Harry Reid Turns on <i>The New York Times</i> in Jill Abramson Controversy

The Democratic leader used the paper typically beloved by the Left to push for pay equity.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) (R) shows a front page story of IED attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq on USA Today during a news conference on the war in Iraq on Capitol Hill July 16, 2007 in Washington, DC.
National Journal
Sarah Mimms
May 15, 2014, 12:33 p.m.

The New York Times found it­self Thursday at the wrong end of Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id’s out­rage.

In clos­ing down the Sen­ate for the week Thursday, Re­id took The Times to task for the fir­ing of Ex­ec­ut­ive Ed­it­or Jill Ab­ramson. Re­id used the pa­per typ­ic­ally be­loved by the Left as an ex­ample of worst prac­tices when it comes to pay equity, a ma­jor le­gis­lat­ive push for Demo­crats this year.

“It ap­peared [at] The New York Times,” Re­id said, while push­ing to close the pay-equal­ity gap between male and fe­male em­ploy­ees. “The wo­man that ran that news­pa­per was fired yes­ter­day. Why? It’s now in the press that be­cause she com­plained she was do­ing the same work as men in two dif­fer­ent jobs and made a lot less money than they did. That’s why we need this le­gis­la­tion.”

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Ab­ramson, the first wo­man to run the Gray Lady, was fired Wed­nes­day after she com­plained to her man­agers that she was be­ing paid less than former Ex­ec­ut­ive Ed­it­or Bill Keller, The New York­er re­por­ted. Ab­ramson also dis­covered that he had made more money as man­aging ed­it­or than she had in the same po­s­i­tion as well.

New York Times Pub­lish­er Ar­thur Sulzber­ger Jr. denied the al­leg­a­tions in a memo to staff. “Com­pens­a­tion played no part what­so­ever in my de­cision that Jill could not re­main as ex­ec­ut­ive ed­it­or. Nor did any dis­cus­sion about com­pens­a­tion,” Sulzber­ger ad­ded.

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