Norah O’Donnell on sexual misconduct: ‘This has to end’

Ten months ago, Norah O’Donnell had the difficult job of reporting on the ouster of her “CBS This Morning” co-host Charlie Rose because of sexual misconduct allegations.

On Monday morning, she had to report on the forced exit of CBS chief executive Les Moonves because of similar accusations.

“For me, it’s been another sleepless night thinking about this,” O’Donnell said at the top of the morning show. “The pain that women feel. The courage that it takes for women to come forward and talk about this.”

She said she decided it was best to repeat what she said on air after Rose was forced out last November.

“There is no excuse for this alleged behavior,” she said. “It is systematic and it is pervasive in our culture. And this I know is true to the core of my being: Women cannot achieve equality in the workplace or society until there is a reckoning and a taking of responsibility.”

She added that she was proud to work at CBS News.

“This has hurt morale, but there are some really really good people who come to work every day,” she said. “As a journalist, I am confident that the truth is going to come out. This is being investigated.”

She concluded her remarks by saying “This has to end.”

O’Donnell said that she had decided to repeat her earlier words after speaking with co-host Gayle King, who was off on Monday.

“Gayle said, ‘I didn’t think we’d still be the story in September,'” O’Donnell related. “Ten months later, we’re still talking about this.”

O’Donnell said that Moonves had always treated her “fairly and with respect.”

The New Yorker reported in July on allegations from six women of sexual misconduct and intimidation by Moonves. O’Donnell said she had not commented those allegations until now because his position as her boss “makes it really hard to comment on it.”

But after the magazine reported allegations from six additional women on Sunday, leading to Moonves’ forced resignation, O’Donnell said she knew she needed to make a comment.