The New York Times’ former executive editor Jill Abramson swiftly came to the newspaper’s defense on Saturday after President Donald Trump seized on a Fox News report that quoted Abramson criticizing the Times’ Trump coverage.
“‘Former [New York Times] editor Jill Abramson rips paper’s ‘unmistakably anti-Trump bias,’” Trump wrote on Twitter, appearing to quote a headline, although he did not include a link to a specific story.
“Ms. Abramson is 100% correct,” the president went on. “Horrible and totally dishonest reporting on almost everything they write. Hence the term Fake News, Enemy of the People, and Opposition Party!”
Abramson penned some criticisms of the Times in her upcoming book, Merchants of Truth, a look at the news media’s many challenges over the last decade. Overall, she says the book, set for a Feb. 5 release, champions the paper and its reporting.
“Anyone who reads my book, Merchants of Truth, will find I revere [The New York Times] and praise its tough coverage of you,” she replied to Trump over Twitter on Saturday.
Abramson served as the first female executive editor of The New York Times, a role she held from 2011 to 2014, when, Abramson claims, she was fired over her management style.
The dispute over her book began earlier this week, when Fox News media reporter Howard Kurtz published a review containing select quotes. Although Kurtz acknowledged that Abramson offered praise for the Times in addition to certain criticisms, he focused on the criticisms.
Discussing her successor, Dean Baquet, and the Trump camp’s assertion that the “mainstream media” had become “the opposition party,” Abramson wrote: “Though Baquet said publicly he didn’t want the Times to be the opposition party, his news pages were unmistakably anti-Trump.”
With its mostly liberal audience, she wrote in the book, “there was an implicit financial reward for the Times in running lots of Trump stories, almost all of them negative.”
Abramson slammed Kurtz’s piece, telling The Associated Press that the Fox News writer had taken her book “totally out of context.”
“His article is an attempt to Foxify my book, which is full of praise for The Times and The Washington Post and their coverage of Trump,” she told the AP.
Kurtz defended his story, saying that he would have written it the same way for any other outlet.