Former NY Times Executive Editor: Paper’s Coverage Has Become ‘Unmistakably Anti

Lawrence Kim
January 6, 2019

Former executive editor of The New York Times Jill Abramson made headlines Wednesday after Fox News' Howard Kurtz obtained a copy of her upcoming book and reported several passages in which Abramson appeared to criticize the paper's coverage of President Donald Trump, but the former editor said Thursday that her comments were taken "totally out of context". "The news report as a whole had never been stronger". In the book, Abramson blasts her successor, Dean Baquet, and invoked former White House staffer Steve Bannon's observation that the mainstream media became the "opposition party" under Trump, Fox News reported.

Fox News' Howard Kurtz has published a review of "Merchants of Truth", Abramson's upcoming book about the business incentives driving the news industry. She said some of the paper's news headlines and analysis pieces "contained raw opinion", something which she said was also true at Times rival the Washington Post.

That would mean, essentially, they wanted to ignore journalism ethics and standards to bring down a duly elected president of the United States.

"Given its mostly liberal audience, there was an implicit financial reward for the times in running lots of Trump stories, nearly all of them negative: they drove big traffic numbers", she says.

"She believes the paper that she loved has just gone off the rails when it comes to this president", he said.

Abramson describes a generational split at the Times, with younger staffers, many of them in digital jobs, favoring an unrestrained assault on the presidency.

Fox News reports the former editor concedes that the newspaper "saw digital subscriptions during his [Trump's] first six months in office jump by 600,000" as it ran story after story after story - nearly exclusively negative - about the president.

Baquet has defended the Times' coverage of Trump, saying that people in power must be held accountable.

Liberals, on the other hand, were more likely to take the Times' side, suggesting that Abramson had simply been trying to get even after her firing.

She also writes with discomfort about some of the ways business considerations have infiltrated the Times' newsroom.

"Lichtblau soon left the Times for CNN, where he was one of three journalists fired when the network retracted and apologized for a story making uncorroborated accusations against Trump confidante Anthony Scaramucci".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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