May 19, 2014

"If one of the most powerful women in the world, helming an organization that champions equal pay, might have been punished for advocating for herself, what hope is there for the rest of us?"

That's the question women have reason to be asking on the occasion of the ousting of Jill Abramson, says The Nation's Michelle Goldberg.

But Goldberg's main subject is how Abramson was on the right side of a few internal debates about journalism — things that were not about gender, like ads that look like editorial content, infusing the text with video, and looking into the BBC sex scandal. The NYT CEO Mark Thompson came to the job from the BBC:
“After Thompson had been hired for the job but before he’d started, Abramson sent Matthew Purdy, a hard-charging investigative reporter, to London to examine Thompson’s role in the Jimmy Savile scandal at the BBC,” writes [Gabriel Sherman at New York Magazine]. “Abramson’s relationship with the two executives never recovered. ‘Mark Thompson was fucking pissed,’ a source explained. ‘He was really angry with the Purdy stuff.’ So was Sulzberger. ‘He was livid, in a very passive-aggressive way. These were a set of headaches Jill had created for Arthur.’”

... The suggestion Abramson should have ignored this story because it embarrassed a powerful Times hire says something troubling about the paper’s priorities.


mccullough said...

Why would the Times outsource the CEO job to a Brit?

traditionalguy said...

But Jill only went up Jack's hill to help fetch pails of water for Jack. Those pails are heavy, you know.

But Jack took the fall, broke his crown and went to bed.

The Bitch pushed him.

Sorun said...

And if you're a woman who wants to be a top-paid Senate staffer, you're better off applying with an old male Republican senator than Patty Murray (or any other Dem).

YoungHegelian said...

The suggestion Abramson should have ignored this story because it embarrassed a powerful Times hire says something troubling about the paper’s priorities.

That it takes L'affaire Abramson to convince Ms Goldberg that there might be something wrong with the NYT's priorities reminds me of how it took Kruschev's speech to the 20th Party Congress in 1956 before the hard left could admit that a lot of those awful things that the reactionaries, wreckers, and counter-revolutionaries had said about Uncle Joe Stalin might just be true after all.

chickelit said...

"helming and organization..."

Robert Hitchens, the helmsman about the Titanic that fateful night, survived the sinking. But be couldn't take his hand off the tiller in the lifeboat and was nearly thrown overboard by the unsinkable Maggie Brown: link

Mark Nielsen said...

I don't know if the editor position really made her "one of the most powerful women in the world", but it does seem clear that it was a position of real power. The Nation is here acknowledging the power the MSM has in shaping opinion. Yet lefties continually deny there's anything troubling about an 85%-plus domination of the MSM (at all levels) by one side of the political divide.

Big Mike said...

The suggestion Abramson should have ignored this story because it embarrassed a powerful Times hire says something troubling about the paper’s priorities.

Troubling? Nah. What's a little cover-up of "one of Britain's most prolific sexual offenders" (to quote Wikipedia) when you're a powerful Times hire? Three quarters of Savile's known 214 sex offenses were against children under 18 (including 28 younger than 10), but Savile was an important BBC entertainer so one can understand BBC journalist's sensitivities in not pursuing the case.

Drago said...

It will take about a week for the lefties to turn this whole episode into an indictment of republicans.

Probably not even a week.

William said...

The NY Daily News ran a series of articles detailing the flaws in a grocery chain that was one of its largest advertisers. The grocery withdrew their advertising, and the newspaper didn't gain much in prestige for breaking a story about rodent infestation in a grocery chain. I believe that it's still regarded as one of the biggest flubs in newspaper history......The Thompson hire was a legitimate story, but that story would be for another paper to cover. Could it be that Abramson lacks judgment?

Hagar said...

I beg your pardon?

Sulzberger had hired this guy, and then Abramson sent an "investigative reporter" to London to dig up dirt on him?
Most owners would have fired her then, and I think rightfully so.

And it is not like I have any liking for any of these people.

Michael said...

The suggestion Abramson should have ignored this story because it embarrassed a powerful Times hire says something troubling about the paper’s priorities.

I think the problem is that she sent out a reporter to check out whether or not the new hire had been involved in any of the BBC coverup. She did this without checking with her boss, a substantial stakeholder in the company. In addition to being insubordinate it amounts to telling the boss he did no due diligence before making the offer. If there was none then she should be rewarded and the paper sold to a grown up

John henry said...

I am more than a little tired of the "Women earn 77% of what men do!!!" (or whatever the number is this week). I am tired of it in particular and am tired of the equal pay argument in general.

Ann, you are a well educated, smart and well read woman yet I get the impression that you buy into this nonsense.

