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TNR Grills NYT’s Jill Abramson; Editor Declares Politico ‘Evanescent’ in its Reporting

That story on NYT‘s Jill Abramson by Politico‘s Dylan Byers from April is the one that just won’t die. In it, he predicted her potential demise and wrote that a number of journalists in the newsroom didn’t like her brusque manner. “Just a year and a half into her tenure as executive editor, Abramson is already on the verge of losing the support of the newsroom,” he wrote.

Since then, NYT Washington Bureau reporters have discussed how the story actually helped rather than hurt Abramson, since so many have come to her defense since news of her potential downfall broke. The story has spurred a whole debate about gender in the newsroom — for example, while it’s perfectly newsroom charming for NYT‘s Dean Baquet to punch walls when angry, for Abramson, that might seem unseemly. Or else that brusque thing again.

When The Daily Beast reported that Abramson cried over the story, Byers tweeted it, earning him the title of “grossest” reporter by, ahem, Gawker, which adequately devoured the gross market by writing about Arianna Huffington‘s alleged pooping habits.

On Sunday the story was discussed again as NYT Public Editor Margaret Sullivan called it “unfair” and “unfortunate” and discussed what she perceived was the overuse of anonymous sources. And today, The New Republic’s Editor-at-Large  Michael Kinsley has a Q & A with Abramson that once again addresses themes from the piece. Their headline: “Grill Jill: The New York Times’ top editor on mean bosses, liberal biases, and the Post’s demise.”

Kinsley was quick to addresses her “meanness.” He also asked what she thinks of Politico. She never addresses Byers by name, but gives quite a shout-out to Politico‘s Maggie Haberman. Watch out Politico…they snagged Jonathan Martin. Might Haberman be next?

MK: So, you know the cliché rap on you is that you’re mean?

JA: Well my answer is, I’m not. And most of the people who know me well are somewhat surprised by that stereotype, just because I’m not someone who frequently expresses anger or acts in a high-handed way. I’m trying to think of the other stereotypical behaviors.

MK: So what do you think about Politico? It has changed the landscape in Washington.

JA: So I read, in Mark Leibovich’s book.

MK: That comes next. Do you look at Politico every day?

JA: I do. I look at it, I read Mike Allen’s e-mail in the morning. And if they break news, often it’s the kind of news that I have called “scooplets” that are interesting in the moment but somewhat evanescent in their importance. But I think that Politico is full of interesting political reporting. And I applaud that they seem to be sending their dogged reporters out all the time to actually cover things. I went to an Anthony Weiner appearance, and there was Maggie Haberman, waiting on the sidewalk for him to come up. I think she’s excellent. I think they have some excellent reporters.

 

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