Almost everyone has weighed in on the drama behind the New York Times’ unceremonious firing of its executive editor, Jill Abramson. The latest? David Carr, the Times’ media columnist.
In his latest piece, Carr wrote that Abramson’s firing was handled horribly (“The lack of decorum was stunning”), but that Arthur Sulzberger Jr. — the Times’ publisher — had valid reasons for letting her go. “I like Jill and the version of the Times she made,” wrote Carr. “But my reporting, including interviews with senior people in the newsroom, some of them women, backs up his conclusion.” Carr also gets some female Times staffers to say that they’re worried about their path at the paper after Abramson was cut so brutally.
Of course, all the sources in Carr’s piece are anonymous, so that doesn’t help much. Also, Carr states that Abramson was going to “fight her way out” and “inflict some damage on its [the Times] publisher,” but then doesn’t provide a single example of that happening.
No doubt there will be many more takes on this mess, but here’s ours: Everyone loses. Abramson loses because she produced a fantastic verison of the Times and was unceremoniously fired. Sulzberger loses because he acted like a child by publicly bashing Abramson. And the Times loses because this is a drama better fitted for a high school paper, not the paper of record.