Until last week, Mary Beth Baker was an associate opinion editor for The Washington Times. But according to TWT‘s temporary Opinion Editor and former Editor Wes Pruden, she was little more than “the stenographer.”
What is this, the 1950s? Is Pruden trying out for AMC’s Mad Men?
A former female TWT employee referred to Pruden as a “sexist fossil” and snapped that of course Pruden thinks she’s insignificant; she’s a woman, he’s a man, and that’s basic TWT policy.
Baker’s duties were hardly those of a stenographer… They included handling lineups everyday and commissioning and editing the op-eds. She also informally supervised Frank Perley, the articles editor or “senior editor”, making sure, according to our sources, that “he didn’t fuck up the pages too much. He’s an old moonie guy notorious for putting typos and incorrect facts in pieces. Been at the paper since it started.”
Sympathy for Baker, who has worked for TWT since September of 2012, is rampant. Former coworkers describe her as a competent professional.
“She was very upset because Wes Pruden derogatorily nicknamed her ‘the stenographer'” a TWT insider told FishbowlDC on condition of anonymity. “I suppose because she’s a young female, so she must just be clerical help in his sexist world.”
Sources tell us Baker has actually been the one doing the heavy lifting to keep op-eds flowing since much of the op-ed team made a grand exodus. Before TWT, Baker she was Managing Editor at Regnery Publishing.
“She’s a real media professional who is keeping Pruden’s department afloat (his short days surely don’t get the pages out every day) and that asshole condescendingly refers to her as ‘the stenographer!!'” the insider added. “It’s his Neanderthal view of women in the workplace: either secretaries or stenographers, not peers.”
We requested comment from Baker, Pruden and Thomas Culligan from TWT‘s good old-fashioned “Press Relations” department that never relates or responds to any of our requests for comment.