Can Someone Please Explain

Why I am supposed to care that Jill Abramson was fired?

205 replies
  1. 1
    srv says:

    You think McMegan or Coulter get paid the same?

    It’s only a problem when a villager liberal gets axed.

  2. 2
    WayneL says:

    Because she’s better than you. Better than me, too. Just how much of the “polarization” in the country is really haves got it and the halve-nots don’t? You’re supposed to care about those who are so much better than you. It’s just the way it is. Now, get down here, Dennis, and get into this nice filth.

  3. 3
    raven says:

    Because it generates clicks.

  4. 4
    The Moar You Know says:

    People talk about Republicans disrespecting women, when all the GOP cares about is making sure the little darlings don’t take nasty unhealthy pills and see themselves as sex objects for the wrong sort of men, while Dumbocraps talk a nice game about getting them equality in the workplace and then fire them in favor of a black man as soon as they make any progress. Just like they did to Hillary.

    The GOP is the party of women’s rights and healthcare.

    BENGHAZI!!!!

  5. 5
    Anderson says:

    No reason. It’s just sexism. Bitch shoulda kept her mouth shut.

    Nice one, Balloon Juice.

  6. 6
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    It is possible to think both that the NYT is a weird family fiefdom run by Lord Sulzberger for the benefit of his heirs and successors, and that “senior professional woman regarded as bossy bitch” is indicative of broader institutional problems.

  7. 7
    burnspbesq says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Apparently, you’ve ruled out the possibility that Baquet is better qualified for the job.

    I was an LA Times reader when he was its editor, and I’ve been an NYT reader since fourth grade.

    He is better qualified, and neither race nor gender have anything to do with it.

    If Abramson can prove that she was discriminated against in pay or conditions of employment because of her gender, she can recover damages for it, and I won’t have any problem with that.

    She’s had five years in that job, and she hasn’t done it well enough. It’s time for her to go.

  8. 8
    geg6 says:

    Well, since I suspect I’m the first woman commenting in this thread, the stories I am hearing about why she was fired pretty much show that the NYT has it’s own little war on women going on. Apparently, Judy Miller was a simpering sycophant and she was kept on at high pay no matter how much she lied and cheered on mass murder. But Jill Abrams apparently wasn’t happy that over the course of two high profile jobs at the Times, she has been compensated quite a bit less than the men who held the exact same positions and, in the case of her previous job at the Times, was paid less than one of her subordinates. Oh, and she was pushy.

    I get that some people think that she should just shut up and take it and go away because she’s so entitled and 1%-ish as the editor of the Times and who gives a shit, right? But I’m a woman who sees this at every level of business and if someone like Jill Abrams gets unceremoniously fired for requesting proper compensation, then there is no hope for the likes of me.

  9. 9
    acallidryas says:

    I don’t know that I care that Jill Abramson was fired or what happens at the Times. But when I’m being told all the time that all I have to do is Lean In! or Close the Confidence Gap! and that my comparably lower pay is my fault, yeah, it kind of matters that a high-up woman who leans in was getting paid less than a man did, and got fired for being “bossy” and “brusque.”

  10. 10
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Why I am supposed to care that Jill Abramson was fired?

    Prominent and powerful woman unceremoniously dumped from position amid rumors that she was questioning a possible pay gap between her and her male predecessor.

    In addition, journalists love gossip about journalism.

  11. 11
    The Moar You Know says:

    @burnspbesq: Boy, you’re incapable of detecting sarcasm, aren’t you?

  12. 12
    Keith P says:

    Why I am supposed to care that Jill Abramson was fired?

    To answer with another question, how many posts did this blog dedicate to that guy Nate Silver hired?

  13. 13
    raven says:

    @geg6:

    NEW YORK — New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. told staff Thursday that he wanted to “set the record straight” about ousted New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson’s compensation, in the wake of reports she confronted management over not being paid equally to her male predecessor.

    “It is simply not true that Jill’s compensation was significantly less than her predecessors,” Sulzberger wrote in a memo obtained by The Huffington Post.

    “Her pay is comparable to that of earlier executive editors,” he continued. “In fact, in 2013, her last full year in the role, her total compensation package was more than 10% higher than that of her predecessor, Bill Keller, in his last full year as Executive Editor, which was 2010. It was also higher than his total compensation in any previous year.

  14. 14
    evolved beyond the fist mistermix says:

    @burnspbesq: Abramson was editor of the Times from 9/2011 through 5/2014, which is ~2.5 years, not 5.

  15. 15
    geg6 says:

    @burnspbesq:

    She’s had five years in that job, and she hasn’t done it well enough. It’s time for her to go.

    So, do you do the taxes for the Sulzbergers?

    She had comparable years and experience to that of Baquet. The paper has been doing better financially under her than it did under Keller. What is your proof that she wasn’t competent or that Baquet deserved her job and she should never have had it? What is your proof that she wasn’t qualified?

  16. 16
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Apparently, you’ve ruled out the possibility that Baquet is better qualified for the job.

    Everybody shut up! Mr Lawyer is here to tell us who is qualified to do any fucking job in the world. Case dismissed!

  17. 17
    joel hanes says:

    Because the editorial integrity and political judgement of the NYT really still make a difference in our national politics. Because Keller and Sulzberger are chronically deficient in those areas. Because we want someone in that job who will not allow another Judith Miller, someone who will not allow suppression of stories like Stellar Wind, someone who is not afraid to use the word “torture” to describe torture conducted by American forces.

  18. 18
    geg6 says:

    @raven:

    Excuse me if I don’t take Arthur’s word for it.

    In her previous position at the Times, she called in a lawyer when she found out that a subordinate was making more than she was.

  19. 19
    Mayken says:

    @geg6: yes, this! Thanks.

  20. 20
    raven says:

    @geg6: Fine with me, I just posted what he said.

  21. 21
    wasabi gasp says:

    It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your privilege is?

  22. 22
    dan says:

    Because OUTRAGE!!

  23. 23
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @geg6: At this point there is no proof either way. If she was making less appreciably less than Keller, it will come out in the inevitable lawsuit. She wasn’t eased out; she was punted. That pretty much guarantees that she will sue if the facts warrant it.

  24. 24
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    We have a few strands reported here beyond the pay issue:

    – Mark Thompson being pissed off at Abramson treating the Savile investigation in the UK as newsworthy, given that it covered his time at the BBC.

    – Mini-Sulzberger being given the task of writing a report about digital innovation in the newsroom that said “faster! faster!”

    – Abramson trying to hire Janine Gibson from the Grauniad to do digital stuff without apparently going through Baquet first.

    That’s mostly court intrigue, though.

  25. 25
    Elizabelle says:

    Haven’t been following, but there’s something wrong when Mark Halperin is failing upwards, with more and more platforms to disseminate his “journalism” …. and the media is not abuzz about that. At all.

    Agree that Dean Baquet sounds like an excellent choice for the NYTimes.

    Have any NYTimes journalists been speaking “anonymously” about Abramson’s firing? Knives out, or dismayed by the dismissal?

  26. 26
    fordpowers says:

    Same.
    Zero fucks given about her.

    Net Neutrality tho..
    That seems kinda serious.

  27. 27
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I assume she has her pay stubs. Would Smutzeburger lie about it in print if a lawsuit was forthcoming?

  28. 28
    Warren Terra says:

    I believe the New York Times is the single most important news organization in the country (or if you prefer the most important single news organization), that it does more and better coverage of national stories than does any one competitor. This does not absolve it of its sins, but it does mean it’s a hugely important national voice, and the identity of the person running it therefore matters – especially when there’s confusion and controversy about their firing.

    Separately, there’s the notion that a nominally hugely powerful woman may have been paid less than her male subordinates, and may have been fired for protesting, This allegation, which is disputed, is always worthy of looking into, as it speaks to broader social problems.

