Patterico's Pontifications


Irony Overload: Female New York Times Editor Fired for Demanding Equal Pay

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:46 pm

Oh, the irony with this one is thick, it is:

[Jill] Abramson chose not to attend the announcement, and not to pretend that she had volunteered to step down.

As with any such upheaval, there’s a history behind it. Several weeks ago, I’m told, Abramson discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs. “She confronted the top brass,” one close associate said, and this may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was “pushy,” a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect.

Oh, this is delicious. John Ekdahl had a lot of fun with this tonight on the Twitter.

Ekdahl links this flashback to March 25 of this very year, when the New York Times ran a piece titled Moving Past Gender Barriers to Negotiate a Raise:

ASKING for a raise is the type of conversation that can make even the most confident among us uncomfortable. Women, however, may have good reason to feel that way.

Discrimination persists in the workplace and it isn’t necessarily intentional or overt, experts on gender and negotiation say.

But it can emerge when women act in ways that aren’t considered sufficiently feminine, and when women advocate for themselves, these experts say, some people find it unseemly, if on a subconscious level.

As a result, women need to take a more calibrated approach, whether in asking for a higher salary or a new position. Otherwise, they can risk being perceived as overly demanding and unlikable, experts say, and their requests can backfire.

Irony is rarely this tasty. Hey, Ekdahl also linked a New York Times piece titled As Obama Spotlights Gender Gap in Wages, His Own Payroll Draws Scrutiny:

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Tuesday will call attention to what he has said is an “embarrassment” in America: the fact that women make, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns.

It’s not a “fact,” of course, as we have pointed out here before. There are numerous gender-neutral factors that explain the differences. But when free-market advocates cite these gender neutral factors, publications like the New York Times tend to discount those explanations. Which is what makes tonight’s denial from the New York Times so very, very sweet:

“Jill’s total compensation as executive editor was not less than Bill Keller’s, so that is just incorrect,” New York Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy told POLITICO on Wednesday. “Her pension benefit, like all Times employees, is based on her years of service and compensation. The pension benefit was frozen in 2009.”

Oh, there’s a gender neutral explanation for your pay disparity, New York Times? My oh my. Isn’t that interesting? My next question: was Jill Abramson earning 77 cents to Bill Keller’s dollar? Or less? I think we need some figures, don’t you?

Abramson’s successor? Our old friend Dean Baquet, formerly of the L.A. Times. Posts about him are collected here. Baquet espouses using the pages of newspapers to “push back” against bloggers. He declined my request for an interview back in 2007 and stonewalled when I asked for permission to publish the reason he gave me.

He should work out great.

P.S. Meanwhile, I wonder if Abramson is Googling “tattoo removal” tonight.

I have two [tattoos] then on my back that are the two institutions that I revere, that have shaped me. One is unsurprisingly the amazing ‘T’ in The New York Times newspaper.



47 Responses to “Irony Overload: Female New York Times Editor Fired for Demanding Equal Pay”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. It’s the Dem’s war on women.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  3. Well, how much is Baquet being paid? He’s got less time on the payroll than Abramson does. (Note the dismissive using her first name in refering to her by the NYT; think they’ll be calling the new boss “Dean”?)

    htom (412a17)

  4. Abramson was to pushy and bossy for Sulzberger. Heh.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  5. nasty old tattooed broads are nasty

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  6. Reminds me of a recent assessment I read about the employment practices in another citadel of liberalism, that being Silicon Valley. Although leftist sentiments prevail there, the percentage of female, black and Latino employees not only isn’t very high, it’s even lower today than it was in the past.

    Mark (99b8fd)

  7. Meanwhile, this in the NYT:

    Discrimination in the Military

    The Pentagon needs to address its unfounded prohibition on transgender people.

    And they said there was no slippery slope …

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  8. These rules are for Republicans, who are nasty, evil people and know no better. Any “reason” they give for discrimination is just a lie.

