New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson was fired yesterday by the paper's owner Arthur Sulzberger Jr. in what was not so much a staff change as a beheading. This may seem like an odd choice for the top Abramson tab, but I think Taiwanese animated news site TomoNews best captured both the facts and the feel of the event here.
Did you catch Sulzberger's moose? That's a real eye for detail, right there. That's why TomoNews is "America's #1 Animated News Source from what is arguably sort of China."
Yes, Abramson is out, and it's because she was paid a lot less than previous editor Bill Keller and had the gall to complain about it, according to Ken Auletta in The New Yorker. That story was among the first to attempt an explanation, but Sulzberger strenuously denied it in a memo today, claiming that Abramson made 10% more last year than Keller made in his last year on the job. You can make numbers say anything, but the denial at least is pretty unequivocal. Myles Tanzer at Buzzfeed has what might be some of the most actually-relevant reporting on what's going on behind the scenes, with a fairly grim internal report on the paper's trouble adjusting to the rise of internet-native news outlets.
But she was so "pushy!" I mean she made poor Dean Baquet, who will now take her job, so mad that he punched a wall one time! She was so pushy she could turn grown men into teenage dirtbags. She was "doomed from the start," says New York Mag's Gabriel Sherman, who helpfully explains that she was never good at her job and Sultzberger never liked her anyway and basically she should have been a truck-stop waitress. I mean she really must have been terrifying, for all these grown-ass men to have to throw her out and lock the doors behind her. Did she commission her own downfall, asks The Independent, doing yeoman's work finding the one tangential British angle in this and playing it for all it's worth. But clearly, one storyline here is that Abramson was pushy, irascible, crabby, petulant, dyspeptic, testy, tetchy, snappish and crabbish, and let's just go ahead and say shrewish and hysterical and get it out in the open.
Abramson's new hobby, according to her daughter's Intagram
What Abramson definitely was, and legendarily so, is tough as hell. In 2007 she got run over by a truck, and turned it into this amazing piece of journalism. She was, by all accounts, no one to tangle with, and it's funny, but it seems like women have a weirdly hard time getting along with male superiors when they're not so touchy-feely and accommodating. Ha ha must be because of genes or something!
Final points: Vox is going after this story as hard as they possibly can, and from every angle they can come up with. Yglesias literally Storified a bunch of reporting David Folkenflik put out on Twitter last night and threw it on the site. Meanwhile Ezra Klein said we shouldn't believe everything we read, apparently casting shade on his own colleague's rush to aggregate. There's the random puppy-stealing anecdote above. Yglesias looked at the Times's business performance in the Abramson era. Ezra Klein even tossed up a tweet about how to pronounce "Baquet". Explainerism in action right here.
Dean Baquet’s first order of business: "who among you have said you wrote for the new yorker when it was really online-only? Pack ur things"— Sam Faulkner Biddle (@samfbiddle) May 14, 2014
In Other Tabs: A topless woman went on a double-machete chopping spree in the Caymans. She could only be appeased with free carrot cake. These Disney Princesses reimagined as other races shows that yes, it is possible to make the princess movies more racist. Jezebel says men should be wearing shorter shorts. I await Choire's word on that. Remember when Jay Z got beaten up in an elevator by his sister-in-law Solange? Me neither. But I guess the hotel employee who taped it has been fired. London's Child-killing snakes are a hoax. An oil pipeline burst and dumped thousands of gallons of crude oil on an L.A. strip club, which is definitely a good news / bad news kind of thing. And the guy from Blues Traveler is way more awful than you thought.
~Because the tab brings you back, I ain't tellin' you no lie. The tab brings you back, on that you can rely~
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