Dean Baquet just became the first black executive editor of the New York Times, replacing Jill Abramson, the first female top editor. Sometimes, there is blood on the Golden Ticket.
The suggestion that she was fired because of she complained about her salary, compared to her male predecessors and even her subordinates is unsettling. I’m not sure that’s even entirely legal but as the old saying goes, “No company will ever pay you enough to sue them successfully.”
Abramson lasted about a year after Politico published a piece about the drama in Abramson’s newsroom that was so slanted toward Baquet I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d written it himself under a pen name.
“I think there’s a really easy caricature that some people have bought into, of the bitchy woman character and the guy who is sort of calmer,” (Baquet) said. “That, I think, is a little bit of an unfair caricature.”
Not only is it unfair but it’s a weird comment from the guy who got into a fist fight with a wall after a contentious meeting with Abramson. How does anyone describe him, even in caricature, as the “calm” one? Also, Abramson declined to speak to Politico — yet her managing editor did? And freely? Wouldn’t it have been best for neither to go on record?
In retrospect, Abramson should have suspected her days were numbered when Baquet would occasionally stop and deliver Shakespearan asides to the camera.
May 15, 2014 at 11:21 am
Actually, Ms. Abramson may have a pretty good case of sex discrimination if, indeed, the Times did pay her less than her predecessors or her successor. Sex discrimination is what’s known as a “prima facia” case. In other words, if the elements of discrimination exist, it’s up to the employer to prove they DID NOT discriminate, not to the plaintiff to prove they did. And that’s a pretty tough row to hoe.
Let’s say the Times was trying to scale back expenses by bringing in younger people and a WOMAN, at lesser pay. Guilty, on two counts: age AND sex. You are not allowed to do this on the backs of a protected class. They would have needed to first establish the lower pay grades in the same sex for a period of time. And I would think, more than a couple of years.
And then there’s the question of a hostile work environment. Can you imagine a senior male editor getting chastized for yelling at another editor or reporter? It’s newsroom tradition, for god’s sake. Yelling, screaming, name calling, red-faced blustering.
I hate to say they hired Abramson because they could get her talent for less money, but that’s kind of the way it looks. Am I wrong? Or are they?
May 15, 2014 at 12:31 pm
Firing her so quickly after she complained about her salary seems like retaliation. If they wanted her to quit, just refuse to pay her more.
Crazy that they replaced her with a former editor of the LA Times who was fired for refusing to follow orders to reduce headcount. Good luck with that.
May 16, 2014 at 11:23 am
My guess is, he’s a convenient place-holder while they conduct a sub-rosa search for a serious candidate. Polish up your resume, Stephen!