  29. 29
    jl says:

    I don’t know enough about it to understand why it was news in the first place. I understood why it would be interesting to media people because of the suddenness of the announcement, which those in the biz find quite odd.

    It is interesting to me now because NYT brass act like dimwit sexist doofuses, which I kind of suspected already. Very hard for me to believe that any competent editor should be paid less than Keller. I’ve read that he was a good reporter once, but that must have been long ago.

    Interesting that, regarding the pay issue, I read that there was a money settlement between Abramson and NYT to resolve the issue. That says more to me than the NYT sad and self contradictory bafflegab.

  30. 30
    Cassidy says:

    Ooh, I feel a “fuck all of you” post followed by a “I’m sorry, look at my cat” coming on!

  31. 31
    jonas says:

    Because if it’s true that she was pushed out for bringing up the fact that she was not compensated as well as the previous (male) editor, or for merely being an aggressive female executive, then that means that the nation’s paper of record and its publisher are pretty big shitheels and we should care about that. The NYT is a significant national institution and bellwether for other media organizations. It should have the highest standards.

    That being said, I don’t think we know the full picture and of course the publisher is pushing back mightily against the accusations of sexism. It could be both — they were pissed she brought the pay disparity to their attention *and* they didn’t like her management style, so it seemed like a good time to unload her.

  32. 32
    raven says:

    @jl:

    I read that there was a money settlement between Abramson and NYT to resolve the issue.

    Me too which is probably why we haven’t heard shit from her.

  33. 33
    Amit Joshi says:

    This isn’t really about Abramson, it’s about the reasons. If she was fired for protesting against a gender-gap in pay, then I do care. I would think so would you. What am I missing?

  34. 34
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @raven: The pay difference may be arguable depending on base salary, bonus structure, pension, etc. Maybe one had more guaranteed money but the other potentially get more in bonuses. And so on.

  35. 35
    gogol's wife says:

    Unlike many people here, I subscribe to the Times print edition 7 days/week and make at least a good-faith effort to read the paper every day (long habit). I have no idea why Jill Abramson was fired. It may have been for the wrong reasons. All I know is, the paper has gotten even worse under her editorship. In particular, the Maureen Dowd type of snarky attitude toward the president has gotten way out of hand. On the day of his second inauguration they published a huge caricature of him as a lazy baseball player on the front page of the Sunday Review. That’s just for starters. She just published a huge article about her own accident getting hit by a car (with the similar stories of three other Times employees thrown in). As a reader pointed out, no attempt was made in the article to draw a larger conclusion or to do reporting about the issue of pedestrian accidents in NYC. It was just about, here’s what happened to me, in a kind of memoiristic way (there have been similar articles about her dog). My impression is that their Pulitzer count has gone down. So my reaction is — let’s see if Baquet improves things.

  36. 36
    raven says:

    In the wake of Wednesday’s news, The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta reported that Sulzberger had grown frustrated with Abramson after she pushed for more pay upon learning that her salary was significantly lower than that of her male predecessors.

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

  37. 37
    JPL says:

    OT.. I’ve been off line most of the day, has Ranch and Syrup or other southern CA residents, given us an update. I can search the previous threads but thought maybe one of you would know.

  38. 38
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: got it

  39. 39
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole @ Top:

    Why I am supposed to care that Jill Abramson was fired?

    I find the Abramson story interesting because I’m a New Yorker, thus it’s my hometown paper. It’s been a major American newspaper for about a century and half, so I can see why anyone involved in communications, media, or journalism would be interested – which, come to think of it, don’t you teach communications?

    As for the rest of America, I can’t think of any big reason why they should care. Maybe because it’s the country’s paper record? Or maybe because Abramson’s firing potentially sends a message that women – even high-profile women in executive positions – can still be subjected to sexism?

    Whether or not the majority of Americans care, I think it’s justifiably news, though, and worth reporting.

  40. 40
    zmulls says:

    The (first female) editor of the most-respected US newspaper fired very, very suddenly with no clear reason given.

    Possible reasons:

    1) Suspected sexism (pay gap, she’s “pushy” etc.). That’s newsworthy in some ways.

    2) Editorial meddling. Maybe she wouldn’t slant the news the way Sulzberger wanted. Maybe too much about the 1%. Maybe she wanted to fire David Brooks. Who knows? Interesting and potentially newsworthy.

    3) “Native content” — Could be a fight about advertising content, according to Sully, whose latest hobbyhorse is advertising content masquerading as news. Could easily be a case of Sulzberger wanting to blur the line between news and paid content, and Abramson trying to hold the line.

    All this is speculation. Since it was sudden, and looks like it was not amicable, there’s a story there. And all of the most likely speculations are newsworthy.

  41. 41
    jonas says:

    @raven: I don’t know that they’re too worried about this. Despite the Ledbetter Act and all that, proving discrimination is virtually impossible unless you literally have Donald Sterling-style recordings of the bosses cackling and talking about how they’re paying you less ’cause you’re a stupid broad and you’ll never be the wiser.

  42. 42
    zmulls says:

    (I’m not sure why I need to care about Barbara Walters retiring, though, after she’s done to change the nature of journalism to gossip)

  43. 43
    BonCH says:

    Something about “Solange,” I think.

  44. 44
    TooManyJens says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    If she was making less appreciably less than Keller, it will come out in the inevitable lawsuit.

    Except that she signed a settlement agreement, so probably no lawsuit.

    I don’t think it’s the case that Abramson got fired for asking to be paid equally, or at least not only for that. There were some power struggles and fights about the best direction for the future of the company. And apparently her sending a reporter to investigate whether Mark Thompson — formerly director general of the BBC and now the NYT CEO — knew about sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile wasn’t very popular with said CEO.

    So, there are lots of factors that probably went into her firing.

    But I do think it’s probably the case that she wasn’t paid equally and that some of her problems had to do with gender. Sulzburger didn’t like the attention she got for being the first female executive editor at the Times. She got labeled as “pushy” for the kind of behavior that gets men labeled as “tough.” (My favorite is the anecdote about her having an argument with Baquet that ended with Baquet punching the wall — but clearly she was the unreasonable one there!) It’s also the case that she was accorded less respect and dignity for her exit than Bill Keller or even Howell Raines. So, yeah, my sexism-dar is pinging. I think she just wasn’t considered as worthy of respect or status as her male colleagues.

  45. 45
    gogol's wife says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I’m wrong about the Pulitzers. There’s no big difference in the number they’ve won since she became editor.

  46. 46
    BGinCHI says:

    The Times obviously did this to distract from Benghazi.

    Next question, libtard.

  47. 47
    Calouste says:

    @raven:

    Sulzberger is apparently unaware of the concept of “inflation”. 10% over three years just about covers that. Also note that he is explicitly talking about Abramson’s compensation in 2013 only, while of course she was employed by the NYT for far longer.

  48. 48
    gogol's wife says:

    @BGinCHI:

    You think you’re kidding, but just look at the comments at Politico.

  49. 49
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @BGinCHI: Or the US’s fascist land grab and invasion of Ukraine.

  50. 50
    Chickamin Slam says:

    @fordpowers: What net neutrality? Even commenters here don’t care. Did they ever care? Or perhaps it is the fatigue of everything going to hell in a hand basket and you might as well be distracted by the antics of Justin Bieber or the Kardashians? “I’m sure Commish Wheeler will take care of us.”

  51. 51
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Cassidy: THIS. I’m betting on that post arriving around 5pm eastern time.

  52. 52
    Roger Moore says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    So my reaction is — let’s see if Baquet improves things.

    He was very good with the LA Times. He was especially noteworthy for fighting hard against staff cuts instigated by short-sighted Tribune Company management.

