Discussion: NYT Spox Seeks Correction To Jill Abramson Unequal Pay Report

Discussion for article #222827

The dead horse was officially beaten 24 hours after the firing. Now, in the third day of the aftermath, this nag has been pummeled, pommeled and pulverized beyond any purpose.

The distinction the Times is now making is effectively meaningless; are they really claiming that “frustration” of this kind with an employee has no role in their attitude toward her continuing employment? If there’s an aftermath about compensation differences and it’s general between genders, then that will be a story to follow. The Times has a long history of woman hating.

OTOH, it appears from news reports that Abramson wasn’t much when it came to leading and collaborating with people, which was a centerpiece of her duties. True or just a result of her standing up over the pay issues? If true, it raises the question of why she was chosen in the first place.

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While the distinction Murphy is trying to make is without a difference logically, it may well have a difference legally. I believe that the NYT is desperately trying to limit the damage from the upcoming wrongful termination lawsuit.

Even if the distinction is legally important, in substance the Times would have a hard time defending itself if challenged legally and it went to trial.

Editorialist M. Dowd is purported to be a BFF of Ms. A. It will be interesting to see if Dowd has any guts to comment in her acerbic Mean-Girl way on this issue or whether she covets her paycheck more than loyalty to her friend’s public sexist humiliation. (I think I know what she’ll do because bullies only attack those who won’t fight back.)

Got it: NOT fired for challenging ownership to justify a persistent pattern of treating women employees as less important and worthy than men employees; YES fired for coming across like a total bitch about it

(‘I heard you the first one hundred times, Miz A; let GO already!’)

Nah, the money kiss-off part’s already done. But there’s a confidentiality clause that binds the direct parties; so, naturally, all the unrequited parts get litigated in this proxy war.

These are, after all, media folk.


You gotta be kidding, even ASKING the question. MoDo’s a ball-cupper and always was.

Hmm, who to believe: Ken Auletta who has done yeoman’s work finding a lot of information, documentation and facts on the case…or Dylan Byers, who as spent the last 3 days denying even the whisper of a pay inequity issue (which Auletta proved was bunk), and has also spent the bulk of his career defending his white male privilege and insisting - in the Bill O’Reilly way - that gender discrimination, pay equity and colour bias just does not exist, has never existed, and that black pundits and writers lack intellectual credibility.

Hmm. What to do, what to do?


The Times earned 8 Pulitzers under her guidance. That looks like some pretty effective leadership.

The point was about her people leadership and collaboration style. Corporations are full of executives who “get results” for a period of time while alienating those behind them, i.e., the ones who do most of the work that the executives get credit for. Don’t know if that applies in this case, as news reports suggest, or if it’s smoke thrown up to cover firing Abramson.

My take on what I have heard about her was that she could be demanding and abrasive and otherwise difficult to work with, but the paper won 8 Pulitzers during her 3-year tenure, so I’m not sure you can say she was an ineffective leader.

Sorry, I should have read your reply before I wrote my own saying substantially the same thing. If she had accomplished that as a man, she’d have been generously rewarded for it.

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And this is the sort of complaint that women always have to deal with. If you are demanding, you are called a bitch and criticized for it, but if you try to be the good, generous, understanding boss, then you are criticized for being too soft. Women cannot win, because whatever style they find that works for them, men are going to denigrate them for it.


So, are you saying women executives (and other professionals) can’t be poor people managers, can’t be abrasive, bossy, bitchy, abusive, dictatorial, etc., that is, all the things that bad male managers can be? If not, then what’s your point? It’s not true that “this is the sort of complaint women always have to deal with.” Always? And it’s also true that external or internal pressure to counter discrimination leads organizations to promote women who don’t have the personality to be good managers, just like other reasons lead to promoting (white) men who don’t. Women certainly have more to overcome than men, but good women managers typically don’t get the bitchy personality slam.

I’ve never seen a male manager criticized for being bossy or bitchy.

Oh please, just different terminology is typically used (e.g., dictatorial vs. bossy). I see you’re unable to answer the question about bad female managers.

You sure about that? Absolutely willing to bet your life, your career on it?

I’ve seen plenty of good, solid female management in my work experience get praised to their faces and stabbed in the back as “pushy”, “overbearing”, “bitchy” when they aren’t around. And if I’ve seen it, others certainly have.

I’ve seen it in the same organization where the exact same managerial style in a man has been praised as effective, stern, capable and necessary to “get the job done”. So don’t be a hypocrite about this, please. This is a problem that exists, don’t try to minimize it or you become part of the problem.

This isn’t an anomaly. The only reason it appears to be one is because of the high profile of the particular woman involved.

There is every possibility of a woman manager being incapable of doing a job as a man is, but that’s not the point you’re trying to make, it’s the smokescreen you’re using to obfuscate the issue in the article. The primary difference is that when the man is ineffective, chances are better than average he won’t lose his job for it, nor will anyone tear him down about it unless or until it becomes a detriment (read: costs the company $$) to the organization.

Actually, my second point was about the reports concerning Abramson’s management style. Too bad you can’t take it at face value. The NYT has a long history of women hating, which includes salary discrimination, but all of that doesn’t exclude the possibility that Abramson was a lousy people manager and collaborator and that was the underlying reason why they got rid of her. The salary stuff and her lawyering up then could have intersected that and pushed it over the edge more quickly (that’s not a justification for the salary inequality!) The fact that the Times didn’t treat Abramson right in some meaningful ways doesn’t mean she didn’t otherwise deserve to go, or should have even been hired originally. But I’ve just read the news reports, same as you, have a sense how management often operates and know nothing more specific. Pulitzer Prizes don’t impress me (ever read their book award list, or articles about how prizes are chosen?).