Oh my: NYT executive editor reportedly canned in part because … she wanted to be paid as much as her male predecessor; Update: NYT denies

posted at 6:34 pm on May 14, 2014 by Allahpundit

It wasn’t the only reason, claims the New Yorker’s Ken Auletta, but it was one of them. So, if you’ve been wondering what that mysterious smell is this afternoon, there’s your answer: It’s a Category Five sh*tstorm on the horizon, moving at ferocious speed towards America’s most famous liberal newspaper.

No need to pop the popcorn. I’ve made plenty. Behold the war on women:

Fellow-journalists and others scrambled to find out what had happened. Sulzberger had fired Abramson, and he did not try to hide that. In a speech to the newsroom on Wednesday afternoon, he said, “I chose to appoint a new leader of our newsroom because I believe that new leadership will improve some aspects …” Abramson chose not to attend the announcement, and not to pretend that she had volunteered to step down.

As with any such upheaval, there’s a history behind it. Several weeks ago, I’m told, Abramson discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs. “She confronted the top brass,” one close associate said, and this may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was “pushy,” a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect. Sulzberger is known to believe that the Times, as a financially beleaguered newspaper, has had to retreat on some of its generous pay and pension benefits; Abramson had also been at the Times for many fewer years than Keller, having spent much of her career at the Wall Street Journal, accounting for some of the pension disparity. (I was also told by another friend of hers that the pay gap with Keller has since been closed.) But, to women at an institution that was once sued by its female employees for discriminatory practices, the question brings up ugly memories. Whether Abramson was right or wrong, both sides were left unhappy.

David Folkenflik of NPR tweeted this afternoon that he’s independently confirmed the gist of Auletta’s story, that Abramson did indeed challenge Sulzberger and crew about her pay. Her rap for being “pushy” goes back years, and inspired a Politico profile in 2013 in which unnamed NYTers described her as “stubborn and condescending, saying they found her difficult to work with.” A fair cop, or another double standard aimed at a “bossy” woman who’d draw no complaints if not for her gender? In the interest of making this as miserable as possible for the Times, I’m calling it sexism. Straight up.

I don’t want to raise expectations too much but I think this food fight might end up being even more deliciously schadenfreudean than SEIU versus Media Matters. The good news is that, unlike most of liberal media, the Times will now have a minority in charge: New executive editor Dean Baquet is black. The bad news?

Update: Annnnnd here’s the obligatory denial:

“Jill’s total compensation as executive editor was not less than Bill Keller’s, so that is just incorrect,” New York Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy told POLITICO on Wednesday. “Her pension benefit, like all Times employees, is based on her years of service and compensation. The pension benefit was frozen in 2009.”

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it’s not gender discrimination if it’s the NY Times. It would be if it were FOX or the Wall Street Journal. don’t you people know the rules?

warmairfan on May 14, 2014 at 9:05 PM


Seth Halpern on May 14, 2014 at 9:11 PM

As funny as I think this is, do you really think it is going anywhere? Liberal hypocrisy is ignored all day long and twice on Sunday.

Cindy Munford on May 14, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Aaaaannnnd we have our Winner.

You can all go home now…

ToddPA on May 14, 2014 at 9:26 PM

I don’t think we’re getting the whole picture here. There is more to a compensation package than just salary.

Was Abramson getting free birth control through company-provided health insurance? That’s a huge value right there… if I understood Sandra Fluke correctly, enough to bankrupt a woman.

malclave on May 14, 2014 at 9:29 PM

Pay wasn’t the issue, and Keller was with the company far longer, which earns more pension (doh!). She’s lying, it’s an excuse. She was on the chopping block anyway.

Abramson is just not cut out to be an editor, especially a top editor at a major paper. Replacing her will not change it from a leftist propaganda rag, that was a conscious decision of the publisher.

I am sure Baquet will hit the ground running because the NYT has always done so well with “African-American” employees (cough Jayson Blair cough)- although if Baquet is claiming to be African, I want to see his freakin’ birth certificate.

Sure, it’s nice to see NYT hoist on their own petard. But I still curse Carlos Slim for saving them to pump up his already inflated ego. They should have been sold off for parts years ago.

Adjoran on May 14, 2014 at 9:49 PM

Whatever happened to “make your best deal up front”? If she didn’t like her compensation, then why did she continue to work for the New York Slimes?

There could be a thousand reasons why she wasn’t worth what her predecessor was paid. Just because she holds the same title, doesn’t mean she’s entitled to the same compensation.

I’m so sick and farkin’ tired of this “equal pay” crapola… NO two people on the planet are equally qualified for a position, so it stands to reason the compensation would not be equal.

Shepherd Lover on May 14, 2014 at 10:17 PM

Sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue suesue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue sue

I hope she sues them right into bankruptcy… and this will be the end of the old grey lady and her criminal promotion of the corrupt Democrat Party.

Liberals eating there own.

I think she was really fired for saying Obama is the most secretive President in history… but they went with the equal pay thing to protect the President!

petunia on May 14, 2014 at 10:44 PM

Okay this is my theory of how this went down, she had her lawyers politely ask about compensation… after the big stories about equal pay a while back, and when she had the evidence she got abrasive so they would fire her, and she could sue their pants off.

I think she wants to own the NYTs and she knows how to get it.

Maybe not. But it’s a good plan for a movie plot.

petunia on May 14, 2014 at 10:47 PM


All hilarity aside, the rumor is that she ticked-off Doh-Bama and got canned using this bogus headline.

Either way, ya just gotta LOVE “do as I say, not as I do” Progressives.

Fools and liars every single one of them

Pelosi Schmelosi on May 14, 2014 at 10:54 PM

Another lib institution hoisted on their own petard of douchebaggery.

WhatsAMattaU on May 15, 2014 at 1:26 AM

Didn’t the NYT lose a paper boat load of ad revenue, as well as, print circulation subscribers?
Just saying …

kregg on May 15, 2014 at 5:17 AM

New York Times wages war against women.

mugged on May 15, 2014 at 8:55 AM

The NYTs might just be telling the truth here. There’s a good chance her work sucked immediately after she asked for a equivalent salary as her liberal male counterparts.

Absolutely believable. Because … NYTs.

hawkdriver on May 15, 2014 at 9:37 AM

She’s playing the income inequality card, which makes perfect sense. However, doesn’t that mean every other person in the newsroom, including the janitors and window washers, deserved exactly the same pay as her?

Perhaps the NYT was just trying to equalize everyone’s pay. Not by bringing everyone else’s pay up, but by bringing hers down (in true leftist fashion). Why would she be against that? It’s exactly what she’s been telling every other company they should do for how long now? What the last guy made should have been irrelevant.

On the other hand, if the only pay she was concerned with was hers, she’s a flaming hypocrite as advertised (also in true leftist fashion).

runawayyyy on May 15, 2014 at 10:52 AM

NYT investigated itself and found they had done no wrong. That’s the liberal way it seems, and acceptable to other liberals. Anyone who complains is simply racist, sexist, or ‘bossy’.

Too bad Richard Nixon wasn’t a liberal Democrat. Watergate would have been swept under the rug and Obama, Clinton, and Wassermann-Schultz would be quoting him daily and calling him ‘one of the greatest Presidents ever’.

s1im on May 15, 2014 at 1:55 PM