Politico reports that New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson is mean, Twitter reacts

Dylan Byers' writing about women has created a Twitter maelstrom yet again

By Katie McDonough

Published April 24, 2013 7:37PM (EDT)

Politico reporter Dylan Byers interviewed a series of frustrated New York Times editors for a Tuesday piece on the paper's first female executive editor, Jill Abramson. Quotes from the anonymous interviewees suggest that Abramson is, in effect, not very nice. Byers, for his part, does very little to suggest otherwise, reporting on the executive editor's habit of being curt in meetings and her grave sin of having a "nasal" voice.

Critics responded that the "niceness" of a top editor at one of the largest newspapers in the world is not news, and that Byers' and others' scrutiny is a product of Abramson's gender, not her qualifications to lead. Others suggest that traits characterized in Abramson as shrill have been celebrated as strengths in other, specifically male, editors.

Let's see more of what Twitter has to say about the matter here:

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And from writer Ann Friedman:

If Jill Abramson were a man...

She’s a source of widespread frustration and anxiety who is demoralizing, uncaring, morale-draining, and very unpopular. He demands excellence and relevance.

She is difficult to work with, unreasonable, impossible, stubborn. He has a strong vision and insists on seeing it carried out.

She is AWOL and disengaged. He attended Sundance and SXSW.

She is not a naturally charismatic person, not approachable, tough as nails. He is direct.

She is brusque, blunt, and dismissive. He does not like to waste time.

She is uncaring, unable to march forward or provide reassurance, and doesn’t make people feel good. He is not your mommy.

She is condescending. He is the boss.


Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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