Former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson argues in a new book that the Times‘ coverage of Donald Trump is often skewed against the president, with opinion slipping into straight news.
In an upcoming book, Merchants of Truth, Abramson is often critical of the Times’coverage under her successor Dean Baquet, who she feuded with at the paper until her firing in 2014. Baquet served as the paper’s managing editor while Abramson was executive editor.
“Though Baquet said publicly he didn’t want the Times to be the opposition party, his news pages were unmistakably anti-Trump,” she writes in an excerpt obtained by Fox News. “Some headlines contained raw opinion, as did some of the stories that were labeled as news analysis.”
She argues that the anti-Trump angle is due in part to financial considerations: “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.”
Elsewhere in the book Abramson offers praise of Baquet’s handling of Trump, such as when he ran a story on the then-candidate’s birtherism, headlined “Trump Gives Up a Lie But Refuses to Repent.” That decision, she writes, was “brave and right.”
Abramson is hardly a pro-Trump ideologue. During the 2016 election, she wrote a Guardian op-ed arguing that “Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest and trustworthy.” In a 2018 column, she wrotethat she carries around “a little plastic Obama doll” in her purse for “comfort.”
The Times‘ first female executive editor, Abramson also attacked her former paper in 2018 for missing the rise of Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D., N.Y.) and its handling of fired reporter Ali Watkins. Abramson complained then that the paper needed a “course correction” and was “making horrible mistakes left and right.”