The reasons why Jill Abramson was fired as Executive Editor of the New York Times are becoming clearer. Publisher Arthur Sulzberger says in an interview that he was given an ultimatum by Managing Editor Dean Baquet that he had to choose between him and Abramson.
It looks like my concern that Baquet will be more subservient to the US government than his predecessor is shared by Glenn Greenwald, according to an interview he gave.
HuffPost Live host Alyona Minkovski asked Greenwald what kind of leader Baquet will be for the New York Times. “I think of all the executive editors of the New York Times,” Greenwald began, “at least in recent history, or I’ll say in the last 10 years since I’ve paying extremely close attention to how the New York Times functions, Jill Abramson was probably the best advocate for an adversarial relationship between the government and the media. I don’t know if she’s always been that way but in her stewardship of the paper as editor in chief I think that was definitely the case.”
Greenwald did not have kind words for incoming executive editor Dean Baquet. He said, “By contrast, her successor Dean Baquet does have a really disturbing history of practicing this form of journalism that is incredibly subservient to the American National security state, and if his past record and his past actions and statements are anything to go by, I think it signals that the New York Times is going to continue to descend downward into this sort of journalism that is very neutered and far too close to the very political factions that it’s supposed to exercise oversight over.”
The interview linked above that publisher Arthur Sulzberger gave to Vanity Fair lends some support to this view. It seems that Abramson planned to hire Janine Gibson, the US editor of the Guardian who had overseen that paper’s publication of the Snowden documents, as co-Managing Editor with Baquet, who was not happy about it.
So it looks like the brief window when the newspaper tried to wean itself away even slightly from the tarnished legacy of Abramson’s predecessor, the awful Bill Keller who seemed to want nothing more than please the US government, is now closed.