A New York Times spokeswoman demanded on Friday morning that the New Yorker magazine correct a report about the newspaper’s firing of executive editor Jill Abramson.
The magazine, however, responded by saying its original report was accurate.
The article in question was written by New Yorker media writer Ken Auletta, and it laid out the salary discrepancies between Abramson and her male colleagues at the Times dating back to 2000.
In the article, Auletta quoted NYT spokeswoman Eileen Murphy, who reportedly said Abramson’s decision to bring in a lawyer to address the salary concerns was “a contributing factor” in her firing. Murphy reportedly said there was no real compensation gap, but conceded the hiring of a lawyer was part of a larger pattern of behavior that struck management as combative.
Politico reported Friday that Murphy believed she was misquoted in the New Yorker piece and had demanded a correction.
Murphy said in an email to Politico she conceded Abramson’s decision to hire a lawyer was seen as hostile by Times management — not that she was conceding the incident factored into Abramson’s ouster.
Auletta updated his piece Friday morning to note that Murphy disputed that quote after the piece was published. He stood by the quote as being accurate and in context, to which he wrote Murphy emailed this response: “I said to you that the issue of bringing a lawyer in was part of a pattern that caused frustration. I NEVER said that it was part of a pattern that led to her firing because that is just not true.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.