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Dean Baquet: ‘I Never Said to Anyone It’s Me or Jill’

We hope you’re not tired of the Jill Abramson/New York Times drama, because it appears that Dean Baquet — the new executive editor of the paper — isn’t. He gave a long interview with NPR, and touched on several storylines that have been floating around.

Baquet denied the rumor that he had told Arthur Sulzberger Jr. he needed to fire Abramson or he would walk. ”I never said to anyone it’s me or Jill,” he told NPR. “I think that’s a simplistic calculation. I don’t think there’s any question that I made it known that I was a little unhappy.”

As for that unhappiness, Baquet confirmed that he was upset Abramson wanted to hire The Guardian’s Janine Gibson as a co-managing editor. He also poured more fuel on the narrative that Abramson wasn’t well liked in the newsroom:

I’m not commenting on Jill’s relationship with the newsroom or management style. I’ll let others do that, but one thing that people say is newspapers always have tough [leaders]. I mean I’ve seen many elegies to ‘the city editor who changed my life because he was really nasty to me for six months and it made me a better person.’ I think that’s nuts. I don’t think that leaders have to be or should be rough on their people. Leaders have to make tough decisions.

FishbowlNY loves that Baquet begins by stating that he’s “not commenting on Jill’s relationship with the newsroom or management style,” and then definitely does just that.

We honestly don’t understand why anyone at the Times — especially Baquet and other leaders — continues to talk about this. It doesn’t do anyone any good. All it does is keeps people discussing a particularly embarrassing moment for the paper. Perhaps it’s time to stop?

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