using the claims to threaten and demand my firing from The Young Turks along with destroying my career,” wrote Chariton in a post on Medium on Tuesday.

Following Chariton’s initial suspension from the organization, Chariton published a Medium post detailing the accusations against him. In his post titled “Explaining My TYT Absence,” Chariton stated that a “consensual sexual encounter” he had in June was “being portrayed in gossip as something else.”

Fellow Truth Against The Machine correspondent Chelsea Lyons defended Chariton in a Facebook Live video, which no longer appears to be available.

In Chariton’s follow-up post, he reiterated his innocence and elaborated on how he was fired without being given any opportunity to defend himself.

“I notified my boss, Cenk Uygur, in advance of a brewing effort to slander me, at which time he thanked me for my transparency, and promised to begin an immediate investigation via a third party. As such, news of termination left me bewildered,” wrote Chariton.

“The Young Turks fired me without ever reviewing the copious countervailing evidence in my favor,” he added. “While they happily used my name and image to fundraise over 2 million dollars, the hoped-for investigation never commenced, leaving me without a crucial means of demonstrating my innocence, and insufficient income to support myself while I fight to clear my name.”

Chariton says that his dismissal allowed The Young Turks to spare themselves the “inconvenience of a more formal process” while denying him the chance to defend himself against the allegations.

The journalist says that The Young Turks have “manufactured a fiction in which they claim that my unpaid side project for citizen journalists is a conflict of interest that — despite promoting it themselves numerous times on a TYT-branded show — justifies, throwing me under the bus.”

“While it is unfair that I must now prove my innocence — that I have to do the impossible of proving a negative just to win my life back — I will neither frown nor despair but get to that critical task at hand,” wrote Chariton. “In that spirit, I have retained counsel. I hope to return to the much more important work of real journalism and providing a voice for other people’s struggles as soon as possible.”