    Good Democrats don’t need to abide these guidelines, since their reasons are presumed to be valid.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  9. How is Sulzberger different from Donald Sterling? Discuss.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  10. The majority of women in this country are punch drunk on democrats.

    mg (31009b)

  11. 8. These rules are for Republicans, who are nasty, evil people and know no better. Any “reason” they give for discrimination is just a lie.

    Good Democrats don’t need to abide these guidelines, since their reasons are presumed to be valid.

    Comment by Kevin M (b357ee) — 5/15/2014 @ 12:17 am

    Does this guy grasp the concept or what?

    I am not worthy.

    Steve57 (fca12c)

  12. Dang if I know. It’s a vast right wing conspiracy sparked by a video and what difference at this point does it make? Dude, it was like two days ago.

    nk (dbc370)

  13. from the NYT’s own coverage via Drudge:

    In recent weeks,….. Mr. Baquet had become angered over a decision by Ms. Abramson to make a job offer to a senior editor from The Guardian, Janine Gibson, and install her alongside him in a co-managing editor position without consulting him. It escalated the conflict between them and rose to the attention of Mr. Sulzberger.
    Ms. Abramson had recently engaged a consultant to help her with her management style. Mr. Sulzberger nevertheless made the decision earlier this month to dismiss her, and last Thursday he informed Mr. Baquet of his promotion, according to the people briefed on the situation, who declined to speak for attribution because of the sensitivity of the matter.

    So in other words, Baquet threatened to quit and Sultzberger had to make a choice. Informing the “replacement” some time before apparently telling the firee, while letting the newsroom carry on in ignorance of the decision and hierarchy change is the clue, and it’s classic cowardice. Still, other than the juicy palace intrigue, I’m having trouble caring a whit about the NYT or any of its upper management– regardless of their sex or color.

    elissa (b0eb09)

  14. If the new guy gets paid what Keller was paid, it is proof of sexism. If he does not, it is proof of racism, and confirms the sexism.

    JD (2d7b3f)

  15. You can do this leftists.

    Hills like white heffalumps

    Come on, people!

    Steve57 (fca12c)

  16. this is the real reason she was fired;

    speaking truth to power, not so big a thing anymore,

    narciso (3fec35)

  17. Surprisingly she doesn’t get the irony, shockah;

    narciso (3fec35)

  18. I’ve branded a lot of cattle, but have never had one volunteer for it.

    melanerpes (6d31ac)

  19. I became a conservative due to the fact my b***s were shot off in last, great war.

    But it was better not to think about that now. Now was the time for the running of the comb through the hair and not to think about the retreating hairline or the Italians or even the one he called Mother.

    Steve57 (fca12c)

  20. I loved the Plymouth Volare as if no called the cops because we had removed the emissions controls and the balls rolled freely across the billiard table.

    Steve57 (fca12c)

  21. Well, there go the two line nose lunches in the boardroom.

    Perspective people. Keep your heads.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  22. *as if no one called the cops *

    Steve57 (fca12c)

  23. If you don’t know what to make of me, feel free. How much of humanity even knows what to make of the word “Volare?”

    Steve57 (fca12c)

  24. when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie that’s volare Mr. 57

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  25. Jill Abraham’s dismissal can be seen as advance battlefield preparation. Obama and Hillary know that dangerous storm clouds are on the horizon and that furious and frightening winds are gathering force, the fight for their political lives is coming, the dates are set, the sides are drawn, their culpability might soon be undeniabily laid bare.

    Too much secrecy, too many scandals, too much damage has been inflicted on the nation, so much arrogance, so many brazen lies, all of it laid directly at the Administration’s feet. For Obama and Hillary survival depends on dodging direct responsibility, least the demand for retribution takes root and condemns them to banishment and eternal disgrace, or what passes for it these dark days.

