Former New York Times editor Jill Abramson traded barbs with “Outnumbered Overtime” host Harris Faulkner.
Abramson suggested during her Wednesday appearance that the abrupt exit of opinion editor Bari Weiss was more “molehill” than mountain — especially when taken alongside the other news of the day — and seemed to imply that people in the newsroom had not treated Weiss any differently than she may have treated others.
“Jill, you and I tend to come together at these moments, when there is crisis at the Times,” Faulkner began.
“Talk to me about this particular one, and the importance of now your — wider public understanding, potentially, that there is a quieting of centrist and conservative views in the opinion section of the New York Times.” (Marie Harf Says Biden’s Comments Weren’t Racist — Harris Faulkner Says ‘It Doesn’t Need A Label, It’s Just Hurtful’)
Abramson pivoted immediately to frame Weiss’ departure against the news of the day, saying, “I think that the departure of one junior-level opinion editor at The New York Times is really a molehill, compared to the mountains of news developments that you have just been talking about on your show. Her — Bari Weiss’ letter was a strong letter, certainly. And it was bound to get some reaction, but, in the scheme of things, it does not spell crisis for the New York Times.”
“You know, I appreciate you wanting to compare it to what’s happening today with the NYPD top uniformed officer being attacked,” Faulkner replied, telling Abramson that she didn’t believe anyone needed a lesson with regard to which story was more important. She then pressed again, reminding Abramson that she was there to address the importance of keeping diverse voices in a newsroom.
Abramson went on to argue that the NYT was not controlled by “a cabal of left-wing journalists,” saying that most of the opinion writers were center-left. She also said that there was no place in the newsroom for bullying, adding, “So, I’m sorry. I’m sorry if she had a rough time … But, you know, Bari Weiss is someone, you know, she was — she has, like, thousands of Twitter followers herself. She has been in there on Twitter throwing some — some punches herself at people she disagrees with.”
“Wow,” Faulkner responded.
Abramson quickly clarified her statement — saying that she had not meant to suggest that Weiss was a bully — adding, “But, you know, if you are going to dish it out, you have got to be ready to take it.”