The New York Times has been "unmistakably anti-Trump" in much of its coverage. No, it wasn’t the president, or Sarah Sanders, or anyone else in the Trump administration who said that—not this time, at least. Instead, those words are coming from Jill Abramson, former executive editor of the Times, Fox News reports. In her forthcoming book, Merchants of Truth, Abramson, who led the paper from 2011 until she was fired in 2014, says the NYT has more or less become the opposition party that President Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon accused the media of being in early 2017—despite current Executive Editor Dean Baquet’s stated desire not to be. “Some headlines contained raw opinion,” writes Abramson, per the Hill, “as did some of the stories that were labeled as news analysis.” In the book, set for release next month, Abramson levels similar criticism at the Washington Post.
She says that an anti-Trump slant at the NYT may be partly ideological—especially among younger staffers in digital roles who “thought that urgent times called for urgent measures"—but it may also make good business sense: The paper added 600,000 digital subscribers in the wake of Trump’s election. “Given its mostly liberal audience,” Abramson writes, “there was an implicit financial reward for the Times in running lots of Trump stories, almost all of them negative.” Still, Abramson has criticism for Trump, too, especially his constant claims of fake news. Claims of anti-Trump bias are par for the course, a NYT rep tells the New York Post, adding that all administrations complain about coverage. After Abramson's comments made headlines, she told the AP it was a case of Fox News taking her words "totally out of context" in "an attempt to Foxify my book, which is full of praise for the Times and the Washington Post and their coverage of Trump." (Trump staged a surprise press briefing Thursday.)