News & Opinion | June 29, 2018 5:00 am

Former NYTimes Editor Jill Abramson Criticizes Paper’s “Horrible Mistakes”

She slammed its prurient Ali Watkins profile and missing coverage of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Jill Abramson
Journalist Jill Abramson participates in "Breaking Through: How to Overcome Fears, Inertia, Gender Bias, and Other Obstacles" during LeadOn:Watermark's Silicon Valley Conference For Women (Marla Aufmuth/Getty Images)
Getty Images for LeadOn:Watermark's Silicon Valley Conference for Women

Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of the New York Times, criticized her old paper in a tweet, referencing a news story that asked “Who is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?” Abramson was clearly upset that the newspaper missed the rise of the 28-year-old socialist, who won a landslide victory Tuesday over 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th Congressional District.

Abramson, who held the job as executive editor for nearly three years and was the first and only woman to do so, continued, saying that failing to notice Ocasio-Cortez’s rise is “akin to not seeing Trump’s win in 2016,” reports the Daily Beast.

Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy told The Daily Beast, “We have enormous respect for Jill and deeply appreciate her passion. Criticism and feedback helps us do better work and we’re always open to it. On these specifics though, we just disagree with Jill.”

The headline that prompted Abrasion’s outburst was changed online to “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: A 28-Year-Old Democratic Giant Slayer” a few hours after her tweet.

Abramson, now a senior lecturer at Harvard, was fired amid an unseemly public-relations melée in May 2014. She told The Daily Beast that she did not want to sound like a jealous old-timer and has resisted criticizing The Times until now, but “this shit is bad.”

“I’m feeling about the NYT now like I did when my son cheated on a test in 10th grade,” she wrote to the Beast. “I loved him to death, believed he was a thoroughly wonderful young man, but he needed a course correction. So I left my desk at The NYT, where I was DC [Bureau] Chief, met his school bus and read him the riot act. He needed a course correction. So does the NYT… it’s making horrible mistakes left and right.”