Bill Kristol Slams New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger: ‘Mr. Liberal, Mr. Democrat’

Appearing as a guest on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative publication the Weekly Standard, mocked liberals’ outrage over the firing of Jill Abramson as editor of The New York Times

Speaking on Sunday, May 18, Kristol remarked that liberals should be angry at one person, Arthur Sulzberger, publisher of the New York Times: “Who is the they that's treating them [women] that way? Arthur Sulzberger. Mr. liberal, Mr. Democrat, Mr. political correctness.” [See video below.] 

Kristol began his comments by laughing “I love the idea that the liberal elite is now very worried about the persecution of Jill Abramson who made only $750,000 a year, last year at the the New York Times.” 

Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) responded:

I guess we just see it too much to isolate this from so many other things where women are just -- even in the low-wage workers, minimum wage workers. Women would benefit more if we raise the minimum wage. But whether it's at the top of the scale or the bottom, it's just not there. 

Kristol immediately shot back, and pointed out who liberals should truly be mad at:

I think you guys should be much more upset about Arthur Sulzberger. He’s the one who’s lost the confidence, if you can have private discussion, with his masthead colleagues at the New York Times. I don’t think they have a very high opinion of him. Why does he run The New York Times? Because he inherited it. Shouldn’t you guys be more upset about the top 1%? 

Ellison went on to complain that “If they can treat Jill Abramson this way, what about the other women? What about the younger journalists? What about -- it's a real problem.” 

Kristol concluded the back-and-forth by slapping down the Democratic congressman: “Who is the they? Who is the they that's treating them that way? Arthur Sulzberger. Mr. liberal, Mr. Democrat, Mr. political correctness.”  

See relevant transcript below. 


ABC

This Week With George Stephanopoulos

May 18, 2014

10:42 a.m. Eastern

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Backroom dealing at the New York Times, is exploding onto the front pages this week, after the editor, the first female editor in its history, Jill Abramson, fired by the publisher, Arthur Sulzberger. Some reports that she was not paid as much as her predecessor, Bill Keller. But this has drawn a sharp response from the publisher. He said “I decided that Jill could no longer remain as executive editor for reasons having nothing to do with pay or gender. Ultimately, I concluded that she had lost the support of her masthead colleagues and could not win it back.” Jennifer Granholm, Mr. Sulzberger having a pretty tough time convincing a lot of women, particularly women in the media, that that’s true. 

JENNIFER GRANHOLM: Well, they’ve handled this totally poorly. And how he comes out today with a whole other series of stories from people who are supportive to him, sort of leaked through. And my guess is, she's going to come back, perhaps with some other stories. Maybe there is a lawsuit in this. But the reality is, that for every female journalist, she knows very well that across the board, women journalists make less than men. 83% of the male salaries, what the female journalists make, according to an Indiana study. So to me, this is just an example of something. The reason why this has been so hot is because it's so -- it touches a nerve that is so real for women. 

PEGGY NOONAN: Yeah. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the things you see is a lot of women say that when a woman displays the same kind of temperament issues that men display, being brusque or rough a little bit, around the edges, they get punished. But Arthur Sulzberger's response was, no, what this shows is that when women get top management positions they are fired, sometimes, just as men are. 

NOONAN: Well, that's reasonable enough. And yet, somehow, the attention and criticism I think was focused on the woman in this story, Jill. And not on, say, the fellow who runs the paper, who has had a heck of a lot of executive editors in the past decade who has hired them, who has fired them. So, perhaps there's some temperament going on there. You know? We don't know the exact facts. It seems to me, all of the exact facts about money. But has there been a little pushing around of a woman here? I suspect so. 

KEITH ELLISON: Well, here's what's real. You know, it's not just journalism. Women on average are paid less in every sector. And when women are assertive and commanding leadership, people call them names like pushy. I mean, Nancy Pelosi has been remarkably successful as a speaker. John Boehner hasn't gotten anywhere close. And yet, people don't draw the comparison. And she still gets roughed up by the right a lot. I guess we just see it too much to isolate this from so many other things where women are just -- even in the low-wage workers, minimum wage workers. Women would benefit more if we raise the minimum wage. But whether it's at the top of the scale or the bottom, it's just not there. 

BILL KRISTOL: I love the idea that the liberal elite is now very worried about the persecution of Jill Abramson who made only $750,000 a year, last year at the the New York Times.

ELLISON: You mention the minimum wage–

KRISTOL: I’m happy to have an economic policy discussion about– But I think you guys should be much more upset about Arthur Sulzberger. He’s the one who’s lost the confidence, if you can have private discussion, with his masthead colleagues at The New York Times. I don’t think they have a very high opinion of him. Why does he run the New York Times? Because he inherited it. Shouldn’t you guys be more upset about the top 1%? 

ELLISON: If they can treat Jill Abramson this way, what about the other women? What about the younger journalists? What about -- it's a real problem. And it's sort of a symbol -- 

KRISTOL: Who is the they? Who is the they that's treating them that way? Arthur Sulzberger. Mr. liberal, Mr. Democrat, Mr. political correctness.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.