New statement from NYT publisher... pic.twitter.com/VlAAbCcuS8
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 17, 2014
Obviously I have no idea what the real story is here. But I always find it interesting how quickly people digest and adopt one narrative or another, when in reality they have no idea how much of the story they're hearing or choosing to believe is actually the result of a coordinated PR campaign. Anyone who thinks both sides of this thing aren't engaged in a PR war, or that anyone on either side is strictly a victim, is hopelessly naive.
I doubt anyone's mind is going to be changed by a message like this one from the Times. For my part, I've worked with enough executives to know, it's never one thing that gets an executive fired. It's a succession of things, a snowballing of incidents that create an impression, and after a certain tipping point, no amount effort on earth is going to change that impression (or correct it if it's wrong in the first place). I hated to see Jill Abramson get fired, but I'd also be surprised if she was surprised. I mean, you know if the people you work with and for don't like you. It may be unfair and unwarranted. You may refuse to accept it. You may think you can win them back, or you may think you're so good at your job that it doesn't matter what they think. But nevertheless you know. I'm impressed that her narrative has been so effectively messaged while the Times itself has been on its heels and clumsy throughout the whole episode. Obviously that could mean they were caught doing a bad thing, or it could mean they were caught flat-footed because they never imagined someone would construct a convincing narrative in which Jill Abramson, of all people, was portrayed as some kind of innocent victim.