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Former New York Times editor Jill Abramson criticizes paper’s Trump coverage



Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of The New York Times, has a new book on the newspaper business coming out and, according to an advance review by Fox News, it casts a harsh eye on her former paper’s coverage of the Trump Administration.

“Abramson, the veteran journalist who led the newspaper from 2011 to 2014, says the Times has a financial incentive to bash the president and that the imbalance is helping to erode its credibility,” wrote Fox media critic Howard Kurtz about Abramson’s book.

But Abramson, who was fired by the newspaper in 2014, told POLITICO that Kurtz took her words out of context.

“His article is an attempt to Foxify my book,which is full of praise for The Times and The Washington Post and their coverage of Trump,” she said.

Abramson’s new book, “Merchants of Truth,” focuses on how newspapers like The Times and the Washington Post, and online news sources like BuzzFeed and Vice, struggle “to keep honest news alive” in the digital era, according to POLITICO. Kurtz reported that parts of Abramson’s book criticize the way her successor, Dean Baquet, has manned The Times newsroom in the Trump era.

“Though Baquet said publicly he didn’t want The Times to be the opposition party, his news pages were unmistakably anti-Trump,” Abramson wrote, per Kurtz. In her book, Abramson also touches on the newspaper’s coverage of Hillary Clinton, saying The Times’ handling of Clinton’s emails was overblown. They “were not Watergate,” she reportedly wrote.

“Some headlines contained raw opinion, as did some of the stories that were labeled as news analysis,” she wrote.

Kurtz also quoted a section of Abramson’s book in which she reportedly wrote that The Times’ younger, “more ‘woke’ staff thought that urgent times called for urgent measures; the dangers of Trump’s presidency obviated the old standards.”

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Abramson told POLITICO that Kurtz took the book “totally out of context” and that she was referring mostly to “loaded headlines, analysis pieces that are full of opinion, and the sheer number of critical pieces about Trump running simultaneously in the pages of the news report as being unmistakably anti-Trump.”

“I think that Trump deserves the tough coverage and he makes it impossible to live by [former executive editor] Abe Rosenthal’s old rule about keeping the paper straight,” she told POLITICO.

Other parts of Abramson’s book praise The Times’ coverage, both POLITICO and Fox reported. According to Kurtz, Abramson said Baquet’s decision to run the headline “Trump Gives Up a Lie But Refuses to Repent” after Trump ended his birtherism attacks on Barack Obama was “brave and right.”

A Times spokesperson told POLITICO that the paper’s “job is to seek the truth and hold power to account, regardless of who occupies the Oval Office.”

“That is what we have done during the Trump administration, just as we did in the Obama, Bush and Clinton administrations,” the spokesperson said. “We take pride in our long history of journalistic independence and commitment to covering the news without fear or favor.”

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