Was Abramson fired because she did her job and embarrassed a New York Times hire?
Either Abramson was fired because she found out she was being payed 20% less than men who had performed her job, or because she sent a reporter to investigate a child porn scandal that involved a New York Times Company president.
Neither look good for the NYT.
They may have been pissed, but they were wrong. This was a major story about a powerful executive and a sexual abuse coverup, and Abramson was proving her editorial independence by covering it. ‘[T]rust in the BBC has plummeted because of a scandal set off in part by the network’s decision to halt a reporting project on decades-old accusations of child sexual abuse against Jimmy Savile, the network’s longtime host of children’s and pop music shows,” wrote Matthew Purdy in a resulting piece. “Controversy over the canceled investigation was already brewing [the previous March]. It fully erupted in early October, just after he left and began preparing for his new job as president and chief executive of The New York Times Company.” The suggestion Abramson should have ignored this story because it embarrassed a powerful Times hire says something troubling about the paper’s priorities.
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So, to summarize, the man who was the director-general of the BBC when a story about a serial rapist of children who operated in part on BBC premises was being suppressed still has his position. The woman who courageously and correctly investigated this story has lost hers, for no reason that seems remotely convincing. This…does not seem right. It certainly wasn’t about profitability, and while this is a matter of judgment, as a longtime dead tree subscriber I’d say that the quality is substantially improved from the Raines era.