NYT big Jill Abramson accused of plagiarism in new book, and boy, is it bad
Jill Abramson, the former New York Times editor who carries a little plastic Obama doll in her purse for comfort, has written quite a book, trying to describe the news industry the same way the great David Halberstam once did in The Powers that Be in the 1970s. She examines four news outfits, plus Facebook, in an attempt to replicate Halberstam’s tome about how the news industry evolved in her new book, titled Merchants of Truth. Her conclusion? Legacy media rule. Upstart media have no value.
After a big buildup from this, she’s got a problem: she’s being accused of plagiarism.
Here’s the New York Times’ generally positive review from Jan. 22:
The episode [Abramson’s firing from the New York Times], in more ways than one, set Abramson on a path that would produce “Merchants of Truth,” her book examining four news organizations trying to sail through the storm of digital transformation: BuzzFeed, Vice, The Washington Post and The Times. It’s partly a memoir and partly a work of investigative reporting. But it’s mostly an audit of an industry that has spent much of the past decade wetting its pants in fear of digital technology and then worrying about whether to go to the dry cleaners. And it’s a damn good read.
Abramson’s pious, pompous, and plummy conclusion? Old ways are best; reporting flourishes when it’s left in the hands of the legacy media and, kid you not, its heirs. Any media upstarts challenging this particular press can only be punky little idiots. …