  53. 53
    The Moar You Know says:

    OT.. I’ve been off line most of the day, has Ranch and Syrup or other southern CA residents, given us an update. I can search the previous threads but thought maybe one of you would know.

    @JPL: Two fires burning in San Marcos, everything else at least under control. Hot as hell again, but no wind.

  54. 54
    Amir Khalid says:

    There appears to be some substance to the dispute. Per the stories, it looks like Abramson suspected The NYT was shortchanging her on pay and benefits relative to the men, in particular her immediate predecessor and one of her deputies. And The NYT seemed to find itself uncomfortable with her approach to executive-editing — too much confrontation and not enough consultation, or something. I notice that the NYT’s (rumoured) issues with Abramson had to do with how she got along with others, rather than her performance or the newspaper’s editorial/business results.

    We on the outside can only guess at what really happened, absent a lawsuit or a spilling of the beans by some knowledgeable person. But so far, I don’t see any issue of importance to outsiders.

  55. 55
    BGinCHI says:

    @gogol’s wife: No way I’m getting out of the boat for that. No way. But seriously: really?

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’m trying to keep Portland weird, but it’s a lot of work.

  56. 56
    raven says:

    @Calouste: Chieu Hoi

  57. 57
    gogol's wife says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Yes, she’s yet another victim of Obama’s jackbooted thugs.

  58. 58
    BGinCHI says:

    @Amir Khalid: Cue the Reason headline:

    Why Does Jill Hate the Free Market?

  59. 59
    raven says:

    @Amir Khalid: So, if they paid her off none of it matters, right?

  60. 60
    SatanicPanic says:

    @JPL: We were all over in the most recent open thread but the short answer is that San Diego County is hot and on fire.

  61. 61
    rikyrah says:

    I dunno, cause I know I don’t care. 3 years for her to get what the previous guy’s pay was?

    seriously?

    uh huh

    uh huh

  62. 62
    Morzer says:

    @Cassidy:

    Wasn’t that the “NFL is homophobic because Michael Sam wasn’t drafted” post?

  63. 63
    geg6 says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Not to mention that revenue has increased since she took over. So, it would be highly unlikely that she got dumped because she wasn’t doing the job better than her predecessors.

    There is also a little known (at least among the general public and among men, especially) phenomenon that is shown in studies that large companies that bring in a female to lead them generally only tend to bring them in when the companies are in severe financial difficulties. And that, once those difficulties are addressed, tend to get rid of the woman who solved the problem and bring back a man for the top job.

    I hate the world some days.

  64. 64
    kindness says:

    John you aren’t really expected to care that she was fired.

    You may however be expected to care why she was fired.

  65. 65
    cleek says:

    as a AAA journalist, it’s your duty to pay close attention to the goings on up in the majors. it’s so very very important.

  66. 66
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Warren Terra:

    I believe the New York Times is the single most important news organization stenographers in the country (or if you prefer the most important single news organization), that it does more and better coverage of national stories than does any one competitor.

    Fix’d.

  67. 67
    BGinCHI says:

    @geg6: This is also a good paraphrase of the plot of The Merchant of Venice.

  68. 68
    Trollhattan says:

    @gogol’s wife:
    For me, that’s the crux of the matter: if she made the paper notably better then fie on them and a pox on their house. If she just held serve or it got worse, then time for a change and nothing to see here.

    Not a regular reader so don’t have an opinion, and don’t know how circulation or revenue stack up.

    It’s also quite possible that the position is untenable because of the corporate environment, and the editor is doomed to failure whomever she/he is. I don’t know that bit, either.

    The only one I care to see shitcanned is the Opinion Page editor and he’s staying put, with his slate of idiots (sorry Dr. K, not you).

    Jill will land on a soft pillow with the option of whether to work again, or not. Must be nice.

  69. 69
    Cassidy says:

    @Morzer: It’s a pattern.

  70. 70
    Sir Laffs-a-Lot says:

    Pinch and Jill had a meeting and the wrong one got fired; he’d be the night editor in Obits if he wasn’t a member of the Family.

  71. 71
    Morzer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    That’s the CIA’s zombie Nazi army land grab to you, sunshine! Now, if you’ve inspired Bibble in Pooterland to open his yap again, I am totally going to track down your pseudonymous Latinate ass and.. well,I will have such revenges on you both,
    that all the world shall–I will do such things,– what they are, yet I know not: but they shall be the terrors of the earth.

  72. 72
    TooManyJens says:

    @geg6:

    There is also a little known (at least among the general public and among men, especially) phenomenon that is shown in studies that large companies that bring in a female to lead them generally only tend to bring them in when the companies are in severe financial difficulties.

    Not unlike the way we elected a black guy after the economy had been driven into the ground, really.

  73. 73
    Amir Khalid says:

    @raven:
    It does matter, but not to the public. If we’re disappointed that there’s no public reckoning on the issue, too bad; Abramson’s compensation is supposed to be private and confidential between her and The NYT, n’est-ce pas? Maybe she was shortchanged at that, and The NYT did pay up the difference as part of the settlement. If so, then I’d say that dispute is over.

  74. 74
    MomSense says:

    Just two quick things to add to the discussion. If it turns out to be true that she was fired or faced retaliation for bringing up a possible gender gap in pay, that is important for everyone not just women. Paycheck fairness did just crash and burn in the US Senate. For those of us who are women and those of us who care about or are dependent on women financially–the gender gap in pay as well as all the sexist justifications are a BFD. The NYT covered paycheck fairness. I haven’t had a chance to go back and look at how they handled the issue but you betcha I will now.

    This discussion does not need to devolve into which editor is better Abramson or Baquet or Abramson vs. Baquet. That Baquet is qualified and seemingly an excellent choice does not mean that Abramson didn’t face discrimination. We can expect fair treatment for women and be pleased that Baquet is now the editor and hopeful that he will do some good there.

    I do think there is a larger issue of who tells the story in journalism. There was an interesting piece in the American Prospect called The Unbearable Whiteness of Liberal Media. As a woman, I do feel like there is also an awful lot of maleness.

    http://prospect.org/article/un.....eral-media

  75. 75
    Cacti says:

    Because affluent people like Abramson are better than the rest of us.

    Duh.

  76. 76
    Carolinus says:

    @fordpowers:

    Net Neutrality tho..
    That seems kinda serious.

    What’s ridiculous about the recent breathless coverage is that Net Neutrality was already dead. There isn’t some new rule being proposed that’s about to kill it.

    Earlier in Obama’s admin the Dem commissioners voted to ban the paid prioritization and content blocking with their Open Internet order. It was struck down by the courts. The courts mandated the current unregulated status quo and Net Neutrality ceased to exist from that point on. These new proposed rules are attempting to weakly regulate, to prevent some abuses like content blocking, while still passing judicial muster. Even these middling rules probably will be stuck down by the courts too (if they are implemented).

    See this Arstechnica article: “The FCC doesn’t have to authorize Internet fast lanes—they’re already legal”

    The real issue is that nearly everyone in power is leery of reclassifying ISPs as common carriers (justifiably or not), but it’s probably the only way the FCC would be able to have any of these rules stick. The other option, is Net Neutrality through legislation, which most Dems in congress and the president support, but it clearly would be blocked in the house and filibustered in the senate.

    Here’s the vote breakdown of a 2011 anti-Net Neutrality bill, if you want to see where your representatives stand on the issue:

    House –> https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/112-2011/h227

    Senate –> https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/112-2011/s200

    A Yea vote was a vote against Net Neutrality.

  77. 77
    burnspbesq says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Boy, you’re incapable of detecting sarcasm, aren’t you?

    If you don’t want your sarcasm mistaken for stupidity, post fewer stupid comments.