Of course there are some exceptions but by and large women DO get equal pay for equal work. The key is "equal". Compare apples to apples, not apples to oranges.

If a woman works 35 hours a week and a man in the same job works 45, they will most likely make the same hourly rate.

But, if that rate is $20 per hour, the woman makes $700/week and the man makes $950. (With OT)

Some will claim that the woman is paid less and this is what the 77% is based on.

In all likelihood, the man will make more on an hourly basis because he will 1) have more experience working 2,250 hours/yr to the woman's 1,750 and 2) Because he is more available, is more valuable.

Women work different types of jobs, they have different patterns of work and more.

You need an "equal pay argument is bullshit" tag.

John Henry

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, you are a well educated, smart and well read woman yet I get the impression that you buy into this nonsense."


Ann Althouse said...

I discuss this very topic in the bhtv clip I posted last night. Check it out and see if you have the same impression.

Ann Althouse said...

What bothers me about your impressionistic take is that if you think a proposition stated in the extreme is wrong, you seem to think you need to exclude all the more moderate positions in the same category -- as if once you think it's not true that women are paid 77¢ to the dollar paid me, you have to think there is equal pay.

It's far more likely that both statements are wrong, but it's easier to pick one or the other and run with it.

Michael said...

Not exactly one of the most powerful women in the world considering she is not even a named employee in the company she works for. She is way down on the totem pole at the NYT.

John henry said...

I have the impression from having read your blog daily for 6-8 years now.

Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps you do believe that women are generally paid equally to men.

If so, I apologize for my false impression.

On the other hand, if you do believe that women do get paid less for equal but we are quibbling over whether it is 77% and not 70% or 80% or some other number, then I offer no apology for what I wrote.

As for me, I do believe, having studied it in the 70's and taught it (In Compensation Management) since 1982, that when all factors are considered women are paid equally to men. Generally.

Of course there are some exceptions but they are relatively few and we do have federal and state laws to address these instances. And have since 1963 (Fair Labor Standards Act)

But generally, women are paid equally.

A bit of a tangent but you recently had a post about menstrual leave. Should women who get additional time off expect to get paid the same as a man who doesn't? Pregnancy and childbearing is another similar case.

Life may be unfair but unless the woman works equal time with the man, there is no reason to expect that her pay should be equal.

And not just equal time but equal availability. Will the woman be available to come in nights and weekends or to travel to a client in the same way a man would?

Ignore this if it is too nosy but why did you choose to become a law prof rather than an attorney in a big law firm? Did motherhood have anything to do with it? A law prof (or a HS teacher, as my wife is) goes well with child rearing as far as schedules go.

Being a big time lawyer would no doubt have paid more but it would have made it harder to raise kids.

So if people say women lawyers make less than men lawyers, it is probably true. Might this be part of the reason? If so, is it still about equal pay for equal work?

John Henry

hombre said...

"... The suggestion Abramson should have ignored this story because it embarrassed a powerful Times hire says something troubling about the paper’s priorities."

Is there really anything left to say about the Times' priorities which are, in themselves, troubling?

dbp said...

My take on this is that Jill Abramson wanted to get fired. She knew that management was pissed about her investigation of the new CEO as well as her abrasive style of leadership. Asking for a raise would constitute a final straw.

Either that or she is truly clueless.

John henry said...

Who has 45 minutes to listen to BHTV? If you do address pay equality in the episode, tell me the minute mark and I'll go listen.

As for the 18 second clip you posted, I did listen to it and it had nothing to do with the pay issue.

As a general comment, it might be helpful if when you post these clips you could let us know when they occurred. I would have liked to hear more about Hilary! v. Obama but am not about to wade through the whole 45 minutes looking for it.

John Henry

Real American said...

or more rightly, the NYT doesn't give a shit about "equal pay" or any other left wing nonsense, but they merely operate as a moutnpiece for the Democrat Party and left-wing idiocy in the bashing of Republicans and conservatives. They have no principles. They're tools.

Anonymous said...

Dear Leader should hold an emergency beer summit to settle the differences between the incompetent woman and the incompetent man who promoted her beyond her competence. The matter is urgent. Comes November, Republican partisans will cast doubt on the NYT's objectivity in it's support of the Democrats' call for income equality and pay equity. Dear Leader should absolutely take the issue away from the anti-women Republicans.

Zach said...

Why do people assume Thomson was Abramson's hire? Sending out a reporter to dig up dirt about a new hire is something you would do if you wanted to hire somebody else instead.

Playing dirty is one way to win at internal politics. But it's disastrous to play dirty and lose. I don't see how you can expect to work productively with Thomson after sending a reporter to England to check whether he, personally, was involved in a pedophilia scandal.