    That’s why Abramson had to go, why she couldn’t be trusted at the top of the Times, she was outspoken against White House secrecy:

    I would say it is the most secretive White House that I have ever been involved in covering…

    If Obama and Hillary are to remain in position at the center of national politics (and it’s Sulzberge’s designated mission to keep them there) they must be allowed to escape punishment for a multitude of crimes. To do so the NY Times must stand as an unshakable mighty shield, it must deny their culpability, make excuses for their crimes, lie for them, deceive the public, attack their accusers, confuse, conflate, and obfuscate facts and events, all to protect the manifestly guilty from a mountain of malfeasance.

    Abramson couldn’t be trusted to play hardball so she had to go. In her place now sits a deceiver so reliably on the Administration’s media team there’s little reason to doubt the Times will enthusiastically function in lockstep with White House spinmeisters.

    The Watchdogs of Democracy feed from the hand of the Tyrant.

    PS: Expect James Risen to leave the Times almost immediately. Like Abramson, he too recently went public with criticism of WH secrecy and called the Obama Administration “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation.”

    ropelight (67ba9f)

  26. yes, he was subpoenaed in the trial of Jeffrey Sterling, one could have told him ‘If you voted for McCain’ this would happen, meanwhile burning a once in a lifetime asset, gets you this;

    narciso (3fec35)

  27. Hasn’t the NYT been losing money? Perfect time to reduce operating costs is when replacing someone. Offer the new person an amount less than the predecessor, and improve profitability.

    And I am given to understand that Ms. Abramson voluntarily entered into a contract with the NYT to perform the executive editor duties for compensation that she agreed to. If she thought she was worth more, she should have asked and found out if the NYT believed that to be true.

    Or was she dragooned into being the executive editor, with no say in the matter?

    Loren (1e34f2)

  28. 26. …For Obama and Hillary survival depends on dodging direct responsibility, least the demand for retribution takes root and condemns them to banishment and eternal disgrace, or …

    Comment by ropelight (67ba9f) — 5/15/2014 @ 9:02 am

    Now you’re taunting me, what with the unveiled reference to the Volare’s sister the Aspen.

    Oh the humanity!

    Steve57 (fca12c)

  29. I hear dog whistles. Everywhere.

    Steve57 (fca12c)

  30. I suspect Jill Abramson wanted to exert too much control over the content of the New York Times, and therefore, this is a good thing.

    Sammy Finkelman (bcd7c8)

  31. The whole story about her being paid less is probably a leak (from someone friendly to her) to disguise the real reason she was fired.

    Sammy Finkelman (bcd7c8)

  32. The real reason being she’s an uppity woman who backtalked Sulzburger?

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  33. This is OT, but involves New York, the president’s peace prize, and the the media’s lack of curiosity about it. The gossip is much too good to pass up. It also may slightly modify your view of Rahm.

    A senior Norwegian diplomat says his country’s former ambassador to the United States was given a verbal lashing by Barack Obama’s chief of staff when the president was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.

    Morten Wetland said Thursday the ambassador, Wegger Stroemmen, was approached by Rahm Emanuel, now Chicago’s mayor, who accused Norway of “fawning” to the newly elected U.S. leader.

    Wetland, the Norwegian ambassador to the United Nations at the time, told The Associated Press he did not witness the dressing down but said there was an air of embarrassment in Washington that Obama had been given the award so early in his presidency.

    “I think everyone wanted to know what motivated the (awarding) committee. But when I was going down to the U.N. in New York, nobody talked about it,” he said. “It was weird because the U.N. is a talking shop. And people just looked at their shoes. People didn’t raise it with me.”

    elissa (b0eb09)

  34. On her watch, the DOJ has pursued inquiries arising not only from Risen, but Shane, through the Kirikaou matter, and Sanger, re Stuixtnet, with apparently no support from Pinch,

    narciso (3fec35)

  35. elissa I tried you link and got this:

    The requested page “/article/washington/norway-diplomat-rahm-irked-obamas-nobel-peace-prize/thu-05152014-851amf” could not be found.


    felipe (098e97)

  36. Why does the New York Times hate women ?

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  37. Comment by Steve57 (fca12c) — 5/15/2014 @ 7:33 am

    I may have said this before, but I owned a 76 Plymouth Volare station wagon. It had a slant 6 and gave me 250,000 miles before I gave it away.

    felipe (098e97)

  38. Jill’s replacement, Dean Baquet, used to be editor at the LA Times.
    He edited the Times’ hit piece on Arnold Schwarzenegger just a few days prior to the Gray Davis recall election that Arnold ended up winning.