  78. 78
    priscianus jr says:

    Cynicism is so cool today.

    Okay, as I am of an older generation, I will tell you why. Because before Abramson came on, the Times had reached such an unprecedented level of journalistic suckitude that I, who had been a regular reader for many years, had actually stopped reading it. Oh, every once in a while I might pick one up. So some time about two years ago I did pick one up and I read a report that I really didn’t think I could be reading in the Times. It actually envisioned the possibility that long-time Jewish critics of Israel might be right. Long story short, I started reading the Times again and now and then I’d come cross something else I didn’t think I would have seen pre-Abramson. Just a marginal improvement, but I noticed it enough to start reading the Times again, with all its residual suckitude.

    BTW, I didn’t even know who Jill Abramson was. At first, I didn’t even realize they had a new editor. So what I have described above is the ONLY reason for my good opinion of JA.

    Apparently it was all about her personality and management style. But maybe it was her personality and management style in the face of a lot of prejudiced opposition. Maybe sexism had something to do with it (d’ya think?) I don’t know. But it’s an interesting question.

    But you know what? I don’t care whether you care or not. Am I being cool yet?

  79. 79
    TooManyJens says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Maybe she was shortchanged at that, and The NYT did pay up the difference as part of the settlement. If so, then I’d say that dispute is over.

    That particular dispute perhaps, but it would certainly give the lie to the idea that the pay gap is women’s fault for not “leaning in” harder or being more assertive or whatever. I mean, if the executive editor at the New York Times can’t get paid equally, what the fuck are the rest of us supposed to do?

  80. 80
    FlipYrWhig says:

    It’d be one thing if the New York Times had been doing anything particularly well during her tenure. I don’t remember being asked to feel sympathetic identification about the ouster of Carly Fiorina.

  81. 81
    JPL says:

    @SatanicPanic: Thanks! I found the comments and hopefully you all stay safe.

  82. 82
  83. 83
    geg6 says:

    My last word on the subject (well, not my words, per se, but they could have been if I was writing at Salon):

    http://www.salon.com/2014/05/1....._downfall/

  84. 84
    Morzer says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    To be fair, Fiorina was an obvious, egregious disaster and her ouster had been foreseen for months.

  85. 85
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    I believe the New York Times is the single most important news organization stenographers in the country

    You can think that the NYT pulls its punches and frequently engages in “both sides do it” journalism; you can think it spends an excruciating amount of time on the travails of the not-quite-rich enough, and treats those outside of its target demographic like weird tribal peoples.

    But that doesn’t stop it from being a massively important media institution.

  86. 86
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Morzer: Two threads down.

  87. 87
    catclub says:

    @BGinCHI: Doubly true! resort to Jewish Financing when all the Christians abandon you. Resort to Woman lawyer when the men don’t get the job done.

    Throw both overboard when you are successful again.

  88. 88
    Chyron HR says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    You can think that the NYT pulls its punches and frequently engages in “both sides do it” journalism; you can think it spends an excruciating amount of time on the travails of the not-quite-rich enough, and treats those outside of its target demographic like weird tribal peoples.

    So was Ms. Abramson responsible for the content of the paper, or just helpless to prevent it?

  89. 89
    zmulls says:

    My money is really on the “if you won’t let us sneak in more advertising content masquerading as news, you’re fired” explanation than the “you’re a push woman, you’re fired” explanation. Always follow the money.

    (Not to say that sexism didn’t play a part, probably, but I suspect there’s an argument about business vs. journalism going on here).

  90. 90
    the Conster says:

    @TooManyJens:

    Waiting for the book titled “Lean In and Get Your Head Cut Off and Handed To You, Bitch”

  91. 91
    Trollhattan says:

    @Morzer:

    Besides, she had demon sheep to tend.

  92. 92
    priscianus jr says:

    @Trollhattan: “For me, that’s the crux of the matter: if she made the paper notably better then fie on them and a pox on their house. If she just held serve or it got worse, then time for a change and nothing to see here.”

    I think she did make the paper (a little) better. And maybe she even wanted to make it more better. I don’t know. See my comment 77.

  93. 93
    geg6 says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Eight Pulitzers in three years and higher revenues. Seems to me that a man who had done this would be having roses thrown at his feet and his being “pushy” would be praised to the skies.

  94. 94
    scav says:

    – Mark Thompson being pissed off at Abramson treating the Savile investigation in the UK as newsworthy, given that it covered his time at the BBC.

    If this is true, I’d be somewhat concerned as well, not that I would be that surprised, as they old grey mare ain’t what she used to be. If I don’t like like the cover-up by guys in lacy robes, I’m likewise not too fond of coverups by guys controlling the digital ink. Granted, the US isn’t known for managing to recognize there’s a world on the other side of the continental shelf, but still. Reported “flagships” should get out a bit over deeper waters.

  95. 95
    CT Voter says:

    @burnspbesq: Five years? Didn’t realize 2011 – 2014 = five years.

  96. 96
    Morzer says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I was allowing an amnesty for previous episodes. These days I see Comrade Bobblehead’s name plus a link and ignore whatever theories he is offering about how Galactic Emperor Xenu and the Lizard People are colonizing the Ukraine via the CIA’s Nazi zombie United Fruit mercenaries.

  97. 97
    Jamey says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    but just look at the comments at Politico

    No. Fuck you.

  98. 98
    Cacti says:

    There is no greater tragedy than when a wealthy person loses a cushy job.

  99. 99
    Amir Khalid says:

    @TooManyJens:
    I don’t think anyone disputes that sexism still rules in places like the NYT, or that even the highest-ranking women are often victimised, except the sexists themselves.

  100. 100
    The Moar You Know says:

    Five years? Didn’t realize 2011 – 2014 = five years.

    @CT Voter: Don’t worry about his oft-displayed innumeracy. He’s a tax lawyer.

  101. 101
    Morzer says:

    @Cacti:

    I would argue that David Brooks keeping his cushy job is more of a tragedy.

  102. 102
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Morzer: Fair enough, but it seems funny that the blogosphere spends years complaining about the NYT having become a total shitshow, but then when someone in the upper management of said shitshow gets bounced, that’s a lamentable turn of events. “She should have been fired for a good reason, not a bad one!” makes for a peculiar rallying cry — although I get the point.

    I’m trying but failing to recall a quip from within feminism about how feminism will have succeeded when a lousy female worker gets fired for the same reasons a lousy male one does, or something to that effect.

  103. 103
    raven says:

    100 clicks, not bad!

  104. 104
    Randy P says:

    @raven: Is it just me or does that response sound weaselly? She complains about pay, and they respond with some nonsense about pension and “total compensation” without ever mentioning her salary.

  105. 105
    Baud says:

    @Cacti:

    I don’t know. It’s pretty heart wrenching when a wealthy person has to pay taxes.

  106. 106
    geg6 says:

    Another excellent take on this matter:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/c.....mes-sexism

  107. 107
    TooManyJens says:

    @FlipYrWhig: “Our struggle today is not to have a female Einstein get appointed as an assistant professor. It is for a woman schlemiel to get as quickly promoted as a male schlemiel.” — Bella Abzug

  108. 108
    BGinCHI says:

    @catclub: Plus reject the browns/mooslims by cheating at marriage.

  109. 109
    raven says:

    @Randy P: Saying a woman sounds weasilly might get you in trouble.

  110. 110
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Jamey: “You should see the comments over there” is the “Dude, smell this” of the internet.

  111. 111
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @geg6: “Pushy” I grant you. But most of us hate the New York Times and would dance around the grave of a fired male editor who had presided over its deterioration. We wouldn’t miss him. Martyr stories are always tricky.

  112. 112
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @TooManyJens: Thanks! I got the directions all wrong, but that’s definitely what I was trying to remember.

