Jill Abramson — former executive editor of the New York Times — said the pre-eminent paper's news section is biased against President Donald Trump, Fox News reported.
Abramson — the first and only woman to lead the Times during her 2011-2014 tenure — made the claim in an upcoming book, "Merchants of Truth," the cable network said. In the book, Abramson blasts her successor, Dean Baquet, and invoked former White House staffer Steve Bannon's observation that the mainstream media became the "opposition party" under Trump, Fox News reported.
"Though Baquet said publicly he didn't want the Times to be the opposition party, his news pages were unmistakably anti-Trump," Abramson wrote, according to the cable network, and that the same can be said of the Washington Post. "Some headlines contained raw opinion, as did some of the stories that were labeled as news analysis."
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What's more, she says, citing legendary 20th century publisher Adolph Ochs, "the more anti-Trump the Times was perceived to be, the more it was mistrusted for being biased. Ochs's vow to cover the news without fear or favor sounded like an impossible promise in such a polarized environment."
Abramson describes a generational split at the Times, with younger staffers, many of them in digital jobs, favoring an unrestrained assault on the presidency. "The more 'woke' staff thought that urgent times called for urgent measures; the dangers of Trump's presidency obviated the old standards," she writes.
She added that a "Trump bump" saw Times' digital subscriptions jump by 600,000 to more than 2 million during the Republican's first six months in office, the network noted.
"Given its mostly liberal audience, there was an implicit financial reward for the Times in running lots of Trump stories, almost all of them negative: they drove big traffic numbers and, despite the blip of cancellations after the election, inflated subscription orders to levels no one anticipated," Abramson wrote, according to Fox News.
Abramson also praised her successor, criticized Trump
Abramson also praised as "brave and right" Baquet's decision to run the headline "Trump Gives Up a Lie But Refuses to Repent" after the president abandoned his birther attacks on former President Barack Obama, the network said.
She also called Trump's "fake news" accusations a "cheap way of trying to undermine the credibility of the Times's reporting as something to be accepted as truth only by liberals in urban, cosmopolitan areas," Fox News said.
Speaking of bias at the Times, the following examples all occurred just prior to the midterm elections:
- The Times in September edited a story about an accuser of then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — removing language that cast serious doubt on the accuracy of the accuser's story — without indicating it had done so in an editor's note.
- The paper published an anonymous op-ed earlier in September supposedly written by a senior member of Trump's administration who critiqued the president personally — which naturally drew Trump's ire.
- The Times published a short story about an assassination attempt on Trump in its Book Review section in October, which begged the question: Would the paper have done the same during a Democratic president's time in office?
- The Times hired an editorial board member even after it was discovered that she slammed white people on Twitter; the paper in August said it was still "confident" in Sarah Jeong.