JUDY WOODRUFF: This week, the chief of the U.S. Forest Service stepped down, following a NewsHour investigation into allegations of a culture of sexual misconduct and retaliation within that agency, as well as questions about the chief's own behavior. William Brangham is here now for more on what this means for the service going forward. William, welcome. So, Tony Tooke is his name, the chief of the Forest Service. He's out. What more can you tell us about what's behind this?
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Well, last fall, Tony Tooke was nominated to head the U.S. Forest Service.And, at that time, a senior retired official from the Forest Service wrote a letter to Congress where she said, you need to be aware of some of Tony Tooke's past behavior.
And the allegation was that Tooke had had a consensual extramarital affair with a subordinate when he was working in Florida. Tooke allegedly created a special position for this woman, and then promoted her up through the ranks. And according to this letter, which we have a copy of, when the affair was discovered by the young woman's supervisor, Tooke was told, stop communicating with her. But, apparently, he didn't. Here's a direct quote from that letter: Mr.Tooke not only contacted the female employee. He told her not to say anything more about their sexual relationship or her career would go down. That's a pretty clear allegation of sexual misconduct and intimidation on his part. We've spoken to the letter writer and to this woman's supervisor. And we asked the Forest Service about this during the course of our reporting. They acknowledged there was an investigation going on into his past. And then our stories ran online and on the broadcast. And, this week, Tony Tooke stepped down.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, in addition, there were other new developments this week.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: That's right. We have a new interim chief at the U.S. Forest Service. Her name is Vicki Christiansen. She is a seven-year veteran of the Forest Service. Prior to that, she was working forestry in Washington and in Arizona. And she sent out an e-mail to every Forest Service employee that said, in part: We have had to face some hard truths about allegations of harassment and retaliation in our agency. I know we are up to the task. Additionally, we got word today that Congress wants to start looking into this. Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California and Montana Senator Steve Daines said they want to hold hearings to look into this broader culture of sexual harassment within the Forest Service.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And finally, William, you and your team have been hearing from inside the Forest Service community throughout this.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: That's right. We set up a tip line that appears on our Web site. And we have gotten dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens of e-mails from people, former and current employees. Many of them echo the complaints that were voiced in our stories, which was a culture of harassment and those who speak up about the harassment get battered down for it. We heard from some men who also said, we suffer from harassment as well. We also heard from other people who said, I don't recognize what you reported. That's not the Forest Service that we experienced. I would like to read you an excerpt from one letter from one woman who has been in the Forest Service for 25 years. She works in the Midwest, still in the Forest Service. And her letter echoed the feelings of a lot of letters that we heard. Quote: Your article was difficult for me to read. And watching the footage on your show was harder yet. Sexual harassment is embedded into our wildland fire culture. You should know that you got the men in my office to sit up and listen. Most of them were shocked that women view our workplace in that light. Your article has given my co-workers and I a starting point to discuss these issues. I hope the women who have had the courage to speak out realize that they have given us the opportunity to make things better.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it's a shame that it takes something like this to bring people to better awareness, but, again, extraordinary reporting. Thank you, William.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: You're welcome.
1.step down 下台
Judge Ito said that if his wife was called as a witness, he would step down as trial judge
2.through the ranks 级级晋升
Mobutu ascended through the ranks, eventually becoming commander of the army
3.suffer from 遭受
Many kids suffer from acne and angst.
4.sit up 引起注意
A defeat like that makes you sit up and think.
威廉·布拉纳姆：好的，去年秋季，托尼·托克获得美国林业局局长人选提名 。当时，一位美国林业局的退休高级官员给国会写了一封信，信中说，你需要了解一下托尼·托克过去的行径 。指控称，托克在佛罗里达州工作时，曾与一位下属发生了两厢情愿的婚外情 。据说，托克为这个女人创设了一个特殊职位，然后将她一路提拔 。这封信我们有一份副本，根据这封信，当事情被这名年轻女人的主管发现时，她告诉托克，不要再与她联系 。但很显然，他没有就此停手 。这句话直接引自那封信：托克先生不仅与这名女性雇员有（性）接触 。他还告诉她，不要再谈起他们之间的两性关系，否则她的事业就会走下坡路 。这很明显是关于他性行为和恐吓的一个指控 。我们已经和这封信的作者，以及这个女人的主管谈过了 。在我们的报道过程中，我们已向林业局就此点进行了询问 。他们承认关于他的过去，调查正在进行 。然后我们在网上和广播媒体上进行报道 。然后，本周，托尼·托克下台 。
威廉·布拉纳姆：的确 。美国林业局有了新的临时主管 。她名叫维基·克里斯琴森 。她已在林业局工作七年 。在此之前，她在华盛顿和亚利桑那州从事林业工作 。她给每一名林业局员工都发了一封电子邮件，其中一部分说：我们不得不面对关于我们林业局性骚扰及报复性活动指控的严酷事实 。我知道我们能胜任这项工作 。此外，我们今天得到的消息是国会希望开始调查此事 。加利福尼亚众议员杰基·斯佩尔和蒙大纳州参议员史蒂夫·戴恩斯说，他们想举行听证会，调查林业局中更大范围内的性骚扰文化 。
威廉·布拉纳姆：是的 。我们在网站上设置了一条举报通道 。我们已收到了人们很多很多电子邮件，还有前任以及现任雇员的 。他们中的许多人认同了我们在报道中所进行的控诉，这是一种性骚扰文化，在这种文化中，那些大声说出实情的人会因此被折磨打到 。我们也听到一些人说，我们也受到骚扰 。我们也听到有其他人说，我不知道你们报道了些什么 。那不是我们经历中的林业局 。我想给你读一封来自林业局里一位妇女的来信，她在那里已经工作有25年了 。她现在中西部地区工作，仍身处林业局之中 。她的信与许多信件给我们的感觉如出一辙 。引用：你们的文章对我来说晦涩难懂 。看你们的视频片段就更难了 。性骚扰已经深深嵌入了我们的文化，如同燎原大火 。你应该知道你让我办公室的男人们全都警醒起来去听 。他们中的大多数人都震惊地发现，女性竟然这样看待我们的工作场所 。你的文章给了我和我的同事们一个讨论这些问题的出发点 。我希望那些有勇气说出事实的女人意识到她们为我们创造了改善境况的机会 。
朱蒂·伍德瑞夫：嗯，得用这样的事情让人们提高警惕，这真是一个耻辱，但仍旧，精彩的报道 。谢谢你，威廉 。