More profitable to attack Trump than to be objective
Jill Abramson is a former Wall Street Journal correspondent who led the New York Times as executive editor from 2011 until 2014, when she was fired and replaced by Dean Baquet.
According to a Fox interview, in her soon-to-be published book Merchants of Truth, Abramson criticizes the paper’s Trump coverage as biased, laments younger employees’ willingness to criticize the president, and bashes Trump’s attacks on the media.
“Though Baquet said publicly he didn’t want the Times to be the opposition party, his news pages were unmistakably anti-Trump,” writes Abramson. “Some headlines contained raw opinion, as did some of the stories that were labeled as news analysis.”
The newspaper also “blew its Clinton coverage out of proportion.”
The Times had a financial incentive to crank out stories on Trump, explains Abramson, noting that digital subscriptions jumped by 600,000 during his first six months in office.
“Given its mostly liberal audience, there was an implicit financial reward…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.” However, “the more anti-Trump the Times was perceived to be, the more it was mistrusted for being biased.”
Abramson also criticizes the paper’s younger staff for ignoring journalism’s longtime pursuit of truth.
“The more ‘woke’ staff thought that urgent times called for urgent measures; the danger of Trump’s presidency obviated the old standards,” she writes.
At the same time, she slams Trump’s “fake news” comments as a “cheap way of trying to undermine the credibility of the Times’s reporting as something to be accepted as truth only by liberals in urban, cosmopolitan areas.”
Author’s Note: We already knew the Times was biased, but to have a former editor say so is pretty incredible. I look forward to reading the book.