  113. 113
    Morzer says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I think there are two basically separate issues here:

    1) Was Abramson a good editor (the consensus seems to be that she wasn’t particularly remarkable)?

    2) Was she fired unfairly after demanding equal pay?

    As far as 1)goes, I don’t see any reason to think that she was worth keeping by the NYT qua editor, especially if they thought Baquet could do a better job. Overall, I think women are just as good at editing as men – but that doesn’t mean that any given individual woman is a talented editor or the right editor for a given job. If 2) turns out to be true, I hope she extracts a good wad of Sulzberger’s cash and that the NYT learns a lesson.

  114. 114
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Chyron HR:

    So was Ms. Abramson responsible for the content of the paper, or just helpless to prevent it?

    Since you’re being snarky, I’ll be serious: if you have problems with the notion that American high-tier journalism has evolved a particular style and mode and institutional culture, then I’m not sure what can be done to help you.

    Atrios World Industries isn’t going to buy out the NYT Company any time soon.

  115. 115
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Morzer: Well-stated, and I agree.

  116. 116
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MomSense:

    This discussion does not need to devolve into which editor is better Abramson or Baquet or Abramson vs. Baquet. That Baquet is qualified and seemingly an excellent choice does not mean that Abramson didn’t face discrimination. We can expect fair treatment for women and be pleased that Baquet is now the editor and hopeful that he will do some good there.

    This.

    @TooManyJens:

    That particular dispute perhaps, but it would certainly give the lie to the idea that the pay gap is women’s fault for not “leaning in” harder or being more assertive or whatever. I mean, if the executive editor at the New York Times can’t get paid equally, what the fuck are the rest of us supposed to do?

    Also, this.

    This is hitting a nerve with a lot of women because we keep being told over and over again that the persistent pay gap is our own fault even though the facts say otherwise. And that wage gap is an average — it’s actually worse for non-white women.

    So, yes, fellas, when there’s an actual real-life example that we are pointing you to, we’re going to get a little peeved when you keep squinting and insisting that it’s not a duck, it’s a swan. Maybe a platypus. You’re not sure, except that you know it’s not a duck.

  117. 117
    scav says:

    To an extent, the NYT created this level of kurfuffle by firing her as suddenly as they did. General unhappiness can be handled far more decorousl, with gold watches and general insincerity on all sides. Business as usual.

  118. 118
    TooManyJens says:

    @SatanicPanic: Is it wrong that I wish I could retweet that?

  119. 119
    Baud says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Seems more like an armadillo to me.

  120. 120
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I don’t think anyone disputes that sexism still rules in places like the NYT, or that even the highest-ranking women are often victimised, except the sexists themselves.

    Here’s the problem, though: here we are pointing to what seems to be a pretty clear example of sexism, and half the comments are denying that it was really sexism. It must have been something else. Oh, sure, sexism was part of it, but they must have had good reasons to fire her, too.

    I’m guessing that these excuses are sounding very familiar to our African-American commenters who try to point out what seem to them to be very clear examples of racism, only to have them diminished as, Well, there were other factors involved, so can you really say it was racism?

  121. 121
    raven says:

    Via Duck?

  122. 122
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Baud:

    Well, armadillos can swim, so at least you’re still in the realm of things that go in the water.

    (Seriously, I only just found that out last week. Why did no one ever tell me that armadillos can swim?)

    ETA: Video proof

  123. 123
    J. says:

    I look forward to the day when a woman or a gay* person being hired or fired is not news.

    Maybe, as I have read, Abramson rubbed too many of her colleagues the wrong way, i.e., was not a good manager or team player — and people were complaining. FWIW, I have had many sexist/bad male bosses, but even worse were the fortysomething and fiftysomething women who felt threatened and/or that they had something to prove. In other words, maybe Abramson was fired because she wasn’t a good manager, or wasn’t meeting her goals, not for being an uppity female.

    (*So if Michael Sam doesn’t make the Rams roster, is everyone going to scream “It’s because he’s gay!”? What if the answer is, he just wasn’t good enough? As I wrote above, I look forward to the day when women, gays, minorities are judged/hired/fired purely based on their talents/skills, not by their gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.)

  124. 124
    TooManyJens says:

    @Mnemosyne: I saw an armadillo in person for the first time recently. Have you ever seen them run? It’s this hilarious, delicate skitter that I never would have expected from an animal that looks like that.

  125. 125
    raven says:

    @Mnemosyne: Did you know groundhogs climb trees? I didn’t till one scared the shit out of me in the back yard!

  126. 126
    Morzer says:

    @Baud:

    Might be a peccadillo, which is the armadillo’s more annoying cousin.

  127. 127
    The Moar You Know says:

    Why did no one ever tell me that armadillos can swim?

    @Mnemosyne: Probably for the same reason that nobody told you that it’s the only nonhuman animal that can contract and transmit leprosy; it’s creepy as fuck.

  128. 128
    Jay C says:

    @geg6: ‘

    large companies that bring in a female to lead them generally only tend to bring them in when the companies are in severe financial difficulties

    Oh, you mean like Mary Barra at GM? I did notice that right after all the big media hoo-ha about “first woman to head a major automaker“, she has had to spend most of her time dealing with embarrassing recalls, and traipsing back and forth to Washington to reassure Congress that GM didn’t actually intend to kill people with their cars in order to save six cents a pop on parts costs, or whatever. Just a coincidence? Not so sure anymore….

  129. 129
    Morzer says:

    @raven:

    But did you see its shadow?

  130. 130
    raven says:

    @Morzer: Fucking varmits are all over, I’ve seen em every which way. The Bohdi has been chasing one for 9 years.

  131. 131
    SatanicPanic says:

    @TooManyJens: Feel free to use it whenever you want!

  132. 132
    Baud says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Why did no one ever tell me that armadillos can swim?

    Don’t know, but it’s probably related to the Benghazi coverup.

  133. 133
    Belafon says:

    @J.: And I’ll be happy for that day as well, but:
    1. It’s only going to happen if we hear about it enough that it gets boring.
    2. That’s still not necessarily the issue here. We could hear about women getting fired for being underpaid often enough that it’s no longer news. That still doesn’t make it right.

  134. 134
    raven says:

    @Belafon: Yea it will be great when someone can just get fired because they do a shitty job.

  135. 135
    Jay C says:

    @Morzer:

    Might be a peccadillo, which is the armadillo’s more annoying cousin.

    Yeah, and you can NEVER get those little suckers to behave…..

  136. 136
    CT Voter says:

    @geg6: Pretty much nails it.

  137. 137
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Morzer: Part peccary. Part armadillo. And, for all that, only somewhat offensive.

  138. 138
    WaterGirl says:

    @geg6: I was moved out of my position years ago after working with the HR person for our college to document that the male managers in my unit were making on average 12,000-14,000 more than the female managers.

    The boys: they do not like to be questioned. And they prefer that women know their place.

    In my situation, the dean of our college intervened and I was moved to another unit of our college. So I didn’t lose my job, but I still had to leave the group that I had created and where I had hired the wonderful staff, to go to another unit that would not have been my choice.

  139. 139
    MomSense says:

    One more thing to throw into the discussion and that is that I think we all agree that our media suck for the most part. Yes, there are some good journalists but overall our media really do suck. Can we even entertain the possibility that our media would suck less if the composition were more like the general population?

  140. 140
    MomSense says:

    @WaterGirl:

    GRRRR! This is why this issue is a BFD even if we don’t like the NYT. Women deal with BS like you experienced all the time and it isn’t right.

  141. 141
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Cacti:

    Lilly Ledbetter was, relative to most of us, a fairly wealthy person. Poor people rarely have the means to be plaintiffs in landmark civil rights case that result in federal legislation bearing their names.

