Well, boo-hoo, the editor of NYT is .... er, tough

jill.jpgThe early reviews following Politico's hit piece on Executive Editor Jill Abramson aren't great. Maybe the reaction is less about the report itself, which relied heavily on unnamed sources, and more about the crybabies at the paper who, sniff, sniff, believe that Abramson is rude, unreasonable, impatient, demanding - in other words, that she acts like, well, an editor. Let's see - the paper only won four Pulitzers under her watch last year, and is unrivaled in virtually every aspect of reporting and editing, including last week's Boston bombings. Sounds like real hardship duty. If the whiners think that Abramson is so impossible to work for, they might try their hand in Hollywood, where the bedside manner isn't exactly tactful. Great newspapering - great anything - isn't for wallflowers. Anyway, here are some of the comments that Jim Romensko has pulled:

- "Man editor [Dean Baquet] punches fist in wall, he's a gem. Woman editor [Abramson] tells colleague to change homepage photo, she's just impossible." (@BGrueskin)

- The change-the-homepage-photo "anecdote ... is presented as if it is somehow appalling behavior. Explain?" (dceiver.tumblr.com)

- "Abramson hatchet job is unusually scorching (and unsourced) ...mild by UK standards though." (@emilybell)

- "Abramson is brusque. That's all you got, Politico? (@johnmcquaid)

- "Politico to @JillAbramson ... Quit acting like you run the joint." (@carr2n)

- "Here's a hug for all the @NYTimes-men + -women now crying themselves to sleep b/c Jill Abramson hurt their feelings." (@Sam_Schulman)

From Poynter Online's Andrew Beaujon:

If you set up a personality conflict piece, you shouldn't keep shooting your premise in the foot with phrases like "Abramson is still respected there, while few doubt her wisdom or her experience" or with quotes from anonymous sources saying, "She's an incredible talent. There's no question she deserves to be where she is." Abramson is "brusque." Once she made someone change a photo on the homepage, and she wasn't nice about it. Her voice is unpleasant. She's not in the newsroom as much as some staffers would like. And ... that's basically the prosecution's case here. A darker undercurrent runs through the piece, though, one that Managing Editor Dean Baquet attempts to pierce at the beginning. (He and Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy are the only Times sources who spoke on the record.) "I think there's a really easy caricature that some people have bought into, of the bitchy woman character and the guy who is sort of calmer," Baquet told Byers. "That, I think, is a little bit of an unfair caricature."

The unexplained dynamics between Baquet and Abramson seem like the most interesting element here.

More by Mark Lacter:
American-US Air settlement with DOJ includes small tweak at LAX
Socal housing market going nowhere fast
Amazon keeps pushing for faster L.A. delivery
Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
Crazy opening for Twitter*
Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
Recent stories:
Letter from Down Under: Welcome to the Homogenocene
One last Florida photo
Signs of Saturday: No refund
'I Am Woman,' hear them roar
Bobcat crossing

New at LA Observed
On the Media Page
Go to Media

On the Politics Page
Go to Politics
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook