Jill Abramson, the Harvard lecturer who served as the first and only female executive editor of The New York Times from 2011 to 2014, has some harsh words for her former employer in her upcoming book, saying its “unmistakably anti-Trump” agenda risks damaging its credibility.
In “Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts,” reviewed by Fox News, Ms. Abramson complains about the unabashed liberal bent taken on by her successor, executive editor Dean Baquet.
“Though Baquet said publicly he didn’t want the Times to be the opposition party, his news pages were unmistakably anti-Trump,” she wrote, according to Fox News. “Some headlines contained raw opinion, as did some of the stories that were labeled as news analysis.”
Citing late New York Times owner and publisher Adolph Ochs, Ms. Abramson wrote that “the more anti-Trump the Times was perceived to be, the more it was mistrusted for being biased. Ochs’s vow to cover the news without fear or favor sounded like an impossible promise in such a polarized environment.”
Ms. Abramson said part of the problem lies within the generational split at The Times, with younger writers coming to accept a more opinionated form of journalism.
“The more ‘woke’ staff thought that urgent times called for urgent measures; the dangers of Trump’s presidency obviated the old standards,” she wrote, Fox News reported.
Ms. Abramson said the paper enjoyed a significant “Trump bump” in digital subscriptions since the president took office and now that demand is driving coverage.
“Given its mostly liberal audience, there was an implicit financial reward for the Times in running lots of Trump stories, almost all of them negative: they drove big traffic numbers and, despite the blip of cancellations after the election, inflated subscription orders to levels no one anticipated,” she wrote, according to Fox News.
Ms. Abramson was an investigative reporter, Washington bureau chief, managing editor and executive editor at The Times from 1997 to 2014. She also previously worked for The Wall Street Journal for 10 years as an investigative reporter and deputy bureau chief.
This isn’t the first time she’s criticized the paper’s news coverage. In June, she said it was in serious need of a “course correction.”
“I fear sounding like a jealous old-timer. I’ve resisted critiquing the place publicly, but this [expletive] is bad,” Ms. Abramson said at the time. “It’s making horrible mistakes left and right.”
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