  142. 142
    raven says:

    Jill Abramson Is Literally Hitting Back

    The text includes the hashtag #pushy, likely referring to NYT management’s alleged description of her that has caused discussion over the paper’s gender parity problem.

  143. 143
    Brandon says:

    Even if she was paid less than Keller, that is not a smoking gun for gender discrimination. The NYT has been in a period of retrenchment for sometime, offering buyouts to senior reporters and selling off major assets like the Boston Globe at cut rate prices. So clawing back executive pay could just be an example of cost cutting. And unless there is a memo that says “pay her less because she’s a women” she would be highly unlikely to prevail in any court, whether it was true or not. Additionally, because she held a senior management position, if she was dissatisfied with her pay she had the wherewithal to leave quite easily for another position (which she reportedly threatened to do at least once) and theoretically make more money. Unless of course no one was offering her more money. Then her chief complaint is that she was paid above market but not sufficiently above market. Which makes no sense.

    I think the simplest answer to all of this is that the reason she got canned is precisely the reason why we are seeing so many stories about it. Her prolific self-promotion may have earned her near diety status in the Village, but her self-importance probably caused her to lose sight of the fact that her main job was to satisfy NYT shareholders, which is Sulzberger. Everyone has as boss and if you don’t get along with yours or elect not to follow their orders, you need to be extremely successful or quit, because otherwise you’ll get fired.

  144. 144
    Baud says:

    @raven:

    Literally, eh? Maybe HuffPo should replace their editor.

  145. 145
    Emma says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yep. I’ve been avoiding this one like the plague. You can’t change some people’s explanatory reflex. All you can do is walk by whistling.

  146. 146
    Trollhattan says:

    @raven:

    Treehog–watch out!

  147. 147
    Morzer says:

    @Brandon:

    Even if she was paid less than Keller, that is not a smoking gun for gender discrimination.

    As I understand it, what triggered her investigation of pay rates at the NYT was the discovery that a man holding a position junior to hers was being paid more. If true, that is about as clear a case of gender discrimination as you could ask for.

  148. 148
    Belafon says:

    @Brandon: Two pieces of data to check your hypothesis:
    Did other new employees take a similar pay reductions, and how much was her replacement offered.

  149. 149
    Eric U. says:

    just because an editor is mediocre at best has never been the reason for the NYT to get rid of them, particularly in the mysterious and rapid fashion that they fired Abramson. Since the NYT can’t explain why this happened, it’s rational to believe that there was a significant component that had to do with her being a woman.

    This does seem like news to me

  150. 150
    Kropadope says:

    As I understand it, what triggered her investigation of pay rates at the NYT was the discovery that a man holding a position junior to hers was being paid more. If true, that is about as clear a case of gender discrimination as you could ask for.

    Seniority?

  151. 151
    japa21 says:

    @J.: There will be a significant group of people that will indeed claim that Sam didn’t make the roster because he was gay. And that would be unfortunate. If he doesn’t, it will be because he didn’t make the cut from a talent standpoint, which is very likely.

  152. 152
    Trollhattan says:

    @priscianus jr:

    I defer to consistent readers like yourself on how the paper has done editorially under her reign. Do have first-hand experience on working at organizationally unhealthy places where top management ensured no meaningful work environment improvements were to be made; don’t know if that’s the case here.

    Also hard to say whether the discussion would be different had there been whispers about her status, beforehand. I honestly prefer a clean break such as this rather than undercutting her (or whomever) by degrees, over a lengthy timespan via tactical leaks. That sort of thing drives me to despair.

  153. 153
    SFAW says:

    I heard Pinch fired her because she refused to run a story about the Pens choking YET AGAIN.

    Either that, or, as others have said, a Benghazi/IRS/Fast & Furious distraction.

  154. 154
    another Holocene human says:

    @Jay C: Or country of Iceland. Case in point.

  155. 155
    Morzer says:

    @SFAW:

    I heard it was a cover-up for the Steelers’ homophobic refusal to draft Michael Sam in the first round…..

    But it might just have been a way to conceal Obama’s stealing our strategic Sriracha reserves and selling them off to AlQaeda via Benghazi.

  156. 156
    Brandon says:

    @Morzer: If true, I can think of numerous scenarios why this anecdote would also not rise to discrimination. First off, if she was not setting the pay and signing the paycheck for this person, then he could not be considered subordinate. There are plenty of examples of public and private institutions where the highest paid individual is not the highest ranking. Also, there are several factors that go into compensation and none of us know how the NYTs compensation formula worked; for example they could be on a rigid grade/step based system that highly rewards seniority with automatic pay increases and if this fellow was just a grade below but with decades more seniority, that could fully explain any claim of sexism, assuming it is in fact true.

  157. 157
    Trollhattan says:

    @SFAW:
    “All the NewsBenghazi! That’s Fit to PrintYell About!”

  158. 158
    Morzer says:

    @Brandon:

    I guess the question here is why you are so invested in trying to absolve the NYT here. Or are you just against the idea of equal pay?

  159. 159
    bargal20 says:

    You need to care for the same reason I’m supposed to care the female CEO of the corporation from which I earn 12 dollars an hour is making only 5 million a year while a man in a similar position makes 8 million a year.

  160. 160
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    If it is, in fact, sexism — well, gender discrimination starts early.

    I don’t even see how this can be legal. Sigh. Florida.

  161. 161
    jl says:

    @Morzer: If there are numerous subtle but very sound and reasonable reasons that the woman editor should legitimately be paid less than the man editor, why did the NYT pay a money settlement to the woman editor? Why has the NYT embarrassed itself with incoherent and self-contradictory nonsense statements about it?

    But, sure why not go with speculative possible reasons why it was all on the up and up.

    I agree with you about that comment and others.

  162. 162
    jayackroyd says:

    @gogol’s wife: Leonhardt was a good choice, and he is fulfilling his initial promise. I’m dead tree on weekends, phone during the week, and if anything, news coverage seemed better.

    The supplemental sections seemed even more providing content to support advertisers, but the news pages seemed to be of higher quality.

    Now, all those seems because I hated Keller so much after spiking the Risen story that I don’t really trust my judgement

  163. 163
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Brandon: I have heard it reported, for example, that the highest-remunerated employee at an American university is often a sports coach (football or basketball). This may also be true of quite a few American high schools and, for all I know, some draft-pick-escalator kindergartens out there.

    I have worked with technicians who were earning higher than their line managers, in part because they had irreproducible skills whereas the manager-of-the-week (see Bungee Bosses) who was theoretically in charge of the engineering group was plug-compatible and eminently forgettable.

  164. 164
    Johannes says:

    If she was fired for her attorney’s complaining on her behalf that the NYT paid her less than her predecessor and subordinate based on her gender, that could be the basis of a discrimination under federal state and City law. In a prior incarnation, I’ve seen cases where the court dismissed the underlying claim of discrimination but was found liable on the retaliation claim.

  165. 165
    ruemara says:

    I don’t know. Maybe because a paper that has run on the WH and gender pay has a gender pay issue. Things like that.

  166. 166
    gocart mozart says:

    Because something something “liberals are the real sexists” something something.

  167. 167
    MomSense says:

    @ruemara:

    Exactly.

  168. 168
    Keith G says:

    @Morzer:

    I guess the question here is why you are so invested in trying to absolve the NYT here. Or are you just against the idea of equal pay?

    Absolution? Is that what his intention is?

    Maybe so. Or maybe he is just checking all the other boxes before he fills in the one marked sexism. I can’t read his mind so I don’t know.

    Anyway, at some point there will be a critical mass of agreed upon info that will allow us to make a wise judgement about this story, so I will wait til then.

