Politico media reporter Dylan Byers stirred up media indignation with an unflattering article Tuesday on Jill Abramson, the New York Times executive editor, "Turbulence at the Times", based largely on anonymous Times sources who snipe that Abramson is detached, brusque, and a "very, very unpopular" presence in the newsroom.
One Monday morning in April, Jill Abramson called Dean Baquet into her office to complain. The executive editor of The New York Times was upset about the paper’s recent news coverage -- she felt it wasn’t “buzzy” enough, a source there said -- and placed blame on Baquet, her managing editor. A debate ensued, which gave way to an argument.
In a 1,700-word report on conflict and office politics at the New York Times, the Politico's Dylan Byers omitted critical context about the apparent personality clash between Jill Abramson, the paper's executive editor, and Dean Baquet, its managing editor.
Byers could have remedied the situation by including these seven words at an appropriate point: "Baquet, who has a history of insubordination ..." This history is not a secret, as illustrated in the following writeup at the (I'm not kidding) New York Times in September 2006 (bolds are mine):
The New York Times so far has issued three corrections to reporter Eric Lichtblau’s August 15 front-page hit piece on conservative California Rep. Darrell Issa of California, but the paper won't consider a retraction because, as the Times's Washingtion bureau chief says: “The article was carefully reported, written, and edited, and we stand by the story both in its broad thrust and, except as noted, in its particular details.”
Lichtblau, who along with James Risen is notorious for printing the sensitive details of classified terrorist surveillance programs on the front page of the Times, is not known for his fairness to conservative subjects; his 2008 book “Bush’s Law” bluntly accused the administration of lying about the “war on terror” (quotation marks are Lichtblau’s).