Newsweek has a lengthy profile of Jill Abramson — executive editor of The New York Times — up today, and it’s well worth your time. One section we wanted to highlight was Abramson addressing the Politico hit piece, in which anonymous Times staffers criticized her for doing nothing more than acting like their boss. Abramson admitted that the piece impacted her deeply:
‘I cried,’ Abramson tells me. ‘I should say it went right off me, but I’m just being honest. I did cry. But by the next morning, I wasn’t completely preoccupied by it anymore. I had my cry and that was that. And [Times Co. chairman] Arthur Sulzberger came down and was very supportive. He basically said, ‘It goes with the territory. Don’t let it get to you.’” The publisher also invoked what he calls the Second Law of Journalism: ‘It’s not your fault. It’s just your turn.’
No doubt people are foaming at the mouth reading that Abramson cried. “She cried! She’s weak! What a woman.” But we find it refreshingly honest. Good for her. People do cry when they’re hurt! However, it takes someone particularly strong to admit that.
Another section from the Newsweek piece that we wanted to point out is Abramson’s meeting with the lawyer representing Nate Silver. Silver was debating leaving (and he ultimately did) and so the two met to talk about Silver’s future:
‘The first thing he [Silver's lawyer] said to me was, ‘I’m in a pretty good position because I represent the prettiest girl at the party.’ And I looked at him and I made sort of a face, like, ‘Yeah, really?’ And then I said to him, ‘The New York Times is always the prettiest girl at the party.’
You have to love that.
[Image: Peter Yang]