    It’s almost like the NY Times has just hired someone from the DNC to be the managing editor.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  39. try this felipe. I think there was an extra letter at the end of the address. thanks for letting me know. The article is still featured on the main page of the Sun Times website.

    elissa (b0eb09)

  40. I just can’t understand how President Obama has allowed a woman to be fired simply for asking for gender pay equality.
    He promised to fix all of these injustices.
    And on top of that, the oceans are still rising and the ice caps are melting.
    Or something.

    Why is he allowing all of this to happen ?

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  41. Why is he allowing all of this to happen ?

    His staff must be keeping it from him. “If only Obama knew!”

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  42. You know if you really think about it, a corporation fired a senior manager for whatever reason. It happens all the time. She was not a corporate executive.

    It might be time to start treating members of the press for what they are: working slobs. Their talent is no more or less than any other working slob. They don’t possess any magical power or some sort of intelligence that makes them smarter or dumber than anyone else.

    The only thing that makes them different is they get to print things that, for some reason, we are supposed to pay attention to because, again for some reason, the media means something.

    Does the New York Times matter anymore? Can anyone think of anything the New York Times has done in the past 10 years that was relevant?

    It’s a politically correct newsletter with proper grammar for the elite so they can say say harrumph about the unwashed. It is useless as a news source in the same way as Pravda during the Soviet era.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  43. “I think everyone wanted to know what motivated the (awarding) committee. But when I was going down to the U.N. in New York, nobody talked about it,” he said.

    That’s fascinating, partly because it’s liberals (Obama and his band of Democrats) chomping on other liberals (northern Europeans and the Nobel Committee), and also because even the puffed-up egos of the current occupant of the White House and his advisers apparently weren’t enough to prevent even them from realizing the whole Nobel thingamajig was a big, frickin’ joke.

    Speaking of the left chomping on the left, I guess that’s one reason why the story of the two-faced “lefties” at the New York Times (Sulzberger and his peeps) duking it out with other leftists (Abramson and her peeps) is both so interesting and hilarious.

    In such instances, people who are sane and sensible will come out the winner if both sides in a game pitting liberal against liberal lose.

    Mark (99b8fd)

  44. Obama could have done himself a world of good had he declined the Prize as unearned. But that would have required checking his privilege.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  45. Yes, but it helps determines the three networks narrative, a good chunk of the cultural ethos, and sets the parameters of what policy is discussed, on all counts, it’s pretty much wrong, but that is it’s function;

    narciso (3fec35)


    An answer, reported by Dylan Byers of Politico late yesterday, was that Abramson had been dishonest with Sulzberger and Thompson.

    Extremely well-informed sources at the paper familiar with the reasons for Abramson’s dismissal have also given this account to The New Yorker: they say that Abramson was, essentially, fired for cause, for lying to Sulzberger that she had squared Gibson’s rank and arrival with Baquet when, in fact, she had not.

    The sources say she misled Sulzberger when she said, in person and by e-mail, that she had consulted with Baquet about the offer to Gibson and had worked it all out in detail with him.
    Baquet was furious.

    At a dinner with Sulzberger, Baquet basically described the incident as a humiliation. He could no longer work with Abramson. It was him or her.

    (Politico reported that, when Sulzberger shared Baquet’s distress with Abramson, she persisted in assuring him that she had told Baquet everything.)

    According to this account, her breach with Baquet and Sulzberger was irrevocable. Sulzberger decided to fire Abramson and replace her with Baquet, thus making him the first African-American executive editor of the paper—but under the most sour, trying, and confused circumstances.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

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