Former NYT editor Jill Abramson takes jab at paper: News articles ‘unmistakably anti-Trump’

New York Times
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Former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson teed off on her former employer’s coverage of President Trump, arguing that news articles have become “unmistakably anti-Trump” with some headlines and stories containing “raw opinion.”

Abramson, who served as the top news editor from 2011 until her firing in 2014, made the remarks, which included criticism of current Executive Editor Dean Baquet, in her new book, “Merchants of Truth.”

“Though Baquet said publicly he didn’t want the Times to be the opposition party, his news pages were unmistakably anti-Trump,” Abramson wrote in the book, which is set for release on Feb. 5. “Some headlines contained raw opinion, as did some of the stories that were labeled as news analysis.”

{mosads}Abramson added that she believes the Times’s longtime rival, The Washington Post, also mixes opinion into what are supposed to be unbiased news stories.

The Post declined to comment, and the Times did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Abramson said the Times may be motivated to slant its coverage further after the paper added more than 600,000 subscribers in the first six months after Trump took office. Overall in 2017, subscription revenues at the Times exceeded $1 billion, due in part to strong growth in digital subscriptions.

“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,” Abramson wrote.

Fox News “Media Buzz” host Howard Kurtz was the first to report Abramson’s comments.

“The more anti-Trump the Times was perceived to be, the more it was mistrusted for being biased,” Abramson added. “[Former publisher Adolph] Ochs’s vow to cover the news without fear or favor sounded like an impossible promise in such a polarized environment.”

Ochs wrote in a Times business announcement in 1896 that the paper would “give the news impartially, without fear or favor, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved.” The mission around providing news “without fear or favor,” is carried as a mantra by many journalism outlets to this day.

“It will be my earnest aim that THE NEW-YORK TIMES give the news, all the news, in concise and attractive form, in language that is parliamentary in good society, and give it as early, if not earlier, than it can be learned through any other reliable medium; to give the news impartially, without fear or favor, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved; to make the columns of THE NEW-YORK TIMES a forum for the consideration of all questions of public importance, and to that end to invite intelligent discussion from all shades of opinion,” Ochs wrote.

–Updated at 11:39 a.m.

Tags Donald Trump liberal bias Media bias The New York Times
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