  169. 169
    geg6 says:

    @jl:

    Yes, why not just say she was doing a terrible job and give examples? Why all the weaseling about it? Pulitzers and higher revenues don’t fit that scenario, that’s why.

    John Lennon was right.

  170. 170
    Morzer says:

    @Keith G:

    a critical mass of agreed upon info

    Agreed upon by whom and on what basis? You see, that’s the kicker – you don’t have any way to decide what pieces of data you would like, which leaves you, in effect, trying to read people’s minds from the clues they allow you to have.

  171. 171
    TooManyJens says:

    @Keith G:

    Maybe so. Or maybe he is just checking all the other boxes before he fills in the one marked sexism. I can’t read his mind so I don’t know.

    That would make sense, if all the other boxes were more likely than sexism. Is that the case?

  172. 172
    Keith G says:

    @Morzer: @TooManyJens:
    Since this is a New York story about New York people who work in one of the tent pole institutions of American media, I bet there will eventually be a lot of data to sift through. Further, it is likely (as these stories tend to go) that there will at some point be enough agreement in parts of the data for a reasonable amount of clarity.

  173. 173
    Eric U. says:

    my wife’s boss successfully argued that he should make more than anyone that works for him. I really don’t think that’s the case, but it got my wife a raise because when the university agreed to his idea, he put in a request to evaluate her pay. So there’s that.

  174. 174
    Amir Khalid says:

    @TooManyJens:
    Do bear in mind that A is likelier than B =/= A is certain. Also be wary, in the absence of conclusive proof, of explanations that appeal to your beliefs.
    ETA: … and what Keith G said #173.

  175. 175
    TooManyJens says:

    @Keith G: I feel like that didn’t really answer my question, but OK.

  176. 176
  177. 177
    TooManyJens says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Do bear in mind that A is likelier than B =/= A is certain. Also be wary, in the absence of conclusive proof, of explanations that appeal to your beliefs.

    Yeah, I’m not actually incapable of understanding these principles, thanks. I just don’t think that it’s reasonable to refuse to entertain the possibility that sexism was at play in this case until every other possibility is ruled out. If that’s the bar, it’s almost impossible to say that sexism (or racism) ever occurs … and yet somehow, mysteriously, we still have these huge imbalances of power in our society.

  178. 178
    Brandon says:

    @Morzer: Way to jump directly to ad hominem. Well done.

    After reading post after post saying that this story matters because of discrimination, I just stipulated that the reports backing the discrimination claim were true and then pointed out that even if true these reports by themselves don’t prove discrimination at all.

    If she was discriminated against, she should sue and I hope she wins. But based on the stories presented so far and the strong possibility that there are unambiguous non-discriminatory rationales, I would say that the case is weak to non-existent.

    Based on these dubiously sourced and weak arguments for discrimination, if you choose to run with it and make it your own, more power to you. But forgive me if I don’t join you just yet.

  179. 179

    Oh fer fucks sake. I honestly had no idea why she was fired, and I loaded memeorandum and it was all Abramson all the time. No idea what the back story was, and I am so jaded by the Times these days that all I could think is it will just be one idiot replacing another all while dealing with the biggest idiot of them all, Sulz.

    And I say that even though it is the only newspaper I pay for every month.

  180. 180
    Anne Laurie says:

    @FlipYrWhig: You may be thinking of Bella Abzug:

    Our struggle today is not to have a female Einstein get appointed as an assistant professor. It is for a woman schlemiel to get as quickly promoted as a male schlemiel. “

    That was a generation ago…

  181. 181
    TooManyJens says:

    @Anne Laurie: You have to hand this to the Bush administration, they made great strides in promoting female schlemiels.

  182. 182
    Keith G says:

    @TooManyJens: That which is unlikely (in your view), is not always impossible. Our current president’s ascendancy is proof of that. Using independent thought to check for alternative causes of an event can be a very worthwhile activity until the case is closed.

    Open minds are cool.

  183. 183
    Morzer says:

    @Brandon:

    Way to jump directly to ad hominem.

    Oh dear, oh dear. Poor thin-skinned Brandon has almost learned a new phrase. Now, if only he knew what the magical words in a foreign language meant!

    Seriously, child, when someone points out that your “argument” is piss-weak, whining about ad hominem simply confirms that you’ve got nothing to say of substance.

  184. 184
    xian says:

    @geg6: this.

    before this comment the whole thread from Cole on down reeks of entitlement with boo-urns’s simplified condescension the worst.

  185. 185
    Brandon says:

    @Anne Laurie: That reminds me of the best quick witted comeback I ever had in my life. Right out of college I started a new job and at about the same time the organization hired its first mid-level manager ever and whom many people were saying was not qualified. I was riding the elevator with this senior person who asks me what I thought about the hiring of this unqualified black man and I instinctively replied that from what I was hearing the organization had hired nothing but unqualified managers for 20 years, why does it matter if he’s black? The guy was dumbfounded and didn’t respond had a grin for the rest of the day. I still feel brilliant for that one moment of quick witted glory.

  186. 186
    TooManyJens says:

    @Keith G: So noticing that certain occurrences strongly fit into documented patterns of sexism is being closed-minded now. OK.

    Some of y’all are starting to sound like those people who think that unless someone says “nigger,” it’s paranoid to ever see racism.

  187. 187
    Brandon says:

    @Morzer:

    @Brandon:

    I guess the question here is why you are so invested in trying to absolve the NYT here. Or are you just against the idea of equal pay?

    @Morzer:

    Oh dear, oh dear. Poor thin-skinned Brandon has almost learned a new phrase. Now, if only he knew what the magical words in a foreign language meant!

    Seriously, child, when someone points out that your “argument” is piss-weak, whining about ad hominem simply confirms that you’ve got nothing to say of substance.

    If you actually choose to address anything I have actually written, I am all ears. Unfortunately, up til this point you have not. I would also encourage you to read a bit more into what argumentum ad hominem means instead of assuming, I think it would enlighten you. And I would also encourage you to read the three paragraphs below the opening sentence where I point out your tendency to argue to the person instead of address the substance of their points.

  188. 188
    CTVoter says:

    @geg6: @TooManyJens: Weird, that. Huge imbalances, and all, but nope, not sexism or racism. It’s just how things are, and if only people would be more open-minded, they’d get that.

  189. 189
    Brandon says:

    @TooManyJens: It fascinates me that even in cases where there are smoking guns for racism or sexism (Donald Sterling or Richard Scudamore), that people are even then quick to defend them as not racist or sexist. It is also perfectly reasonable that there is systematic sexism throughout the NYT organization that starts at the top.

    However, at this stage because all people have to go on is anonymously sourced stories from vested interests (friends of Abramson), I do think caution is warranted. If these are all the facts we will ever have I don’t think the case is clear or will ever be clear one way or another. On the one hand you could point to what could be a pattern and practice on part of the NYT with regard to female employees. On the other hand, Abramson was not a mid-level sales associate. She is one of the most powerful women in journalism and in a position very high power and authority. She had options, particularly if she was not being paid market rate as a publishing executive in the world capital of publishing.

    One thing that interests me greatly is not the salar issue, but how she was not able to negotiate for herself better terms of power and control at the organization. It is odd to me that a person in her position would not be in full control of hiring and firing within her purview. Additionally, it is equally bizarre to me that in her position she would not know and have no formal role or sign off on the compensation of people that worked directly below her and reported to her in the organizational hierarchy. But maybe that is just one of the many issues of working for the Sulzbergers.

  190. 190
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brandon:

    First off, if she was not setting the pay and signing the paycheck for this person, then he could not be considered subordinate.

    Huh? I’m guessing you’ve never actually worked for a large corporation if you think that your boss personally signs your paychecks. Hell, my paychecks technically don’t even come from the Giant Evil Corporation I work for — they come from “X Paying Agent” on behalf of the company.

