Now, former NYT editor Jill Abramson — the paper’s first female executive editor — says the NYT has a financial incentive to bash Trump, which is eroding the paper’s credibility.
Howard Kurtz reports for Fox News, Jan. 2, 2019, that in a soon-to-be published book, Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts, Abramson points to a “Trump bump” that saw digital subscriptions to the NYT during President Trump’s first six months in office jump by 600,000 to more than 2 million. Abramson writes:
Given its mostly liberal audience, there was an implicit financial reward for the Times in running lots of Trump stories, almost all of them negative: they drove big traffic numbers and, despite the blip of cancellations after the election, inflated subscription orders to levels no one anticipated.
The former NYT editor (2011-2014) has some harsh words for her successor, Dean Baquet. Abramson writes that “Though Baquet said publicly he didn’t want the Times to be the opposition party, his news pages were unmistakably anti-Trump.” Abramson believes the same is true of the Washington Post: “Some headlines contained raw opinion, as did some of the stories that were labeled as news analysis.”
Citing legendary 20th century publisher Adolph Ochs, Abramson writes that “the more anti-Trump the Times was perceived to be, the more it was mistrusted for being biased. Ochs’s vow to cover the news without fear or favor sounded like an impossible promise in such a polarized environment.”
Abramson attributes to the New York Times‘ anti-Trump bias also to a generational split at the newspaper, with younger staffers, many of them in digital jobs, favoring an unrestrained assault on the presidency. She writes: “The more ‘woke’ staff thought that urgent times called for urgent measures; the dangers of Trump’s presidency obviated the old standards.”
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