Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of the New York Times, admits that the newspaper is “unmistakably anti-Trump” in its news pages.
Abramson, who ran the paper from 2011 to 2014, “says the Times has a financial incentive to bash the president and that the imbalance is helping to erode its credibility,” Fox News‘ Howard Kurtz reported on Wednesday.
“In a soon-to-be published book, ‘Merchants of Truth,’ that casts a skeptical eye on the news business, Abramson defends the Times in some ways but offers some harsh words for her successor, Dean Baquet. And Abramson, who was the paper’s only female executive editor until her firing, invoked Steve Bannon’s slam that in the Trump era the mainstream media have become the ‘opposition party,’ ” he wrote.
“Though Baquet said publicly he didn’t want the Times to be the opposition party, his news pages were unmistakably anti-Trump,” Abramson writes, adding that she believes the same is true of the Washington Post. “Some headlines contained raw opinion, as did some of the stories that were labeled as news analysis.”
What’s more, she says, citing legendary 20th century publisher Adolph Ochs, “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.”
Abramson describes a generational split at the Times, with younger staffers, many of them in digital jobs, favoring an unrestrained assault on the presidency. “The more ‘woke’ staff thought that urgent times called for urgent measures; the dangers of Trump’s presidency obviated the old standards,” she writes.
Abramson also said, “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.”
Of course, Abramson’s admission comes as no surprise to conservatives and Republicans. The Times openly swooned over former president Barack Obama and heavily pushed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, even in its news pages — which are supposedly supposed to be “unbiased.”
In a video released in October by by Project Veritas, Times senior home page editor Des Shoe, based in London, says the paper is “widely, widely understood to be left-leaning.”
“Our main stories are supposed to be objective. It’s very difficult in this day and age to do that,” she says on the video.
“This is what I was trying to say is, like, the last couple years it’s changed for the bad. I think the business model itself is just — there’s so much panic about what to do that, you know, what else is a company supposed to do? That’s the conundrum, is that a business model, in this time, is built on what the readers want,” Shoe said.
So, the Times is just giving its customers what they want. “The main objective is to grab subscribers. You do that any way that you can,” Shoe said.
“Since the election, like, you know, speaking on, you know, for The New York Times, our subscriptions have skyrocketed since — I mean, they call it the Trump bump,” she said.