    And my boss did not set my pay — when I was hired, HR told her how much she could offer me.

  191. 191
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brandon:

    One thing that interests me greatly is not the salar issue, but how she was not able to negotiate for herself better terms of power and control at the organization.

    Yes, it’s almost like there might be some kind of outside force at work. Something systemic that prevented her from negotiating better terms. You’ve already convinced yourself that it couldn’t possibly be sexism, so I guess it must be the moon. Tides go in, tides go out, who knows how it works?

    It is odd to me that a person in her position would not be in full control of hiring and firing within her purview.

    Again, you appear never to have worked at a large multinational corporation. It is a long and complicated process to fire someone from a big corporation, even a small cog, and you have to have documentation up the wazoo to prove why you did it. And that’s for the non-union positions.

  192. 192
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: At this point, sexism or, at least, retaliation for raising the issue seems to be as likely, if not more so, as any other explanation.

  193. 193
    mclaren says:

    Because Jill Abramson is rich (if not now, she soon will be after cashing in on her connections with the elite) and therefore better than you.

    Peons don’t count, Cole. Only the lives of the glitterati are worthwhile and interesting and worthy of reportage.

    There are 2% more people uninsured now than in 2008? Who gives a fuck, ignore ’em.

    35% of new college graduates can’t find a job? Fuck ’em, they’re dirt-poor and therefore insignificant.

    The American middle class is collapsing and disintegrating? They’re poor, you numbskull! Who gives a shit what happens to poor people???

  194. 194
    300baud says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I think the quote you’re looking for is from Bella Abzug: “We don’t so much want to see a female Einstein become an assistant professor. We want a woman shlemiel to get promoted as quickly as a male shlemiel.”

  195. 195
    angler says:

    excellent post JC.

  196. 196
    Brandon says:

    I give up. Who’s the protagonist and antagonist, I could care less. But facts and proof be damned, let your imaginations run wild people.

  197. 197
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Keith G:

    Further, it is likely (as these stories tend to go) that there will at some point be enough agreement in parts of the data for a reasonable amount of clarity.

    I have a feeling you don’t live in the same universe as Whitewater, Too Fast Too Furious, and BENGHAZI!

  198. 198
    CTVoter says:

    @Brandon: but how she was not able to negotiate for herself better terms of power and control at the organization. It is odd to me that a person in her position would not be in full control of hiring and firing within her purview.

    Weird, that. What’s interesting to you is that she was not “able to negotiate for herself better terms of power” and yet it remains “odd that a person in her position” (who was not able to negotiate stuff, in your version) would not be in full control of hiring and firing.

    Yes. Facts and proof be damned and let your imagination run wild, as well.

  199. 199
    J R in WV says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    The N Y Times got 8 Pulitzers in the 2.5 years she was in charge… hard to argue with that.

    The news media is famous for treating women like something on your shoe…

  200. 200
    Comrade Mary says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: John, this piece by Ken Auletta is worth looking at. Some numbers:

    Let’s look at some numbers I’ve been given: As executive editor, Abramson’s starting salary in 2011 was $475,000, compared to Keller’s salary that year, $559,000. Her salary was raised to $503,000, and—only after she protested—was raised again to $525,000. She learned that her salary as managing editor, $398,000, was less than that of the male managing editor for news operations, John Geddes. She also learned that her salary as Washington bureau chief, from 2000 to 2003, was a hundred thousand dollars less than that of her predecessor in that position, Phil Taubman. (Murphy would say only that Abramson’s compensation was “broadly comparable” to that of Taubman and Geddes.)

    Murphy cautioned that one shouldn’t look at salary but, rather, at total compensation, which includes, she said, any bonuses, stock grants, and other long-term incentives. This distinction appears to be the basis of Sulzberger’s comment that Abramson was not earning “significantly less.” But it is hard to know how to parse this without more numbers from the Times. For instance, did Abramson’s compensation pass Keller’s because the Times’ stock price rose? Because her bonuses came in up years and his in down years? Because she received a lump-sum long-term payment and he didn’t?

    And, if she was wrong, why would Mark Thompson agree, after her protest, to sweeten her compensation from $503,000 to $525,000? (Murphy said, on behalf of Thompson, that Abramson “also raised other issues about her compensation and the adequacy of her pension arrangements, which had nothing to do with the issue of comparability. It was to address these other issues that we suggested an increase in her compensation.”)

    What is a fact is that Abramson believed she was being treated unequally. After learning, recently, that her salary was not equal to her male counterparts’, she visited with Sulzberger to complain. And she hired a lawyer because she believed she was not treated fairly.

  201. 201
    anon for this says:

    my response, stolen from someone who writes about it better than me:

    “Less than three years after she was hired as the New York Times’ first ever female executive editor, Jill Abramson has been fired. At the New Yorker, Ken Auletta shares what he uncovered about her termination:
    “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.
    “Pushy.” So she was fired for being an uppity bitch, basically.
    “Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the Times, said that Jill Abramson’s total compensation as executive editor “was directly comparable to Bill Keller’s”—though it was not actually the same. I was also told by another friend of Abramson’s that the pay gap with Keller was only closed after she complained. But, to women at an institution that was once sued by its female employees for discriminatory practices, the question brings up ugly memories. Whether Abramson was right or wrong, both sides were left unhappy. A third associate told me, “She found out that a former deputy managing editor”—a man—”made more money than she did” while she was managing editor. “She had a lawyer make polite inquiries about the pay and pension disparities, which set them off.”

    “…The reason Sulzberger originally hesitated to appoint Abramson as executive editor was a worry about her sometimes brusque manner. As I wrote in my Profile of Abramson, others in the newsroom, including some women, had the same concern.

    “…Even though she thought she was politely asking about the pay discrepancy and about the role of the business side, and that she had a green light from management to hire a deputy to Baquet, the decision to terminate her was made.
    She thought she was being polite, but she was brusque. EVEN WOMEN THOUGHT SO! Good riddance to bitchy rubbish!

    “This is something that is happening at the newspaper of record in the year of our lord Jesus Jones two thousand and fucking fourteen…..”

    anyhow, if this is still a question, that’s why you’re supposed to care.
    http://www.shakesville.com/201.....world.html

    BTW would you have been really upset if you had posted this about, say, Trayvon Martin? Or is it always supposed to be important when really stupid no-one’s-heard-of-these-guys-before men shoot each other? Because every thing a man does is always important.

    BTW keep those posts about Steve coming. Pics welcome.

  202. 202
    Sherparick says:

    See http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblo.....son-firing in that it reminds us again that our best elite institutions are for the most part being run by incompetent, white, male assholes (I speak as being one, but I am a self-aware incompetent, white male asshole – unfortunately most of the other leave in bubble and believe they princes among men.)

  203. 203
    fourlegsgood says:

    You’d care if you were a woman. I was fired (basically had my job eliminated) at my previous job at a major university. My dickless wonder of a boss couldn’t stand that I was smarter than him and wasn’t afraid to be aggressive. I now work for a company run by a powerful, pushy, aggressive woman. Since I’m like that too, it works out great.

    Amanda Marcotte is dead right – there is still a double standard in this country and working women are dead sick of it.

  204. 204
    EthylEster says:

    @Carolinus wrote:

    The real issue is that nearly everyone in power is leery of reclassifying ISPs as common carriers (justifiably or not), but it’s probably the only way the FCC would be able to have any of these rules stick.

    That is my understanding also.

    I don’t get why ISPs were not classified as common carriers in the first place. But given that somebody screwed up back then, I think it’s time to rectify the mistake.

  205. 205
    xian says:

    @Mnemosyne: and “not *all* men…” type derailings

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