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Greta Responds to Criticism of Jill Abramson Interview

GretaGreta Van Susteren doesn’t mind criticism. But she does mind journalists critiquing her interviews without the benefit of a phone call.

“Had Spayd called me, she wouldn’t have to read this,” Van Susteren tells TVNewser, previewing a GretaWire post she wrote (read after the jump).

Greta is referring to a critical piece written by former Washington Post managing editor Elizabeth Spayd. Spayd criticized several journalists, including Van Susteren, for their interviews with former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson last week.

Spayd wrote Van Susteren focused too much on transparency in the Obama administration at the expense of going in-depth about Abramson’s firing. As we reported last week, Van Susteren did in fact ask Abramson about her firing. And Greta pointed that out this afternoon while calling out Spayd for not adhering to “journalism 101.”

For months Abramson was pitched by my producer to come on ON THE RECORD at 7pm to discuss transparency in the Obama Administration. It was in response to something Abramson had said publicly months ago about secrecy at the White House. Frankly, with all due respect to Spayd and Abramson and all women at the top of management in the news, I think transparency in the government is more important than their firings although the firings do have an impact on women, especially young women, so firings are important, just less so. After Abramson agreed to do OTR on the topic of transparency, I then told my booker / producer that I also wanted to talk to Abramson about her firing from the New York Times and to inform her of that fact. My producer talked to Abramson and told me that Abramson was hesitant to talk about her firing, but we pushed Abramson and she agreed. She told us she did not want to make that the whole interview. Neither did I. Abramson was interested in the bigger picture issue: transparency in the White House. I was too. So Abramson talked about her New York Times firing on our cable news show — because I wanted her to, asked her, and not as part of some “cheery campaign” as Spayd has convinced herself. It was my idea, not Abramson’s idea.

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