Jill Abramson, the former New York Times executive editor, excoriated her previous employer for its treatment of reporter Ali Watkins, accusing the paper’s writers of hanging “a 26-year-old-woman out to dry” by airing her personal life in a sordid and professionally damaging way.
According to a Thursday Daily Beast report, Abramson came to the defense of the young reporter who got tangled in a leak investigation concerning her ex-boyfriend, a former staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Abramson said that the Times’ exposé “aired her sex life and conflicts while not probing why she was hired, responsibility of editors, or, most crucially, the value of her journalism (her Carter Page scoop in BuzzFeed actually helped lead to the appointment of Mueller).”
“That story hung a 26-year-old young woman out to dry,” she continued. “It was unimaginable to me what the pain must be like for her.”
She added that the piece was akin to a “steamy romance novel in parts,” and hammered the paper’s nonchalance in its handling of the professional ramifications Watkins would undoubtedly face. “It’s just crucifying,” she said. “How do you then show up for work? I don’t see a good resolution for that.”
Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy sent a statement to TPM in response to Abramson’s critiques: “We have enormous respect for Jill and deeply appreciate her passion and dedication to The Times. Criticism and feedback helps us do better work and we’re always open to it. On these specifics though, we just disagree with Jill.”
Abramson also took issue with what she claims was the Times’ ignorance of local candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s meteoric rise until the huge upset Tuesday night, as well as their participation in the Showtime documentary series “The Fourth Estate” which she called “narcissism”